LONDON (Reuters) - London’s local government pension fund plans to work with peers in the northwest of England to create a pool of assets totalling more than 45 billion pounds, it said on Friday.
The British government has asked local authorities to come up with ways to combine assets in so-called British Wealth Funds, to cut costs and to ease investment in large-scale infrastructure projects.
After joining forces in late 2014 to create an asset pool which London says now totals around 11 billion pounds, London and Lancashire have now exchanged letters of intent to merge assets with pension funds in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Yorkshire.
The three new authorities together control assets of around 35 billion pounds, the London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) said.
“It’s deeply satisfying to be moving forward with a collaboration that bridges the country and sees funds UK-wide coming together to potentially create the largest pool in the LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme),” LPFA chairman Merrick Cockell said.
London is also in discussion with other local government pension schemes, including Berkshire in the south of England, the LPFA added.
The government had asked for initial responses by Friday to its consultation on the pooling of local government pension fund assets.
Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Simon Jesssop