Hugh’s July blog

27 Jul 2016 Hugh’s July blog

Since my last update in June we’ve continued to make great strides forward and one of the most pleasing was to be able to welcome LB Bromley’s membership of London CIV after their full council decision on 4 July. We now have all 33 London local authorities on board which is fantastic and sends out a great message about the capacity for London to collaborate at scale.

We’ve also had further success with developing the Fund, opening the LCIV PY Global Total Return Fund investing into the Pyford Global Total Return sub-fund on 17 June and the LCIV RF Absolute Return Fund investing into the Ruffer Absolute Return sub-fund on 21 June. These two funds bring our assets under management up to around £2.4 billion, with 14 boroughs invested across our five sub-funds and some £1.6 million of fund manager fee savings being delivered a year. We’re working towards opening the three sub-funds previously trailed with Newton and Majedie acting as sub-managers in the autumn and hope to get the Longview sub-managed fund opened towards the end of this year or early in 2017.

We’re continuing to build the team with Ranulph Day joining us on 11 July as our Compliance Manager, you can read his potted CV here. We also have Ritika and Ryan joining us in August on the investment analytics side of the business. There’s no doubt that we will need to build the team further before we can see ourselves as fully staffed, but the extra capacity is extremely welcome.

Our second borough officer seminar on 30 June was another opportunity for the team to meet with many of you face-to-face. We had an investment update from Julian, had a presentation from Ian Williams (Treasurer, Hackney) the new Chair of the Investment Advisory Committee (IAC), and heard about the role of the Depositary from Darren Banks of Northern Trust. With thanks to Northern Trust for hosting the event, I hope those of you that attended found it a useful afternoon and a good networking opportunity.

On the subject of thanks, most of you will know that Chris Buss (Treasurer, Wandsworth) has been a keen supporter of the CIV from the very outset four years ago. Chris was in the vanguard of thinking about how London LGPS funds might work more closely together and he has been a key member of the extended team throughout. Although he will be continuing as a member of the IAC, I think the moment of him stepping down as its Chair is an appropriate time to recognise the contribution he has made, his input to London CIV and the support he has given me personally has been invaluable – thanks Chris!

When we sent out our first email newsletter in April I said that it would be going out monthly, well we’ve not been entirely successful in fulfilling that promise and it now looks like six times a year is more achievable. It would be great to get some feedback about how useful the newsletter is in keeping you in touch with CIV developments, if the articles are the right length, with the right amount of detail etc.?

Continuing on the theme of communications and engagement, we’ve commissioned the London Communications Agency to carry out a short survey to gather views about how we are doing and what we can do better. Letters will be coming out shortly to some of you to ask if would agree to participate, if you can spare the time to go through a short telephone interview your input would be much appreciated.

Finally, can I wish you all a very pleasant summer holiday season, especially now the weather seems to have brightened up for a while.