Council services by letter

Agenda and minutes

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Venue: Committee Room 3, Harrow Civic Centre, Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XY. View directions

Contact: Daksha Ghelani, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Tel: 020 8424 1881 E-mail:  daksha.ghelani@harrow.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

197.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.

198.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Panel;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

Councillor Norman Stevenson, a Member on the Committee, declared a non-pecuniary interest in that he was a Director of Cathedral Independent Financial Planning Ltd., and that he had clients who were past and present members of the Harrow Pension Scheme.  His wife was a member of Harrow Council’s Pension Scheme.  He would remain in the room whilst the matters were considered and voted upon.

199.

Deputations

To receive deputations (if any) under the provisions of Committee Procedure Rule 16 (Part 4B) of the Constitution (relating to item of business on the agenda).

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that no deputations were received at this meeting.

RESOLVED ITEMS

200.

Local Government Pension Scheme Pooling Arrangements - Proposed Transition of Longview Partners' Mandate pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Report of the Director of Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Director of Finance concerning an agreement reached between the London CIV and Longview Partners to make available within the CIV, a sub-fund managed by Longview Partners on the lines of the current mandate awarded to them by the Harrow Fund.  The Treasury and Pensions Manager explained the implications of the proposed fees as set out in paragraphs 8 and 9 of the supplemental report; it was estimated that the saving to the Fund would amount to about £200,000 pa.  He also outlined the proposed transitional arrangements whereby Russell Investments would provide transition management services at nil cost.

 

John Royle reiterated concerns expressed by union members about the performance of the Harrow Fund against benchmarks and against the average performance of local government pensions funds; he suggested that recent performance was so poor that there was even a case to invest the funds as cash deposits.  Richard Romain, Independent Adviser, explained that there was a duty on those managing the Fund to seek to cover the pension liabilities into the future and this could only be achieved by active investment strategies.  He underlined that performance over any short-term period did not undermine the strong case over the long-term for market investment.

 

Colin Cartwright, Adviser (AON Investments) added that the risk was, in any event, borne by the employers.  If the greater returns from active investment were not achieved, then there would be increased pressure on public service budgets through the need to increase employer contributions.  In 2015?16, there had been a fall in the markets, but this type of investment was more productive over the long-term period particularly relevant to pension funds.  Fund members were paying fixed percentage contributions for defined and guaranteed benefits. 

 

Colin Cartwright explained that the transition project relating to the Harrow Fund’s investment in the SICAV carried certain risks and it therefore needed to be managed appropriately.  Russells were offering to waive the usual fee for this specialist service because they were keen to win business among LGPS employers and funds. 

 

The Committee debated the tax element of the costs of this transition which would apply.   Colin Cartwright advised that this would be due to the change of ownership involved and the reregistration of the relevant stocks.  Mr Romain questioned whether there would, in fact, be a change of legal ownership; he considered that the appropriate test would be whether the “primary beneficial ownership” would alter and he doubted that this would be the case since the local authority employers would remain the beneficial owners.  Colin Cartwright suggested that the staff at CIV and Longview would have investigated, and taken advice on, this issue in any event.  It was agreed that officers should seek clarification of this from Russells and inform Committee members of the outcome.

 

Colin Cartwright reported that if it was intended to maintain the currency hedge after the transfer to the CIV, then it would be necessary to amend the mandate with Record.  This would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 200.