Cockell becomes acting chairman at LPFA

Sir Merrick Cockell steps up from the deputy chairmanship he has held since 2013, having been on the board since October 2010.

The London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) has announced the appointment of Sir Merrick Cockell as its acting chairman.

Cockell joined the LPFA board in October 2010 and became deputy chairman in January 2013.

During his time at the £4.8 billion (€6.7 billion; $7.5 billion) pension, Cockell has steered it through a strategic shift as it seeks to pool assets with other UK pension funds for investment in areas including infrastructure.

Two notable partnerships formed so far have been a £10 billion platform with the Lancashire County Pension Fund, known as the Lancashire and London Pensions Partnership (LLPP), and a £500 million joint venture with the Greater Manchester Pension Funds.

“It’s an exciting time to be leading LPFA as we take the unprecedented step of pooling two of the largest pension funds in local government,” said Cockell in a statement.

Earlier this year, Cockell was appointed chairman of the UK Municipal Bonds Agency, a local government initiative to raise capital cost effectively. He was also recently named chair of the Growth Commission for Crossrail2, a proposed new rail route that will run through south-east England.

A keynote speaker at this year’s Infrastructure Investor Berlin Summit, Cockell said the UK pension fund universe was a “sleeping giant” which was beginning to wake and could compete with sovereign wealth funds for infrastructure assets – but could only do so through collaborative efforts.