17 Feb 2017 Hugh’s February blog
It’s a bit late for me to be wishing you a happy New Year, but perhaps I will note how quickly this year seems to be going already. We’re mid-way through February and it seems like only yesterday that we came back from the Christmas break. As usual my blog trots over a number of items that I hope you will find of interest and provide you with updates on things that I’ve covered in past blogs.
Budget and plans
On 8 February our shareholders agreed our 2017/18 budget and five year plan. It was great to get that confirmation and especially after we received clear and strong support from London Councils’ Leaders’ Committee the day before.
Our vision is simple; we aim to be the investment vehicle of choice for local authority pension funds through successful collaboration and delivery of compelling performance. And to achieve that we will focus on delivering performance, creating opportunities for our investors, being efficient in everything that we do, and providing clear and transparent reporting.
Beyond that though, it’s clear now what we have to achieve over the next year and beyond, which for me is summed up as:
• Develop and open products so that every borough has opportunity to invest to the fullest with clear and tangible benefits being delivered;
• Develop the team, recruiting new people with the skills and expertise to take us to the next level as a fund manager and
• Continue to develop and refine all of our systems and processes.
There are of course many, many things that we have to work on to deliver that high level strategic framework, but our focus is clear and every member of the team is committed to playing their part.
I trailed the opening of sub-fund number six in my November blog and sure enough on 16 December (which disrupted one or two people’s team Christmas lunch) we launched our LCIV NW Real Return Fund. This is a direct investment into the Newton Investment Management Real Return Fund and brings our total AUM to £3.3 billion, no mean feat in just 12 months in my view, and a fantastic effort by all the team here in collaboration with our colleagues from Camden, Enfield and Redbridge. There’s more news about our funds in this news item.
Government’s pooling agenda
We met with the Minister, Marcus Jones MP towards the end of last year. The minster recognised our progress and the hard work and commitment from elected members and officers across London, and confirmed he was content for the pool to continue. There’s more detail in this news item and his letter to our Chair, Lord Kerslake.
As always it would be great to get your feedback on this newsletter, things you’d like to see covered in future editions and generally anything else that you think will help us to improve.
The days are getting longer, the daffodils are starting to bloom (at least in my area anyway) so spring must be on its way…enjoy!