Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - 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:

An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Linda Bird.

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 50 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 73 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the Pension Fund Investment and Administration Panel meeting held on 19 March 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 March 2018, be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

5.

Early Retirements 1 October 2017 - 31 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

The Panel to note a report on early retirements covering the period 1 October  2017 to 31 March 2018 and review the financial effect.  To agree that Appendix A to the report be considered in closed session as the information (as defined in paragraph 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 - Schedule 1) relates to the financial or business affairs of persons including the authority holding that information, and is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.  To agree that the information detailed in the exempt appendix A to this report be not subsequently released to the press or public.

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Pension Service introduced the report to the Panel, highlighting early retirements activities against the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Pension Fund (Fund) covering the period 1 October 2017  to 13 Marc 2018.

 

In response to questions raised, the Head of Pension Service clarified to the Panel that the exceptionally high figure in the exempt Appendix A to the report was related to a Chief Officer’s early retirement pay.  However, it was the combined 29 early retirements’ figures in the period that had created a strain on the Fund to produce the overall total of £306,681.

 

The Panel noted the report and response to questions raised, and it

 

Resolved –

 

1.              That the report on early retirements covering the period 1 October 2017 to 31 March 2018, be noted.

2.              That it be agreed that Appendix A to this report be considered in closed session as the information (as defined in paragraph 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 - Schedule 1) relates to the financial or business affairs of persons including the authority holding that information, and is likely to reveal the identity of an individual.

 

3.              That it be agreed that the information detailed in the exempt appendix A to this report be not subsequently released to the press or public.

6.

Updated Business Plan 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

The Panel to note the updated 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 revised Business Plan for 2018/19.

 

The Panel noted the report and

 

Resolved –

 

That the revised Pension Fund Investment and Administration Panel’s Business Plan for 2018/19, be noted.

7.

Draft Pension Fund Statement of Account 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

The Panel to consider and comment upon the draft Pension Fund Annual Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018 as submitted to Grant Thornton for audit on 25 May 2018 (Appendix A).

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Acting Finance Manager introduced the report in relation to the draft Pension Fund Annual Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018.

 

Members noted the report, and that the Auditor’s Findings report would be considered at the next meeting of the Panel on 16 July 2018.

 

In response to an enquiry, the Acting Finance Manager reiterated to the Panel that the Auditor would only issue the audit opinion after the Audit Findings Report was completed.  It was stated that an unqualified audit opinion in relation to the management of the Pension Fund was anticipated.

 

The Panel noted the response and it

 

Resolved –

 

That the draft Pension Fund Annual Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018, as submitted to Grant Thornton for audit on 25 May 2018, be noted.

8.

Fund Manager Performance to 31 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

The Panel 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 March 2018.  To consider the information detailed in the Exempt Appendix to this 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)”.  To 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 Peter Brooks, announced that the meeting was in close session for Members to consider the review of investment managers’ performance in relation to the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) Pension Fund.

 

The Panel received an update report presented by Paul Potter, a representative on behalf of Hymans Robertson LLP.  The representative advised the Panel about the volatility of the stock market, and how that had impacted the performance of the Pension Fund (“the Fund”) for the first quarter of 2018.

 

In response to questions raised, the representative advised the Panel that investments had to be balanced against the associated risks.  He reminded the Panel that the mandate of investment managers was to protect the Royal Borough’s Pension Fund for the benefit of its members.  Therefore, although the evidence suggested that portfolio managers were outperforming and underperforming in the market place, returns were satisfactory because investments were adding value to the Fund, particularly in the area of industrial and logistics commodities.  However, investments in emerging companies required time to be established, therefore, it was expected that those markets would not produce high income when compared to other portfolio managers’ performance.

 

The representative continued with his response, commenting that if the trade wars instigated by America, China and Europe escalate, it would inevitably have a negative impact on the global stock market.  Thus, market analysts were monitoring investment activities, and would only recommend sale of stocks from the Pension Fund when absolutely appropriate to do so because of the large transaction costs involved to move from equity to bonds.

 

The Panel noted submissions made and it

 

Resolved –

 

1.              That a report on the performance of the Royal Borough of Greenwich Pension Fund’s (‘the Fund’) investment managers for the period ending 31 March 2018, be noted.

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

9.

Fidelity- Global Emerging Market Equity Portfolio Update pdf icon PDF 71 KB

The Panel to receive a presentation from Fidelity, providing an update on the Pension Fund’s Global Emerging Market Equity (GEME) mandate.  To consider the information detailed in this Presentation 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)”.  To 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 Peter Brooks, announced that the meeting was in close session, to allow Members to consider a presentation from Fidelity regarding the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) Pension Fund (“the Fund”) global emerging market equity mandate.

 

In his presentation, David Barber, the representative on behalf of Fidelity International gave a background of the company’s staffing structure, together with its mandate to secure investment and manage the Royal Borough’s Fund on a global scale.

 

In response to questions about threats of trade wars, the representative highlighted the risks of investments to the Panel in regard to the Fund portfolios on national and international markets.  It was stated that if the threats escalated, portfolios’ managers might not be able to recoup investments, in particular that emerging markets could experience a significant loss in income yields.  It was further clarified that a downward slide in inflation experience would also have an impact on interest rates because demand would increase and borrowing would become cheaper.

 

The representative further advised the Panel that it was unlikely that managers were investing the Royal Borough’s Fund assets in unscrupulous countries because criteria required investors to make ethical decisions on political, environmental, social and technological factors.

 

The Panel noted the presentation and responses to questions, and it

 

Resolved –

 

1.              That the presentation from Fidelity, providing an update on the Pension Fund’s Global Emerging Market Equity (GEME) mandate, be noted

2.              That it be agreed to consider the information detailed in this Presentation 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 Presentation to this report be not subsequently released to the press or public.