Local Pensions Partnership names chief executive

The LPP, formed out of the combined asset and liabilities of the Lancashire County Pension Fund and London Pensions Fund Authority, will pursue direct and co-investments.

The Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) established by the Lancashire County Pension Fund and the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) has appointed LPFA chief executive Susan Martin as chief executive officer, and LCPF director George Graham as managing director (administration) and chief finance officer.

The £10 billion ($14.3 billion; €12.5 billion) partnership, which resulted from the pooling of the two funds’ assets and liabilities, became operational on 1 April. It is recruiting for a chief risk officer, it said in a statement.

The LPP also announced the appointment of three non-executive directors: Peter Rogers, Sally Bridgeland and Robert Vandersluis.

Rogers was formerly the CEO of Westminster City Council and the London Development Agency, as well as a former advisor to London Mayor Boris Johnson on regeneration, growth and enterprise at the Greater London Authority.

The statement described investment governance consultant Bridgeland as “well known in the UK pensions industry, for her thought-provoking views on risk, investment strategy and governance.” Among her roles, she is a non-executive director and investment committee chairman at insurance company Royal London and a trustee of the pension schemes of NEST Corporation and Lloyds Bank, and is a former CEO of BP Pension Fund.

Vandersluis is a director of global pension investments at GlaxoSmithKline, where he manages a £15 billion portfolio, and has also worked at Affinity Sutton Group and Ford Motor Company. He is a former LPFA risk committee chair, the statement said.

When the LPP launched as the Lancashire and London Pensions Partnership last July, Martin and Graham told Private Equity International that both pension funds were active in investing in alternatives and would target more direct and co-investments.

In a speech in October, Martin said: “Both organisations invest directly, co-invest and have investments with external fund managers. We envisage that we will be able to do more in-house and complement each other’s skills.”

Since then the LPP has begun talks to pool assets with other local government pension schemes (LGPS) including the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Merseyside Pension Fund, the West Yorkshire Pension Fund, and has held “early discussions” with the Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund, as reported by PEI.

The consolidation is in response to the government’s instruction that 90 LGPS combine assets into pools of at least £25 billion. LGPS were due to submit asset pool proposals by mid-February.

“Our new name underlines the fact that we are open for business, and ready and able to work with other LGPS funds in developing this exciting proposition,” LPP chairman Martin O’Higgins said in the statement.

O’Higgens, the former chair of the Pensions Regulator, was appointed in October and joined non-executive board members Lancashire County councillor David Borrow and LPFA board member Dermot McMullen, who is the LPP’s remuneration committee chair.