Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tower Hamlets Pension Committee 14 June 2012

I'm back this evening from the Pension Committee meeting at the Town Hall, Mulberry Place which started at 7.30pm. The usual Pension Investment Panel beforehand had been postponed. I met the new Committee Chair, Councillor Zenith Rahman for the first time, introduced by Councillor Abdal Ullah.

The pension fund performance in the last year has been slightly below benchmark for the 3 months and the year, but for 3 and 5 years has been over the benchmark.

The fund value is currently £830.8 million (up by £35.7 million) over the quarter.  The fund currently has 8 different fund managers. I did ask a question about how we make sure that the Absolute Return manager, Ruffer Total Return Fund, complied with our Statement of Investment Principles. I was assured that the investment panel monitors their compliance. I have must admit that Ruffer is a relatively new manager and I have missed a few of the last meetings due to clashes. I need to check on the Baillie Gifford Absolute Return fund as well.

In response to concern about the performance of certain fund managers I offered the thought that while I believe it is our role to make the highly paid managers of our funds are fully accountable for their performance (and beat them up from time to time if they under perform) we should be mindful that we are here for the long term and we should not pay too much attention to short term swings.

I can't believe that I have been a member of the Tower Hamlets pension scheme since 1993 and sat on the Investment panel since 1996! How time flies when you are enjoying yourself etc etc.

The Pension Committee meetings of your local administrating authority is open to the public although there may be closed parts of the meeting if there is sensitive and confidential information being discussed.

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