Mayor appoints Edi Truell to key pensions role
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has appointed Edi Truell as his Advisor on Pensions and Investments, to drive forward collaboration between public sector pension funds and invest the proceeds in infrastructure and housing in London and across the country.
The Mayor believes that amalgamating some of the country’s numerous public-sector pension funds and creating a Citizens’ Wealth Fund would save billions of pounds through greater efficiencies, lower fees and improved returns. These funds could then be invested in homes, roads, railways, power stations and airports and help cover the cost of the UK’s ageing population.
Edi Truell has taken up the unpaid position of Mayor’s Advisor for Pensions and Investments in order to advance the cause of pension consolidation across the Local Government Pension Scheme and public sector pension funds more generally.
The Mayor and Leader of Lancashire County Councillor, Jennifer Mein have also announced that Edi Truell will establish an advisory board for the newly-created Lancashire and London Pensions Partnership (LLPP), the £10bn partnership between the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) and the Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF).
Edi Truell has over 30 years of financial services experience including leadership positions in banking, private equity, pensions, insurance and debt investment. He was a driving force behind the transformation of the LPFA and the creation of the LLPP and he will resign from his position as Chairman of the LPFA on September 1st in order to take up his new roles.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Edi’s leadership of the London Pensions Fund Authority has been a great success and the work that he has done so far to consolidate our funds with our Lancashire counterparts is a triumph of service to public finance. If we now use this new partnership as a blueprint for further pooling of pension funds, we could have a war chest worth hundreds of billions of pounds and access to the kind of investment opportunities which have until now been the preserve of foreign sovereign wealth funds. I am therefore delighted that Edi has offered to maintain his links with City Hall and support the cause of further collaboration across public sector pension schemes.”
Speaking about Edi Truell’s appointment as an advisor to the LLPP, Leader of Lancashire County Councillor, Jennifer Mein, said: “We are pleased to have Edi in this position. His knowledge of financial markets and investments is second to none. We believe the Partnership is in a very strong position with him leading on strategic investment advice, as we strive to grow it from £10bn to £40bn. Taking a more proactive approach to managing the assets and liabilities of the Lancashire County Pension Fund has really paid off in recent years and this new partnership will enable us to build on the expertise we have developed. Facing the challenges of supporting an ageing population, the good practice of funds like Lancashire's and LPFA can provide a template for driving up the performance of public sector pension schemes, both for the benefit of their own members and for the country as a whole."
Edi Truell co-founded and led Pension Insurance Corporation, which now has insured more than £14bn of pensions, and invested heavily into infrastructure debt, He chairs the investment partnership Disruptive Capital Finance, which is fostering investments into ‘big data’ and an enormous UK-Iceland electricity interconnector.
He played a crucial role influencing the LPFA’s infrastructure and housing portfolio during his time as Chairman, with it announcing investments in Pontoon Dock and a £500m infrastructure joint venture with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.
Edi Truell said: “I’m delighted to chair this ambitious and specialised advisory board, which will comprise a carefully selected group of world-class investment and risk management professionals. Once established, the Strategic Investment Advisory Board will extend its offer of advice to any public sector funds wishing to join in with the LLPP. This will make available an unprecedented level of asset and liability management sophistication and expertise to a large number of pension funds, helping them to navigate a safe course through turbulent world markets.”
The LLPP will cover all aspects of pension fund management and be a fully-fledged pension service organisation, providing administration and liability management and pooled investment activities through a newly created corporate structure.
Mr Truell will start working on the formation of the Advisory Board immediately in time for the LLPP commencing operations in April 2016.
Notes to editors
The Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and other funded public sector pensions schemes face significant deficits. A way of addressing this problem is to harness the combined strength of public pension schemes to create a number of funds large enough to invest in infrastructure, housing or other private assets that will give long term returns (ie. To ‘super-pool’ pension funds). UK Super Pools could have assets comparable in size and scale to many foreign Sovereign Wealth Funds. They could generate greater investment returns and facilitate investment in infrastructure.
Edi Truell’s role as the Mayor’s pensions and investments advisor will be to promote the Mayor’s preferred approach to public sector pension fund consolidation through the concept of a Citizens’ Wealth Fund Super Pool – pooling assets and investing them, centrally, with regard to the aggregated liabilities of all participants. This Citizens’ Wealth Fund would have the benefits of scale, fee reduction and potential performance improvement from asset pooling with further and greater benefit arising by using a consolidated picture of liabilities to inform decisions.