News in brief - 27 November 2020

Aon has announced the launch of a new impact investing fund, the Aon Global Impact Fund.

The high-conviction active equity fund will be focused on investing in companies that help drive the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and will invest in external managers which have been identified and blended by Aon’s Investment Manager Research team. These selections will based on the potential for strong returns and consideration of their impact on key social and environmental issues. The fund, which has already been integrated into Aon’s defined contribution (DC) solutions, the Aon MasterTrust and Bigblue Touch (Aon’s Group Personal Pension), was launched in September 2020 and has since attracted £100m in assets under management.

The Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has invested £65m in debt issued by Pobl, a housing association based in Newport, Wales.

The investment will be used to support Pobl’s affordable housing development programme over the next two years as part of its aim to create 10,000 new homes over the next 10 years, as well as to refinance existing long term debt. This the second funding agreement between the two parties, following a £35m investment in 2013, and brings PIC's total investments in the UK’s social housing sector to more than £2bn. The majority (£50m) of the funds will be deferred until 2021, and are expected to mature in 2059, whilst the remaining £15m will be via spot funding maturing in 2041. The deferral was designed to help Pobl lock in certainty of funding at a known rate, with PIC confirming that the maturity profile has also been tailored to match PIC’s pension liabilities in years where it is difficult to source cashflows in the public bond markets.

iPensions Group has launched an adviser portal for self-invested personal pension (Sipp) applications

The portal allows advisers to complete the Sipp application process within minutes, compared to the days or weeks required when using paper-based applications, by using simplified online application processes, such as the adoption of electronic signatures and application tracking. It builds on more than three years of investment by the group in developing an end-to-end pension management solution, and was designed to save time on administration. It provides "round-the-clock" access to client information and applications, with a dedicated team also in place to support the launch. Further developments on the portal are expected in early 2021.

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