JLT Employee Benefits, one the UK’s largest pension and benefits consultancy, and Alpha FMC, the leading global asset management consultancy firm, have announced a collaboration to deliver the first end-to-end service to support Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) asset pooling.
Under the LGPS funds reform, the 89 LGPS’ in England and Wales are encouraged to pool assets into eight distinct funds to achieve a more diversified portfolio and economies of scale. On 15 July the pools delivered the timescale for full pooling by April 2018 and deadlines are expected to be challenging.
The asset pooling solution comprises a modular structure in order to reflect the various needs of an LGPS pool during the four step asset pooling process, from the planning and preparation of an Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS) or other forms of investment vehicles, to FCA authorisation, and the final stages of implementation and monitoring. Offering a flexible range of options from which to choose will give each LGPS pool the flexibility to access specific support and advice as required. Each pool will be able to choose from nine functions, including asset structuring, fund selection and FCA Approval, as well as recruitment, technology and IT.
The collaboration is spearheaded by Andrien Meyers at JLT Employee Benefits and Jon Benson at Alpha FMC, leading experienced and highly complementary teams. Andrien Meyers has firsthand experience in setting up an LGPS asset pool. Prior to joining JLT Employee Benefits, Andrien worked at the Lambeth Pension Scheme and contributed to the formation of the £25bn London CIV (the London LGPS pool), which completed at the end of 2015. Jon Benson has over thirteen years of experience delivering large scale projects across systems delivery, process design and business analysis, working with some of the largest administrators and investment managers in the industry.
Andrien Meyers, Senior Consultant at JLT Employee Benefits, says: “Local Government Pension Schemes face a monumental task and, given the unprecedented nature of this vast undertaking, few people truly have the experience to complete the pooling process with confidence. To complement LGPS’ existing capabilities, we are uniquely placed to bring our expertise to bear through this integrated offering. We have already met with the majority of the pools and this solution has attracted a considerable amount of interest.”
Jon Benson, Director and Head of the Pensions Practice at Alpha FMC, comments: “There are many consultancies in the market that can help with particular aspects of asset pooling. However, coordinating all the providers and ensuring that they talk to each other so that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together is a job of its own. We are excited to have the opportunity to work alongside JLT and support the pension pools in any way we can to help develop the efficient and compliant operating models to which they clearly aspire.”