Dear Merton Borough Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what the Merton Pension Fund currently invests in, including the name and amounts of each asset class or investment being held.

2) The investments broken down into different categories/types of holding, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund holds.

3) The industrial sector of each investment e.g. Aerospace & Defense, Oil & Gas Producers, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Media, Banks, Mining, Government, Automobiles, Financial Services, Housing and any other sectors that the Pension Fund holds investments in. Examples of Pension Funds which have previously included this data in their publicly released investments include Buckinghamshire and Derbyshire. (i)

4) A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund currently invests in (this should be covered in the above requests). This list should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each company.

5) Can you clearly specify the total value of all investments that the Pension Fund holds in sterling.

6) I would like to receive this information in an unlocked excel sheet without protected cells (.xls). If you have to password protect the excel sheet, can you also provide the password to the excel sheet. When considering the request for this data in excel format, please refer to Innes v Information Commissioner [2014] EWCA Civ 1086 (ii), which allows a requestor to express a preference for communication by a particular means, specifically: "an applicant's right to choose to have information provided to him in electronic form extends to a right to choose the software format in which it is embodied." (iii)

I would like to receive the information in electronic format. If one part of the request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need further clarification, please contact me by email.

Many public authorities release their contracts, minutes and other information of interactions with private vendors in line with the Freedom of Information Act. The exemption for commercial interest under the Act (section 43) is a qualified exemption, which means information can only be withheld if it is in the public's interest. The public have an interest in knowing what the Pension Fund is investing in, the terms of contracts and the minutes of meeting with public authorities, whether or not public money changes hands immediately.

If you are relying on section 41 (the exemption for legal breach of confidence) then I would like to know the following:

* When these confidentiality agreements were agreed
* All correspondence and email in which these confidentiality agreements were discussed
* The precise wording of the confidentiality agreements.

I ask these questions because guidance issued by both the Lord Chancellor (draft guidance on FOI implementation) and the Office of Government Commerce (Model terms and conditions for goods and services) specifically state that public authorities should not enter into these types of agreements; they go directly against the spirit of the laws of disclosure. I would also point to the Information Commissioner's guidance on accepting blanket commercial confidentiality agreements: 'Unless confidentiality clauses are necessary or reasonable, there is a real risk that, in the event of a complaint, the Commissioner would order disclosure in any case.' (iv)

Finally, within the law of confidence there is also a public interest test. Therefore, the information should be disclosed in full. If any parts are redacted they must be for information that can be proven to be a legal breach of confidence in court, and only then where secrecy can be shown to be in the public interest. These are difficult positions to argue when public money is at stake or where a public authority is offering a private company a monopoly to charge its stakeholders.

I reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to charge excessive fees, and understand that under the act, I am entitled to a response within 20 working days. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Jones

(i) Buckinghamshire https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2... Derbyshire https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/2...

(ii) Innes v Information Commissioner [2014] EWCA Civ 1086 http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/...

(iii) Section 11 FOIA and the Form of a Request https://panopticonblog.com/2014/08/01/se...

(iv) 'Freedom of Information Awareness Guidance 5: Commercial Interests' Office of the Information Commissioner, Page 10, https://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/pr...

foi, Merton Borough Council

Thank you for your email message. We aim to respond to all requests under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 within 20 working days however during the current
Coronavirus crisis there may be a delay in responding to you.  More
information about the way we deal with information requests is on our web
site at [1]www.merton.gov.uk/foi​

References

Visible links
1. http://www.merton.gov.uk/foi

foi, Merton Borough Council

Thank you for your email message. We aim to respond to all requests under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 within 20 working days. More information about the way we
deal with information requests is on our web site at
[1]www.merton.gov.uk/foi
 
Information Governance Team
London Borough of Merton.
020 8545 4634
 
 
 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.merton.gov.uk/foi

Nemashe Sivayogan, Merton Borough Council

Dear Edward Jones,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations
2004 Information request

 

We have now considered your information request you made on the 25th June
on Merton Pension Fund investments and please see below our responses. 

Please feel free to contact us if you need further information.

You asked:

 

I would like to request the following information:

 

1)             The full details of what the Merton Pension Fund currently
invests in, including the name and amounts of each asset class or
investment being held.

This information is now publically available on Merton Council’s website.
Please refer to Council’s 2019/20 Draft statement Account (page 155 to
182) using the below link:

 

[1]https://www.merton.gov.uk/council-and-lo...

 

All information provided are as at 31 March 2020

 

2)             The investments broken down into different categories/types
of holding, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash
Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest
Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities
Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund
holds.

Please see response for 1) above

 

3)             The industrial sector of each investment e.g. Aerospace &
Defense, Oil & Gas Producers, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Media,
Banks, Mining, Government, Automobiles, Financial Services, Housing and
any other sectors that the Pension Fund holds investments in. Examples of
Pension Funds which have previously included this data in their publicly
released investments include Buckinghamshire and Derbyshire. (i)

Merton Pension Fund’s all investments are made via Pooled investment
vehicles (except the bond portfolio) and therefore the Fund owns no assets
under its name. will not be able to provide above information accurately.

4)         A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund
currently invests in (this should be covered in the above requests). This
list should include the names of each company and the amount invested in
each company.

Please see Q3) response.

 

Can you clearly specify the total value of all investments that the
Pension Fund holds in sterling?

Please see response for 1) above

 

                                                                           

If you have any queries or concerns about this, please contact me.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact
the Head of Information Governance at Merton Council, Civic Centre,
Morden, SM4 5DX or e-mail [2][Merton Borough Council request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  

 

Telephone:0303 123 1113  Website: [3]www.ico.org.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

If you have any queries or concerns about this please contact me.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact
the Head of Information Governance at Merton Council, Civic Centre,
Morden, SM4 5DX or e-mail [Merton Borough Council request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Telephone:0303 123 1113

 

Website: [4]www.ico.org.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Nemashe Sivayogan

Head of Treasury and Pensions

Corporate Services

London Borough of Merton

100 London Road, Morden SM4 5DX

Telephone: 02085453461

[mobile number]

Email: [email address]

www.merton.gov.uk

 

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.merton.gov.uk/council-and-lo...
2. mailto:[Merton Borough Council request email]
3. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Dear Merton Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Merton Borough Council's handling of my FOI request June 24 2020: 'Merton Pension Fund Investments'.

Please can you furnish me with a full breakdown of the assets invested in by the fund managers.
So what I require is a list of all the companies invested in and the discrete investment figures for each company.
We have such a breakdown from the 101 LGPS in the UK previously.

Also please can you direct me to relevant link from the page of links you linked me to in your response from 7 July 2020.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

foi, Merton Borough Council

Thank you for your email message. We aim to respond to all requests under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 within 20 working days. More information about the way we
deal with information requests is on our web site at
[1]www.merton.gov.uk/foi
 
Information Governance Team
London Borough of Merton.
020 8545 4634
 
 
 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.merton.gov.uk/foi

Dear Nemashe Sivayogan,

I asked for an internal review back on July 9.

It is no long overdue and by law you should have responded by now...

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Nemashe Sivayogan, Merton Borough Council


Thank you for your email.  I am on annual  leave till the 21 September 
and  I  will respond to your email on my returm .

if urgent please contact;

Mark Bell - [email address] - Treasury

Gary Wells- [email address] - Pensions

Moji Odusoga- [email address]- Insurance

 

 

Dear Nemashe Sivayogan,

Once again...

I asked for an internal review back on July 9.

It is now long overdue and by law you should have responded by now...

You said you would respond on your return from annual leave 21 Sep?

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Nemashe Sivayogan, Merton Borough Council

Hi Edward,
This is now (all internal review) proceeded by the Legal team and I have provided them the information they requested. They will get back to you with the response.
Kind Regards,
Nemashe Sivayogan
Head of Treasury and Pensions
Corporate Services
London Borough of Merton
100 London Road, Morden SM4 5DX
Telephone: 02085453461
[mobile number]
Email: [email address]
www.merton.gov.uk

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Murz Marston Parchment, Merton Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Jones,

 

Further to your request for an internal review please find attached my
review decision for your attention.

 

I do not propose to send a hard copy in the post, however should you
require this, please advise accordingly.

 

 

Kind regards

Murz Marston Parchment

Lawyer, Property & Commercial

South London Legal Partnership
Gifford House, 67c St Helier Avenue, Morden, SM4 6HY

DX 161030 Morden 3
Tel: 020 8274 5292

[mobile number]

Fax: 020 8545 3244 

 

 

[1]Sig

 

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References

Visible links

Dear Nemashe Sivayogan,

Please can you supply the the pooled fund data including the total fund holding in Excel format as was requested.

It is actually a precedent now set with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) that information requested for as Excel format has to be provided.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Nemashe Sivayogan, Merton Borough Council

Good Morning Edward,
Thanks for the email and providing the information in Excel is perfectly fine. We are still waiting to hear from our Legal on the outcome of the internal review and will act on that.
We will get back to you at our earliest possible.

Many thanks

Nemashe Sivayogan
Head of Treasury and Pensions
Corporate Services
London Borough of Merton
100 London Road, Morden SM4 5DX
Telephone: 02085453461
[mobile number]
Email: [email address]
www.merton.gov.uk

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Dear Nemashe Sivayogan,

Please send the Excel data...it has been nearly a month now.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Nemashe Sivayogan, Merton Borough Council

Hi Edward,
We already have sent the request to our fund managers and waiting a few more responses to come. Once we have all the response we will send it to you.
Sorry for the delay!

Nemashe Sivayogan
Head of Treasury and Pensions
Corporate Services
London Borough of Merton
100 London Road, Morden SM4 5DX
Telephone: 02085453461
[mobile number]
Email: [email address]
www.merton.gov.uk

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Dear Nemashe Sivayogan,

Please can you just send what you have . At this stage we unfortunately cannot affor to wait much longer

We can't use pdfs and need Excel and we need this data as a matter of urgency now by Thursday Nov 5.

Thanks. really appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Gary Wells, Merton Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Please find below and attached the response to your previous FOI request.

 

Please be aware that we are still waiting on some fund manager information
and I will follow this up and send when received.

 

Apologies for the delay is this information being sent.

 

Gary Wells
Senior Accountant Pension Fund
Corporate Accountancy
Corporate Services Department
Tel: 020 8545 3795
[1]www.merton.gov.uk

 

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations
2004 Information request

 

We have now considered your information request as set out below. 

 

You asked:

 

I would like to request the following information:

 

1)    The full details of what the Merton Pension Fund currently invests
in, including the name and amounts of each asset class or investment being
held.

 

The Pension Fund Draft accounts are located on the website.

Where this information can be found as at 31/3/2020.

 

 

[2]https://www.merton.gov.uk/council-and-lo...

 

 

2)    The investments broken down into different categories/types of
holding, including: Index Linked Securities, Unit trust Property, Cash
Instruments, Unit Trust Equities, Infrastructure, Fixed Interest
Securities, Equities Segregated Unlisted, Equities Segregated UK, Equities
Segregated Foreign as well as any other investments that the Pension Fund
holds.

Please see 1) above and link.

Please see attached spreadsheet.

 

3)    The industrial sector of each investment e.g. Aerospace & Defense,
Oil & Gas Producers, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Media, Banks,
Mining, Government, Automobiles, Financial Services, Housing and any other
sectors that the Pension Fund holds investments in. Examples of Pension
Funds which have previously included this data in their publicly released
investments include Buckinghamshire and Derbyshire. (i)

Please see attached spreadsheet.

 

4) A full list of all the companies which the Pension Fund currently
invests in (this should be covered in the above requests). This list
should include the names of each company and the amount invested in each
company.

 

Can you clearly specify the total value of all investments that the
Pension Fund holds in sterling.

 

Please see attached spreadsheet.

                                                                          

If you have any queries or concerns about this, please contact me.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact
the Head of Information Governance at Merton Council, Civic Centre,
Morden, SM4 5DX or e-mail [3][Merton Borough Council request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  

 

Telephone:0303 123 1113  Website: [4]www.ico.org.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

If you have any queries or concerns about this please contact me.

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact
the Head of Information Governance at Merton Council, Civic Centre,
Morden, SM4 5DX or e-mail [Merton Borough Council request email]

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

 

Website: [5]www.ico.org.uk

 

There is no charge for making an appeal.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Gary Wells

Pension Fund Accountant

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.merton.gov.uk/
2. https://www.merton.gov.uk/council-and-lo...
3. mailto:[Merton Borough Council request email]
4. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
5. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Dear Gary Wells,

Please can you send me this information today - Fri Nov 20 so I can close this account with you.

I'm hsppy to just have a summary sheet of your investments - so the LCiV fund can just be a total figure along with the other total figs adding up to the total holdings of £689,145,000.00

Please can you send me this as an Excel doc which summarises your total investments.

This is a requirement under ICO regulations that if a council is asked for Excel format they do provide it.

I need this as a matter of urgency as I asked for this back in June.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Gary Wells, Merton Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Edward Jones,

I am very sorry for the delay in providing the requested information.

Please find attached the LCIV data.

Thanks
Gary

Gary Wells
Senior Accountant Pension Fund
Corporate Accountancy
Corporate Services Department
Tel: 020 8545 3795
www.merton.gov.uk

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