London CIV launches infrastructure fund and prepares to pool property [corrected]

London CIV, set up to pool the investments of 32 London local authority pension funds, has launched its first infrastructure fund and is preparing to launch several vehicles for real estate.

Six pension funds have committed £399m (€455m) to the LCIV Infrastructure Fund. London CIV said it had partnered with Stepstone to “support investment selection, portfolio construction and reporting services”.

The vehicle has been set up to make new investments, although a spokesperson said “there is sufficient flexibility” to “consider in-specie funds from our local London authorities”.

Asked why only six of the 32 London pension schemes had committed capital, the spokesperson said: “Different local London authorities are at different stages of their strategic asset allocation reviews and some decided not to hold strategic asset allocations to infrastructure.

“We do expect many more Local London Authorities to commit in subsequent closes.”

The first investment will be in an unnamed renewable energy fund that will focus on wind and solar power in Europe.

London CIV is one of eight ‘pools’ tasked with consolidating and managing the investments of 89 local government pension scheme (LGPS) in England and Wales.

The infrastructure fund is the 14th sub-fund to be launched by LCIV, which is the asset-pooling vehicle for London’s 31 borough pension funds and the City of London.

The infrastructure fund was initially slated for launch in 2018 but was delayed following a review of the pooling vehicle’s structure, operations and governance. 

Earlier this year, IPE Real Assets reported that London CIV was seeking to appoint a head of real assets.

The organisation is also looking for a CIO after Mark Thompson resigned last month. The former HSBC UK pension fund CIO had only been in the role for a few weeks, and stepped down for personal and family reasons.

The London CIV spokesperson said London CIV was “currently working towards the early stages of fund launch for three potential property funds”.

She added: “More information on these will come in 2020”.

An earlier version of this article stated incorrectly that the LCIV Infrastructure Fund would be “managed” by Stepstone.

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