16 January 2018

Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) announced its appointment of Link Fund Solutions Ltd (Link) as the FCA authorised operator on 9 January 2018 following a rigorous procurement process run by WPP and Burges Salmon, as legal advisors, and Hymans Robertson. The appointment breaks new ground as WPP is the first Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) investment pool to appoint an external operator. The appointment of Link represents a key milestone in the pooling process to enable the pooling of circa £15 billion of assets across a range of asset classes.

Link will establish and operate an Authorised Contractual Scheme (a tax transparent FCA authorised UK collective investment vehicle) in order to facilitate the pooling. The ACS will have sub-funds in a range of asset classes designed to meet the needs of the investing authorities and enable them to execute their differing asset allocation strategies. With the support of Russell Investments, and in consultation with the eight individual local authority funds, Link will begin the process of appointing a number of investment manager firms, while the LGPS funds will retain full control over strategic asset allocation decisions. By using fewer investment manager firms with larger mandates, it is expected that the pool will deliver fee savings, one of the primary aims of Government policy.

The firm’s team was led by funds and financial regulation partner Tom Dunn with support from Gareth Malna, solicitor. John Houlden, partner, and Patrick Parkin, legal director, advised on procurement law with Michael Hayles, partner, Paula McGeady, senior associate, and Ian Carnochan, legal director, advising on pensions, local government and tax respectively.

Tom says: “We are delighted to have assisted the Wales Pension Partnership in reaching this significant milestone and look forward to advising on the next stage and the establishment of an FCA authorised vehicle to deliver the pooling benefits.”

Anthony Parnell, Treasury & Pension Investments Manager at Carmarthenshire County Council, comments: “Burges Salmon was instrumental in the procurement exercise for the appointment of Link as the operator for the Wales Pension Partnership. We would like to thank them, on behalf of all eight funds, for their expertise and professionalism during the challenging timetable that was given to them.”

Key contact

Tom Dunn

Tom Dunn Partner

  • Head of Regulated Funds and Financial Services
  • Regulated Funds
  • Financial Services

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