Border to Coast, one of the UK’s eight public pension asset pools, has appointed a head of real estate as it prepares to launch property funds with a potential size of £5bn (€5.5bn).

Tim Sankey joined Border to Coast this month, having most recently been fund manager for the Aberdeen UK Property Fund at Aberdeen Standard Investments, where he worked for 17 years.

At Border to Coast, he will lead the development of the pool’s property offering, which is likely to comprise two vehicles, a predominantly direct UK fund and an indirect global fund of funds.

Border to Coast is working towards launching the global fund of funds in 2022 and the UK fund in 2023. Sankey will be responsible for recruiting a dedicated real estate team to manage the new funds and he and the team will work with the pool’s partner pension funds to design and develop the property offerings.

Daniel Booth, CIO at Border to Coast, said: “Tim brings a wealth of experience of property investing together with hands-on experience of building and running property funds. We are looking forward to working with him as we deliver high quality investments for our partner funds.”

Sankey spoke of a “fantastic opportunity”.


Tim Sankey, Border to Coast’s head of real estate

“Underpinned by long-term investors, our collective scale gives us real opportunity to lower costs and deliver strategic investment benefits, including expanded market access with improved diversification and risk management,” he said.

While at Aberdeen Standard Investments, Sankey was also the fund director for a major Middle Eastern sovereign wealth UK property portfolio. Prior to this he worked as a senior surveyor for Strutt & Parker.

At Border to Coast Sankey ill be supported by portfolio manager Paul Campbell and Peter Lunn, who recently joined Border to Coast as property programme manager.

Border to Coast is owned by 11 pension funds in the local government pension scheme (LGPS) with £46bn in assets under management between them. It recently awarded specialist China equity and multi-credit asset mandates.

According to a June report from one of the pool’s so-called partner funds, South Yorkshire (Pensions Authority), the 11 LGPS funds had some £4.1bn allocated to property in the UK and overseas, with around £1.4bn of this invested directly in UK property across four of the pension funds.

At the time it said it was likely the direct investment portion of the Border to Coast UK fund would ultimately amount to between £2.5bn and 3bn.

“In a portfolio of the proposed scale, the average size of an asset is likely to be larger than currently and there is potentially more opportunity to take on development projects,” said South Yorkshire.

It has indicated December for an “in principle” decision to support investment in the Border to Coast property offering.

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