Rhondda Cynon Taf Pension Fund Investments

Edward Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Rhondda Cynon Taff Council,

I would like to request the following information:

1) The full details of what the Rhondda Cynon Taf 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...

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Dear Mr Jones

Thank you for your request for information.

Your request will be processed in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (or Environmental Information Regulations 2004, if it
relates to environmental information).

(Please note: that given the ongoing situation with Covid-19 (Coronavirus)
it may not be possible to reply within the statutory timescale due to
staffing capacity and as services prioritise resources. We will endeavour
to process as promptly as possible but ask that you bear with us during
this difficult period).

Yours sincerely

Llywodraethu Corfforaethol/Corporate Governance
ar ran Cyfarwyddwr y Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol/for Director of Legal
Services

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Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can you let me know when you will send over the data.

Please can you send a full company/equity list and not fund managers or pooled vehicles alone.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Dear Mr Jones

As Covid-19 is ongoing, the Council is still having to prioritise
resources hence the delay in responding to your request.

As soon as I receive a response from the department responsible for
providing the information for your request, I will be touch.
Unfortunately, due to current circumstances I am unable to say when this
is likely to be.

Please may I ask that you bear with us during this difficult time.

Yours sincerely

Llywodraethu Corfforaethol/Corporate Governance ar ran Cyfarwyddwr y
Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol/for Director of Legal Services

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Dear Freedomofinformation,

I would appreciate a date.

All 101 pension funds are dealing with COVID but so far the vast majrity have been able to furnish me with the full or partial data.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Rhondda Cynon Taff Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Rhondda Cynon Taff Council's handling of my FOI request 'Rhondda Cynon Taf Pension Fund Investments'.

I wrote to you on Aug 9 asking for an update on my requested data and you have failed to reply to me at all.

It is now Sep 12 2020. I'd like the data asap. Despite COVID19 other pension funds have got the data to us, admittedly with delay but they have kept us informed.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Jones

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jones

We refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of Pension Fund
Investments.

Firstly, may we apologise for the delay in responding.

Please refer to the attachment which provides a complete list of
segregated holdings of the RCT Pension Fund as at 31st March 2020.

The Global Opportunities and Growth Funds are the total holdings of the
Wales Pension Partnership segregated investments and is not specific to
the RCT Pension Fund. The value of the Fund's investments in these
holdings are £1,011,978,000 in the Global Growth fund and £258,922,000 in
the Global Opportunity. The Equity and Fixed interest mandate are held
directly by RCT.

The sterling value of the Fund as at 31st March 2020 was £3,350,224,000.

We trust the information provided is satisfactory. If you are unhappy with
the way your request for information has been handled, you can request a
review of the Authority’s response. If you wish to exercise this right,
you must do so within 40 working days of the date of this response. Please
set out in writing your grounds and send your appeal to Mrs Julie
Llewellyn. She may be reached at [1][email address] or at
RCT CBC, The Pavilions, Clydach Vale, Tonypandy, CF40 2XX.

Additionally you may, if you wish, find out more about the Freedom of
Information Act & Environmental Information Regulations from the
Information Commissioner at [2]http://www.ico.org.uk/

Yours sincerely

Llywodraethu Corfforaethol/Corporate Governance
ar ran Cyfarwyddwr y Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol/for Director of Legal
Services

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Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can you provide the totals in easily accessible columns on one sheet

It is virtually impossible for me to work out the final total from these separate tabs which includs different currencies amongst everything else.

We need this single sheet as a matter of urgency - in the next few days please

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can you provide this single sheet by Thursday Nov 5.

Thanks. really appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can you send this single sheet of data today or tomorrow Fri Nov 6.

We need it for a report on all LGPS (local gov pension schemes)

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can you get back to me with the data.
I need as a matter of urgency tday if you could kindly furnish.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Dear Mr Jones

Unfortunately, the officer who will be dealing with your request is on
annual leave this week and will be back in the office mid week next week.
Your request will be dealt with on her return.

Yours sincerely

Llywodraethu Corfforaethol/Corporate Governance
ar ran Cyfarwyddwr y Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol/for Director of Legal
Services

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Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can you aske the officer to deal with this as a matter of urgency.

Our deadline was Nov 6.

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can we get the data in Excel format today Wed Nov 11.

This is a matter of urgency...

Many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Freedomofinformation,

I have one question

Is the total holding £1,362,023,267?

Please answer today - Nov 11 Wed

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Once again - please can you get me the total holdings in a summary sheet. Your email of Sep 17 didn't give the full information.

Today would be marvellous. Nov 11 Wed

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Freedomofinformation, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Dear Mr Jones

We are unable to provide the data in the format requested as the data was
obtained from an external body and our contract with that body has now
ended.

With regard to your other query, can you explain how you have calculated
the figure of £1,362,023,267?

Yours sincerely

Llywodraethu Corfforaethol/Corporate Governance
ar ran Cyfarwyddwr y Gwasanaethau Cyfreithiol/for Director of Legal
Services

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Dear Freedomofinformation,

Sorry these are the actual figs I have worked ut based on your Sep 17 spreadsheet:

I have Global Growth and Opps at £2,079,324,000
Segregated Equities at £1,362,023,267
Fixed interest £804,612,591.15

Total £3,437,535,858

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can you send me a summary sheet to go with the data you sent on Sep 17.

Are my calculations right.

Please can you get back today.

I have waited over a week and need the data urgently...

Many many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Freedomofinformation,

Please can you let me know the correct totals for those four areas of investment.

Please can you get back today.

I have waited over a week and need the data urgently...

Many many thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Keitch, Yvonne,

Dear Mr Jones

I have been asked to reply to you directly as the person you have been
corresponding with is currently on annual leave.

Since 2017 assets has been invested through the Wales Pension Partnership
Pooling, therefore previous investment managers mandates have been
terminated. The following has market values as at 30th March 2020

Global Growth and Global Opportunities pooled funds have a market value
£1,270,900,000
Segregated equites have a market value of £722,101,000
Fixed Interest has a market value of £903,811,000

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me

Regards

Yvonne Keitch
Senior Accountant, Pension Fund & Treasury Management
Uwch Gyfrifydd, Y Trysorlys a Buddsoddiadau'r Gronfa Pensiynau

Tel/Ffon   01443 680563
Ty Oldway - Oldway House
Stryd Y Porth – Porth Street
Porth, CF39 9ST

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Dear Keitch, Yvonne,

Ok thanks.

What did for me was assuming the figs in both the global opps and growth funds columns were market value - obvs not.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Dear Keitch, Yvonne,

Please could you respond to me today. This is realy urgent for our report and we have waited for a full answer since June.

The figs you provided me add up to £2,896,812,000.00

Where is the £453,412,000 shortfall which would make the £3,350,224,000 total holding

Yours sincerely,

Edward Jones

Keitch, Yvonne,

I am currently not in the office. If your query is urgent please contact
Treasury Management on 01443 680563.

 

Dw i ddim yn y swydafa. Am gymorth yn fy absennolded cysylltwch a Treasury
Management ar 01443 680563

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Keitch, Yvonne,

Hello Mr Jones

Sorry I am only now replying, I was on annual leave last Friday

As at 31/03/20 the total market value of the Pension Fund was
£3,350,224,000. Our full list of portfolios is set up below
Segregated equities £728,101,000
Global Growth and Global Opportunities Pooled funds have a market value of
£1,270,900,000
Fixed Interest mandate has a market value of £903,811,000
Passive equities (Pooled) has a market value of £144,528,000
Real Estate (Pooled) has a market value of £290,497,000
Internal cash held £12,387,000

Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me
Regards,

Yvonne

Yvonne Keitch
Senior Accountant, Pension Fund & Treasury Management
Uwch Gyfrifydd, Y Trysorlys a Buddsoddiadau'r Gronfa Pensiynau

Tel/Ffon   01443 680563
Ty Oldway - Oldway House
Stryd Y Porth – Porth Street
Porth, CF39 9ST

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M Davies left an annotation ()

Unbelievable value.