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Election of Chairman/Membership
To elect the Chairman of the Pension Fund Committee and to note any changes to the membership.
1.1 It was noted that Councillors Barbara Arzymanow and Angela Harvey were newly appointed substantive Members of the Committee, replacing Councillors Melvyn Caplan and Antonia Cox.
That Councillor Eoghain Murphy be appointed as Chairman of the Pension Fund Committee.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest by Members and Officers of any pecuniary interest or any other significant interest in matters on this agenda.
2.1 Councillor Angela Harvey declared that the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association had been a client of hers in the past, with the relationship no longer current.
Report of the Tri-Borough Director of Treasury and Pensions.
3.1 The Committee had before it the draft Investment Strategy Statement (ISS) and draft Investment Beliefs. Phil Triggs (Tri-Borough Director of Treasury and Pensions) advised that it was good governance to review the ISS on an annual basis, whilst this was the first time that a set of Investment Beliefs had been drawn up. The Committee agreed that the ISS be reviewed on an annual basis.
3.2 The Committee then first considered the draft Investment Beliefs that were based on the five principles of investment governance, long term approach, environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, asset allocation and management strategies.
3.3 In respect of investment governance, the Committee noted that there were a number of training opportunities available for Members, however it was asked what steps would be taken to ensure that new Members of the Committee received the appropriate training. One Member commented that they had previously received training whilst a Member of the Pension Board. It was noted that a rolling training programme for Committee Members was in place which frequently occurred before or after a Committee meeting and Members welcomed the continuation of this approach. A Member remarked that the Pensions Lifetime Association offered useful training. The Committee stated that consideration should be given as to what extent comparisons were made with the Fund’s investment consultants with other investment consultants. Members also asked what other journals on pension related matters were available to them.
3.4 In reply, Phil Triggs stated that discussions would take place with new Members of the Committee with regards to their training needs. He advised that the usual competitive tendering would take place once the contract with the current investment consultant had expired. Members were welcome to collect any pension journals or have these journals sent to them where there were items of particular interest.
3.5 Turning to the long term approach, Members commented that this should reflect that there had been a reduction in equities allocation. The Committee agreed that Point 2d of the long term approach section be re-worded so that it reflects that overall there is a diversified Fund.
3.6 The Committee then considered ESG factors. Members remarked that this should reflect the fact that there had been a notable shift in moving towards ESG assets in the past 12 months and it should be noted that these were now more prominent. Point 3d of this section should also recognise the current mood with regards to ESG considerations during the Committee’s decision-making process. Members also sought clarification with regards to what timescales did long-term imply.
3.7 Phil Triggs advised that ESG factors would be a consideration as part of the ISS review. Point 3a of this section set out the advantages of investing in ESG. Phil Triggs advised that ‘long term’ would mean a period from when a new member of staff was appointed right through to when they were drawing their pension.
3.8 The Committee indicated its satisfaction with the asset allocation investment beliefs.
3.9 Turning to management strategies, ... view the full minutes text for item 3.