Local Authority Funds Make an Impact
In a first for the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), six of the largest local authority funds have announced a joint commitment of £152million to a series of impact investments in local UK projects. The Investment4Growth (I4G) initiative has been developed by the funds in association with PIRC and represents one of the biggest joint commitments by institutional investors to date in this asset class.
The Greater Manchester Pension Fund is the largest investor, committing £50m to the venture with the remaining funded by West Yorkshire Pension Fund, South Yorkshire Pension Fund, Merseyside Pension Fund, West Midlands Pension Fund and East Riding Pension Fund.
London-based impact-driven fund manager Bridges Ventures, Boost & Co, the London and Paris-based SME lender and Midven, a Birmingham-based venture capital manager are the successful managers selected from an initial 28 expressions of interest.
The announcement follows publication of the LAPFF ‘Investing for Growth’ Report of November 2012 conducted by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies in partnership with PIRC and published by the Smith Institute.
The pension funds were seeking to identify the extent of UK investment opportunities which while meeting their investment return and risk strategies also had positive economic impacts. A number of the asset managers submitting proposals have received interest direct from funds beyond the initial I4G foundation group.
‘A number of funds want to continue to work together on developing a joint approach to further impact investments and we will be considering our options later in the year. We will continue to share our experiences and work with other like-minded funds,’ Chair of the Greater Manchester Pension fund Councillor Kieran Quinn said.