News in brief - 30 October 2020

The Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) has launched a series of fixed income funds on its existing platform to provide an increased choice of sub-funds.

The WPP, itself a pooling entity for the Welsh local government pension scheme funds, said that all eight constituent authorities would be investing in at least one of these sub-funds. The new pooled investments will be comprised of five sub-funds focused on global credit, global government bonds, absolute return bonds, multi-asset credit and UK credit. The single-manager UK credit strategy will launch with £550m while the four sub-funds will be managed by Russell Investments and range in size between £430m and £780m. Joint Governance Committee chair, councillor Glyn Caron, said: “We believe these funds will provide us with the ability to optimise our exposure to fixed income markets while delivering on our objectives to improve diversification and reduce our costs.”

Vontobel has reported that 77 per cent of companies' earnings in its Clean Technology fund had a positive impact.

The claim was made in the fund’s Impact Report 2020, which is intended to demonstrate the positive impact its investments have and estimate the portfolio companies' achievement of the environmental targets as defined by the EU taxonomy. The report also found that, of the 66 portfolio companies, 51 reported a total of around 2.9 million metric tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions. Vontobel Clean Technology fund manager, Pascal Dudle, said: “Engagement in support of the companies plays a special role in our investment process, for example in order to help them adapt their reporting standards to the EU taxonomy. Over time, we will continuously improve the quality and scope of our impact measurement.”

Legal & General (L&G) has announced that it will relocate its two group offices in Wales to Cardiff’s Central Square.

The financial services group plans to complete the move from its current offices in Cardiff to the 120,000 square foot, eight storey facility in early 2023. The £140m Interchange building is the fifth phase of development in the Cardiff Square regeneration scheme which, in addition to office space for L&G, will include 318 build to rent homes and a 14-bay bus station. L&G CEO, Nigel Wilson, said: “This is a landmark moment for L&G, bringing almost 2,000 of our people to a modern, state-of-the-art office space which sits within one of our most iconic regeneration schemes.”

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