First State, GIP vie for £38m UK pension investment

The two fund managers are part of a shortlist of three drafted by the UK’s £760m Northumberland Pension Fund to receive the pension’s debut infrastructure commitment. KKR had originally been awarded the mandate, but the contract was annulled following the departure of team member Simon Hipperson.

Northumberland County Council Pension Fund, located in north east England, has shortlisted three infrastructure fund managers for its debut infrastructure allocation, a spokeswoman from the pension said.

First State Investments, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and a third undisclosed fund manager are in the running for the £760 million (€853 million; $1.2 billion) pension’s first infrastructure investment. 

The spokeswoman said Northumberland’s first infrastructure allocation may reach up to 5 percent of its portfolio, or £38 million. She added that the £38 million commitment may be split among two infrastructure fund managers. A final decision will be taken at the end of this month.

Originally, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ (KKR) infrastructure fund had been awarded Northumberland’s debut allocation, but the pension annulled the contract with KKR following the departure of a key team member, the spokeswoman said. While she would not confirm the name of the departed KKR team member, the spokeswoman is most likely referring to former managing director Simon Hipperson, who left KKR earlier this year. 

The January notice awarding the infrastructure mandate to KKR also states that Meridiam Infrastructure had been in the running for Northumberland’s allocation.