The Essex County Council pension fund has appointed IFM Investors and JP Morgan Asset Management to run a £100m (€116m) unlisted infrastructure mandate.
The local government pension scheme (LGPS) tendered the mandate in November, saying it would consider awarding the mandate to one or two managers and would look at open-ended and closed-ended funds that focused on UK, European or global assets.
The £100m allocation represents 2% of the public pension fund’s assets, based on the latest valuations.
It received 22 bids for the mandate.
The Essex pension fund is part of the ACCESS pool that is being formed by 11 local authorities in response to government instructions to consolidate LGPS funds into several pools.
The ACCESS pool, a “collaboration of Central, Eastern and Southern Shires”, has around £33bn of assets under management, according to its website.
In its February 2016 proposal to the UK government, the pool said six of its members had exposure to “specialist infrastructure”.
It said pool members “are committed to investigating all options for providing the participating authorities with access to the most appropriate infrastructure investments to match their asset allocations, including, if appropriate, working with other LGPS authorities or pools nationally to create a vehicle which will help make appropriate infrastructure investments more accessible to the LGPS at a lower cost”.
Some LGPS funds have already begun co-operating to achieve greater scale for infrastructure investments. The London Pensions Fund Authority and Greater Manchester Pension Fund have created a joint infrastructure fund, called GLIL, which the other Northern Pool members besides Manchester have also signed up to. Berkshire pension fund has also joined GLIL.