News in brief - 13 May 2022

Buck has launched a new defined benefit (DB) pensions governance tool.

The new solution, Echelo+, aims to help protect trustees and sponsors from increasing complexity and allow them to achieve long-term objectives with additional certainty. Delivered through a single fixed annual management charge model, Echelon+ will combine the flexibility and independence of a traditional approach with the efficiencies of a master trust, such as economies of scale. It was developed in consultation with independent trustees and is aimed at schemes looking for prompt decision-making and fee certainty, whilst retaining overall control. It also includes an online member portal with illustrative transfer values, retirement quotations and enhanced member communications.

Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has invested £130m in Raven Housing Trust.

The investment will fund the development of 630 homes across Surrey and Sussex by 2026, with 58 per cent of these to be for social and affordable rent, while 30 per cent will be for shared ownership accommodation. The debt is secured on housing assets, with a maturity profile tailored to match PIC’s pension liabilities in years where it is difficult to source cash flows in the public bond markets. PIC was selected as the sole lender following a full market tender and has now invested around £3.3bn in the UK's social housing sector.

Tumelo has raised $19m in its Series A round.

The fundraising was led by Treasury, the US-based Fintech venture fund run by the co-founders of Betterment, Acorns, and Say Technologies, with further investors including Legal & General, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures (FISV), and Nucleus Adventure Capital. The investment is expected to further enhance the platform to allow more investors to exercise their shareholder rights and extend outreach across the UK. It will also support Tumelo’s expansion into the US, Australia, and additional market segments.

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