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Pension fund assets under management

Sarah Shoraka made this Freedom of Information request to Northumberland County Council

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Dear Northumberland County Council,

1) Please provide in Microsoft excel format for the end of the 2018/19 financial year:

a. the sum total of pension fund assets under management;

b. full details of what the Local Government Pension Fund currently invests in, including the full name and amounts of each fund, bond, institution and investment held, by asset class or category, including specific equities;

c. full details of any investments in: renewable energy, green technologies, social housing or community wealth building or low carbon funds.

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, please can you also provide the password to the excel sheet.

2) Please provide any Local Government Pension Fund or Council policy or strategy statements, meeting minutes, investment principles, or Investment Strategy Statements that commit to reducing investments in fossil fuel producers or to decarbonise the Fund

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.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Shoraka

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 7102  

Dear Enquirer,

INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information which will be dealt with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this matter please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 7102   

Dear Enquirer,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST 

I refer to your Freedom of Information request in relation to pension
funds.
Right of Access 

Section 1(1) of the Act provides any person making a request for
information to a public authority is entitled. 

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request (which Section
1(6) of the Act designates as the "duty to confirm or deny"), and 

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to
him. 

The right is to obtain access to the information itself and not to the
document or record which contains it. 

The Act creates a general right of access to information held by
public authorities subject to various exemptions. 

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information
you have requested, please see the below information in response. 
1) Please provide in Microsoft excel format for the end of the 2018/19
financial year:
a. the sum total of pension fund assets under management;
The attached “NCC Pension Fund – FOI 7102 Response” details the sum
total of the Fund’s assets under management as at 31 March 2019. The
information requested can be found on the tab “1a) NCCPF AUM
31-3-19”. The most recent valuation of the total Pension Fund assets
under management is £1,512.37 million as at 30 September 2019.

b. full details of what the Local Government Pension Fund currently
invests in, including the full name and amounts of each fund, bond,
institution and investment held, by asset class or category, including
specific equities;
The attached “NCC Pension Fund – FOI 7102 Response” details all of
NCCPF’s investments as at 31 March 2019, including the full name of
each fund, the category of asset, benchmark, SEDOL number and market
value invested as at 31 March 2019. The information requested can be
found on the tab “1b) NCCPF Investments Breakdown”.  NCCPF does not
hold information on specific equities, as explained in C,
below. Whilst the more up to date values of the investments have
changed since 31 March 2019, the funds invested in have not.

c. full details of any investments in: renewable energy, green
technologies, social housing or community wealth building or low
carbon funds.
Legal and General
NCCPF has no direct holdings in companies; however, it does have
indirect equity holdings via its ownership of units in various pooled
vehicles managed on the Fund’s behalf by Legal and General Investment
Management (LGIM), which tracks various indices passively.
The attached “NCCPF LGIM Valuations as at 1-4-19” shows the value of
the NCCPF’s holdings in LGIM’s equity index funds as at 1 April 2019,
at mid, bid and offer values. From this information, it is possible to
calculate the value of the shareholdings attributable to NCCPF (i.e.
indirect holdings), by applying the market weightings of the
appropriate index for any company you are interested (i.e Renewable
Energy Company) in to the total value of the LGIM fund shown on the
attached. NCC does not hold information about the attributable
individual shareholdings for the LGIM portfolio.
Other Investment Managers
The majority of the Fund’s other investment managers confirmed that
they would not be able to provide a response to this question due to
the commercial sensitives in disclosing such information. This
information is therefore refused under Section 43 of the FOIA. Please
see guidance on this below.
Other NCCPF investment managers are unable to provide a response to
this request due to the information not being readily available.
2) Please provide any Local Government Pension Fund or Council policy
or strategy statements, meeting minutes, investment principles, or
Investment Strategy Statements that commit to reducing investments in
fossil fuel producers or to decarbonise the Fund
NCCPF’s Panel does not have a policy of disinvesting from companies,
and considers active engagement with companies a more productive
approach to managing investment risk and effecting change. Once the
Fund disinvests, its ability to influence both short and long term
direction of individual companies is curtailed.
NCCPF indirectly owns a very small percentage of each fossil fuel
company in which it invests, therefore divesting (or the threat of
divestment) would have no impact whatsoever; whereas collaborative,
sustained engagement has seen behavioural and business strategy
changes.
The Panel’s approach to Responsible Investment takes into
consideration environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues. As
a responsible investor, NCCPF aims to influence companies’ governance
standards, environmental, human rights and other policies including
climate change through engagement and the use of its voting rights.
NCCPF engages with companies via its appointed intermediaries, namely
the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (“LAPFF”), and its public
equities investment manager, LGIM. As an indirect investor, in
collaboration with other direct and indirect investors, NCCPF can add
weight to influence companies’ behaviour.
As a long term investor taking an index tracking approach, the Panel’s
view is that currently, NCCPF’s investment interests are best served
by driving change to effect an orderly carbon transition via
engagement.
As a member of LAPFF, NCCPF’s effective holdings in companies are
aggregated with the holdings of 80 other LGPS funds for a stronger
voice with which to engage on a range of issues, including requiring
companies to identify and tackle carbon risks in their business
models.
Similarly, as a LGIM investor, NCCPF’s effective holdings are
aggregated with other LGIM clients’ (LGIM being one of Europe’s
largest asset managers) to benefit from LGIM’s share voting and
engagement activities which support a range of ESG themes. Tackling
corporate behaviour in relation to climate change from within is a key
priority of both LAPFF and LGIM.

NCCPF’s appointed investment adviser, Mercer, gives LGIM its top ESG
rating, meaning that Mercer (among others) views LGIM as a leader in
the integration of ESG factors and active ownership into core
processes.
In summary, the approach adopted by the Panel allows for NCCPF’s
investments in fossil fuels to be effectively leveraged to help drive
change in corporate behaviour. Most energy companies are now engaged
in development for the transition to a lower carbon future, and
investors have played a major part in initiating this change.

Duty to confirm or deny 

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds certain
information relating to your request. 

Exemptions 

The Freedom of Information Act sets out various exemptions to the
right of access. 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the
information is exempt under section 43 on the basis that it is
commercially sensitive. In this case the Authority relies on section
43(2). 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 43(2): Information is exempt
information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely
to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the
public authority holding it). 

Public Interest Test Considerations 

Section 43 is a qualified exemption which means that the information
falling within the exemption still has to be released unless the
public interest in disclosure is outweighed by the public interest in
maintaining the exemption. 

For its private markets holdings (i.e. private equities
and infrastructure) the Council confirms that it holds the information
requested however disclosure of the information would, or would be
likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of Northumberland County
Council in its role as Administering Authority and also each of the
local authorities and other employers who participate in the Fund.
Disclosure would also prejudice the fund manager and its other
investors (Section 43(2)). Effectively, the information requested
represents a trade secret under Section 43(1) of the Act, as far as
the Fund’s investment managers are concerned. The requested
information reveals the managers' investment strategies, which could
be advantageous to rival fund managers and could harm the Fund’s
managers' interests.  

  

The Council appreciates the public interest in openness and
transparency in respect of public funds, but also believes there is a
significant public interest in ensuring that Local Authority Pension
Funds and investment managers are not restricted in their ability to
access the widest possible range of funds within the appropriate
marketplace. The specific public interest in safeguarding the
legitimate commercial interests of the Council and the external
parties concerned outweighs the general public interest in openness
and transparency.

Advice and Assistance 

The County Council recognises its statutory duty to provide advice and
assistance under Section 16 of the Act. 

Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the
Council is seeking to be transparent and open in its response. As you
will appreciate we are constrained by the requirements of the
legislation. . 

Notice of Refusal 

With the exception of the limited information disclosed herewith,
please treat this as a section 43(2) Exemption. 

Complaints 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of this response to the Information Governance Office: 

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF 

Email: [1][Northumberland County Council request email] 

Information Commissioner 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have
a right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt
with in accordance with the requirements of the Act at: 

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

Tel: 0303 123 1113
Email: [2][email address

There is no charge for making an appeal. 

Yours faithfully 

FOI Coordinator 
Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [3][Northumberland County Council request email] 
Web: [4]http://www.northumberland.gov.uk 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Northumberland County Council request email]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[Northumberland County Council request email]
4. Original URL: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk. Click or tap if you trust this link.
http://track.vuelio.uk.com/z.z?l=aHR0cHM...

Northumberland County Council

3 Attachments

Our Ref: 7102   

Dear Enquirer,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST 

I refer to your Freedom of Information request in relation to pension
funds.
Right of Access 

Section 1(1) of the Act provides any person making a request for
information to a public authority is entitled. 

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request (which Section
1(6) of the Act designates as the "duty to confirm or deny"), and 

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to
him. 

The right is to obtain access to the information itself and not to the
document or record which contains it. 

The Act creates a general right of access to information held by
public authorities subject to various exemptions. 

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds the information
you have requested, please see the below information in response. 
1) Please provide in Microsoft excel format for the end of the 2018/19
financial year:
a. the sum total of pension fund assets under management;
The attached “NCC Pension Fund – FOI 7102 Response” details the sum
total of the Fund’s assets under management as at 31 March 2019. The
information requested can be found on the tab “1a) NCCPF AUM
31-3-19”. The most recent valuation of the total Pension Fund assets
under management is £1,512.37 million as at 30 September 2019.

b. full details of what the Local Government Pension Fund currently
invests in, including the full name and amounts of each fund, bond,
institution and investment held, by asset class or category, including
specific equities;
The attached “NCC Pension Fund – FOI 7102 Response” details all of
NCCPF’s investments as at 31 March 2019, including the full name of
each fund, the category of asset, benchmark, SEDOL number and market
value invested as at 31 March 2019. The information requested can be
found on the tab “1b) NCCPF Investments Breakdown”.  NCCPF does not
hold information on specific equities, as explained in C,
below. Whilst the more up to date values of the investments have
changed since 31 March 2019, the funds invested in have not.

c. full details of any investments in: renewable energy, green
technologies, social housing or community wealth building or low
carbon funds.
Legal and General
NCCPF has no direct holdings in companies; however, it does have
indirect equity holdings via its ownership of units in various pooled
vehicles managed on the Fund’s behalf by Legal and General Investment
Management (LGIM), which tracks various indices passively.
The attached “NCCPF LGIM Valuations as at 1-4-19” shows the value of
the NCCPF’s holdings in LGIM’s equity index funds as at 1 April 2019,
at mid, bid and offer values. From this information, it is possible to
calculate the value of the shareholdings attributable to NCCPF (i.e.
indirect holdings), by applying the market weightings of the
appropriate index for any company you are interested (i.e Renewable
Energy Company) in to the total value of the LGIM fund shown on the
attached. NCC does not hold information about the attributable
individual shareholdings for the LGIM portfolio.
Other Investment Managers
The majority of the Fund’s other investment managers confirmed that
they would not be able to provide a response to this question due to
the commercial sensitives in disclosing such information. This
information is therefore refused under Section 43 of the FOIA. Please
see guidance on this below.
Other NCCPF investment managers are unable to provide a response to
this request due to the information not being readily available.
2) Please provide any Local Government Pension Fund or Council policy
or strategy statements, meeting minutes, investment principles, or
Investment Strategy Statements that commit to reducing investments in
fossil fuel producers or to decarbonise the Fund
NCCPF’s Panel does not have a policy of disinvesting from companies,
and considers active engagement with companies a more productive
approach to managing investment risk and effecting change. Once the
Fund disinvests, its ability to influence both short and long term
direction of individual companies is curtailed.
NCCPF indirectly owns a very small percentage of each fossil fuel
company in which it invests, therefore divesting (or the threat of
divestment) would have no impact whatsoever; whereas collaborative,
sustained engagement has seen behavioural and business strategy
changes.
The Panel’s approach to Responsible Investment takes into
consideration environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues. As
a responsible investor, NCCPF aims to influence companies’ governance
standards, environmental, human rights and other policies including
climate change through engagement and the use of its voting rights.
NCCPF engages with companies via its appointed intermediaries, namely
the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (“LAPFF”), and its public
equities investment manager, LGIM. As an indirect investor, in
collaboration with other direct and indirect investors, NCCPF can add
weight to influence companies’ behaviour.
As a long term investor taking an index tracking approach, the Panel’s
view is that currently, NCCPF’s investment interests are best served
by driving change to effect an orderly carbon transition via
engagement.
As a member of LAPFF, NCCPF’s effective holdings in companies are
aggregated with the holdings of 80 other LGPS funds for a stronger
voice with which to engage on a range of issues, including requiring
companies to identify and tackle carbon risks in their business
models.
Similarly, as a LGIM investor, NCCPF’s effective holdings are
aggregated with other LGIM clients’ (LGIM being one of Europe’s
largest asset managers) to benefit from LGIM’s share voting and
engagement activities which support a range of ESG themes. Tackling
corporate behaviour in relation to climate change from within is a key
priority of both LAPFF and LGIM.

NCCPF’s appointed investment adviser, Mercer, gives LGIM its top ESG
rating, meaning that Mercer (among others) views LGIM as a leader in
the integration of ESG factors and active ownership into core
processes.
In summary, the approach adopted by the Panel allows for NCCPF’s
investments in fossil fuels to be effectively leveraged to help drive
change in corporate behaviour. Most energy companies are now engaged
in development for the transition to a lower carbon future, and
investors have played a major part in initiating this change.

Duty to confirm or deny 

Northumberland County Council confirms that it holds certain
information relating to your request. 

Exemptions 

The Freedom of Information Act sets out various exemptions to the
right of access. 

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the
information is exempt under section 43 on the basis that it is
commercially sensitive. In this case the Authority relies on section
43(2). 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 43(2): Information is exempt
information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely
to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the
public authority holding it). 

Public Interest Test Considerations 

Section 43 is a qualified exemption which means that the information
falling within the exemption still has to be released unless the
public interest in disclosure is outweighed by the public interest in
maintaining the exemption. 

For its private markets holdings (i.e. private equities
and infrastructure) the Council confirms that it holds the information
requested however disclosure of the information would, or would be
likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of Northumberland County
Council in its role as Administering Authority and also each of the
local authorities and other employers who participate in the Fund.
Disclosure would also prejudice the fund manager and its other
investors (Section 43(2)). Effectively, the information requested
represents a trade secret under Section 43(1) of the Act, as far as
the Fund’s investment managers are concerned. The requested
information reveals the managers' investment strategies, which could
be advantageous to rival fund managers and could harm the Fund’s
managers' interests.  

  

The Council appreciates the public interest in openness and
transparency in respect of public funds, but also believes there is a
significant public interest in ensuring that Local Authority Pension
Funds and investment managers are not restricted in their ability to
access the widest possible range of funds within the appropriate
marketplace. The specific public interest in safeguarding the
legitimate commercial interests of the Council and the external
parties concerned outweighs the general public interest in openness
and transparency.

Advice and Assistance 

The County Council recognises its statutory duty to provide advice and
assistance under Section 16 of the Act. 

Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the
Council is seeking to be transparent and open in its response. As you
will appreciate we are constrained by the requirements of the
legislation. . 

Notice of Refusal 

With the exception of the limited information disclosed herewith,
please treat this as a section 43(2) Exemption. 

Complaints 

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of this response to the Information Governance Office: 

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF 

Email: [1][Northumberland County Council request email] 

Information Commissioner 

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have
a right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt
with in accordance with the requirements of the Act at: 

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

Tel: 0303 123 1113
Email: [2][email address

There is no charge for making an appeal. 

Yours faithfully 

FOI Coordinator 
Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [3][Northumberland County Council request email] 
Web: [4]http://www.northumberland.gov.uk 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Northumberland County Council request email]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[Northumberland County Council request email]
4. Original URL: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk. Click or tap if you trust this link.
http://track.vuelio.uk.com/z.z?l=aHR0cHM...

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Sarah Shoraka please sign in and let everyone know.