News in brief – 11 December 2020

West Midlands Pension Fund has become the first Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) fund to achieve Pensions Administration Standards Association (Pasa) accreditation.

The fund is one of the UK’s largest pension funds and has over 330,000 members across more than 700 employers – including local authorities and schools. It has become the ninth organisation to have successfully completed Pasa’s accreditation programme. “West Midlands Pension Fund now joins a select group of other organisations to be recognised for best practice in the way it serves its members and sets a really positive example to schemes,” commented Pasa Accreditation Committee chair, Lorraine Harper. “The process is demanding, thorough and time consuming in the best of times, as you would expect, so to see schemes continue to recognise the significance and value of it whilst also grappling with other demands in this new environment is fantastic.”

LCP Partners is set to increase its ownership of the business by buying out Inflexion Private Equity’s minority stake with the support of Charterhouse Capital.

The transaction is expected to be completed in mid-January 2021. Commenting on the announcement, LCP CEO, Aaron Punwani, said: “Having delivered consistently strong performance over the last two decades, LCP’s Partners are demonstrating our dedication to the business, our clients and our people by increasing our personal financial commitment to the firm. As a result, a larger majority of the firm’s equity will be available to motivate and reward individuals progressing through the ranks of the firm, which is core to LCP’s culture and long-term success. We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Inflexion over the last four years and are excited to continue our growth alongside Charterhouse.”

Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has completed an £80m debt investment in North Star Housing Group.

The funds will help the housing association, based in north east England, complete a refinancing and restructuring exercise, and deliver 600 new social and affordable homes over the next eight years. The investment is split into two tranches, both maturing in 2060: £70m spot funding and £10m deferred funding, drawn down in 2022. The maturity profile has been tailored to match PIC’s pension liabilities in years where it is difficult to source cashflows in the public bond markets and the funds are secured on a portfolio of social housing properties.

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