Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4 - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Jasmine Kassim  Email: jasmine.kassim@royalgreenwich.gov.uk tel 020 8921 5146

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

Minutes:

The Panel received an apology for absence on behalf of Councillor Olu Babatola.

2.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies be noted.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the Pension Fund Investment and Administration Panel meeting held on 19 February 2018.

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Pension Fund Investment & Administration Panel held on 19 February 2018, be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

5.

Pension Fund Audit Plan for 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

The Panel is requested to note the Pension Fund Audit Plan for 2017/18 accounts (Appendix A).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Paul Dossett, a representative from the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) external auditor, Grant Thornton, introduced the Pension Fund Audit Plan 2017/18 report to the Panel, advising that there had been no change to the audit procedures.

 

The Panel noted the report, and welcomed proposals to undertake the audit of the Royal Borough’s 2017/18 financial statements.  It was recognised that the proposed work would be completed in June 2018, as the statements had to be ratified in July 2018. 

 

Resolved

 

That the Pension Fund Audit Plan for 2017/18 accounts (Appendix A), be noted.

6.

Draft Business plan for 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

The Panel is requested to agree a draft Panel’s Business Plan for 2018/19 (Appendix A).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Acting Finance Manager introduced the report in relation to the Panel’s draft Business Plan for 2018/19.

 

The Panel noted the report, and

 

Resolved –

 

That the Draft Business Plan for 2018/19, be agreed.

7.

Pension Fund Draft Accounts for the Year to 31/12/2017 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

The Panel is requested to note the draft Pension Fund accounts for the period ending 31 December 2018 (Appendix A).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel noted the report introduced by the Acting Finance Manager in relation to the Pension Fund Draft Accounts for the year to 31 December 2017.

 

In response to a question, the Acting Finance Manager advised the Panel that the lump sum amount is less this year because there was no large-scale staff reorganisation by the Council as was the case in the previous year, which resulted in Fund members taking up lump sum.

 

The Acting Finance Manager also clarified to the Panel that a reduction in ‘Dividends Received’ in the period was the result of restructure in investment portfolios.

 

The Panel

 

Resolved –

 

That the draft Pension Fund Accounts for the period ending 31 December 2018, be noted.

8.

Fund Manager Performance to 31/12/2017 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

The Panel is requested to note a report on the performance of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Pension Fund’s (‘the Fund’) investment managers for the period ending 31 December 2017.  To consider the information detailed in the Exempt Appendix to this report in closed session and agree that the information detailed in the Exempt Appendix to this report be not subsequently released to the press or public.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Don Austen, announced that the meeting was in close session because Appendix A to the report contained exempt information.

 

The Panel received and noted the report introduced by Aidan McLoughlin, a representative on behalf of Hymans Robertson.  The representative highlighted ways in which the financial market had been performing nationally and globally to the Panel, and the impact on the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) Pension Fund (the Fund) up to the end of December 2017.

 

In response to a question, the representative informed the Panel that each fund manager had its own targets.  Thus, the performance figures had been derived by consolidating outcomes of each fund manager.

 

The Panel further received clarification from the representative that the Royal Borough’s Pension Fund performance in the period was as predicted, and that there was no need for a concern.

 

The Panel noted submissions made at the meeting, and it

 

Resolved –

 

1.               That the report on the performance of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Pension Fund’s (‘the Fund’) investment managers for the period ending 31 December 2017, be noted.

 

2.               That it be agreed to consider the information detailed in the Exempt Appendix A to the report in closed session under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12A, Paragraph 3 “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)”.

 

3.               That it be agreed that the information detailed in the Exempt Appendix to the report be not subsequently released to the press or public.

9.

Presentation on CBRE Property Portfolio pdf icon PDF 67 KB

The Panel is requested to receive a presentation from CBRE, providing an update on the Pension Fund’s property mandate.  To consider the information detailed in this Presentation in closed session and agree that the information detailed in the Exempt Presentation to this report be not subsequently released to the press or public.

Minutes:

The Chair, Councillor Don Austen, announced that the meeting was in close session because the presentation by CBRE contained exempt information.

 

The Panel received an update about the performance of Royal Borough of Greenwich’s pension fund investments, presented by Mark Adcook and Max Johnson, representatives from the CBRE.

 

In response to questions raised, the representatives advised Members that the CBRE was aware of changes and reviews.  Thus, the CBRE operational activities were up-to-date, and fully compliant with investments restrictions.

 

The Panel made further enquiries and was advised by the representatives that the CBRE’s work was driven by its fiduciary obligations to its investors, and that its objectives were geared towards low risk investments.  Income would continue to be the main driver for investment returns.  Therefore, although negative capital value movements had been predicated in retail markets, the CBRE’s investments had been structured to provide diversified exposition to income producing assets.

 

The representative continued responding to questions, advising the Panel that information about a possible rise in interest rates was as expected.  It was stated that predictions for 2018 and beyond showed stability in the UK property market place, however, that might not be enough to drive widespread rental growth because forecasts included some modest capital value falls, but not a major correction.  However, in spite of the volatility, there had been no clear pressure on UK property yields, and the global real estate continued to generate attractive returns relative to other asset classes.  Thus, there had been an attractive distribution of yield across CBRE’s portfolios above the benchmark figure of 3.5%.

 

The Panel welcomed submissions made at the meeting, and expressed satisfaction that sentiments and confident in the market place had been better than expected post the Brexit referendum elections result.  The Panel

 

Resolved –

 

That the update presentation report on behalf of the CBRE regarding the Royal Borough’s pension Fund’s property mandate, be noted.

 

10.

Training- Accounting and Auditing Standards pdf icon PDF 44 KB

The Panel is requested to receive training from Hymans Robertson on accounting and auditing standards.

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That it be noted that the Panel received training on Accounting and Auditing Standard by Douglas Green, a representative on behalf of Hymans Robertson