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Pooling Progress - Part 1 (overall progress and transitions)

Pooling progress

We are now several years into our journey to pool investment assets, and this is a good time to take stock of how far we have come, and share our progress so far. 

Wiltshire is a member of the Brunel Pension Partnership, along with nine other shareholder funds.  We are now moving out of the initial implementation phase, and are looking to the future for the pool.  As set out in our business plan actions for 2022/23, we will be actively involved in setting the direction of travel for the Brunel pool, to ensure that Brunel delivers the intended fee savings and investment performance in a cost-efficient way, evidenced through meaningful reporting in line with client requirements, and retains a focus on ensuring that all activities deliver value and map to positive outcomes for the partner funds.

The following timeline shows the progress towards investment pooling made so far.  An original implementation plan was agreed with clients at the start of the pooling journey, but this was altered in late 2018 in order to reflect the additional resources required by the pool to deliver the service.  The shareholders agreed a compromise position, with an increased budget and a slightly slower delivery of portfolios.  The implementation timeline was again paused in March 2020, after consulation and with the approval and support of clients.  This was due to the significant increase in market volatility following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and wishing to take a cautious position not to transition assets during these market conditions. 

The transitions shown below were delivered in line with the updated implementation plan.

The following graph shows the percentage of assets pooled vs locally held from inception of pooling to date.  This illustrates the steady and consistent progress made by the Fund to deliver investment pooling.


Chart: Pooled versus locally held investments as a % of total Fund value
Note:  this chart includes the property portfolio in the Mar-22 figures, even though the transition did not happen until 1 April 2022.  It is felt that this fuller picture is more meaningful given the transition had already been instructed to go ahead.

october2016 October 2016
Brunel incorporated
july2018 July 2018
Passive equities (£415m)
16% pooled
november2019 November 2019
Active global equities (£470m)
33% pooled
december2019 December 2019
Passive equities (£140m)
39% pooled
june2021 June 2021
Passive gilts (£510m)
Multi-asset credit (£155m)
65% pooled
april2022 April 2022
Property (£410m)
73% pooled

What's in the pool compared with what's held locally:

Finally, the following table shows for each of our portfolios whether it is held via the Brunel pool, or locally managed.  Reasons are provided for all portfolios which are not yet held via the pool.

Portfolio Value as at 31 March 22 (£m) Pooled? If not pooled, why not?
Brunel passive gilts462.2Yes 
Brunel sustainable equities256.8Yes 
Brunel Global High Alpha (active equities)255.0Yes 
Brunel Secured Income210.3Yes 
Brunel Multi-asset credit153.7Yes 
Brunel private debt31.4Yes 
Brunel private equity28.5Yes 
Brunel Private Infrastructure21.0Yes 
CBRE property408.8NoTransitioned to the pool on 1 April 2022
Pinebridge bank loans325.1NoInterim portfolio pending drawdown into Brunel's private debt portfolio
Ninety One Emerging Markets Multi-Asset292.0NoCurrently no Brunel solution - a request has been made to Brunel to create an equivalent portfolio
Magellan listed Infrastructure167.3NoInterim portfolio pending drawdown into Brunel's infrastructure portfolio
Partners private infrastructure92.6No Legacy illiquid assets, which will be held locally until wound down
Cash0.3NoShort term cash balance
M&G private debt fund0.0NoImmaterial - in wind-down
Impact affordable housingNilNoNew allocation, to be locally managed - no pooled solution and opportunities for local investment
Renewable infrastructureNilTBCNew allocation, request made to Brunel to create a suitable portfolio, implementation options being considered
Total 3,206.1    


Our next post will show the progress we are making with our pooled private markets investments.

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