UK pension closes in on $48m JPMorgan investment

Ealing is performing due diligence on its maiden infra investment and could join a string of UK schemes that have already committed to the open-ended vehicle.

UK-based Ealing Pension Fund is performing due diligence on its maiden infrastructure investment, through which it would invest about £36 million ($47.3 million; €40.5 million) in JPMorgan’s Infrastructure Investments Fund.

The due diligence was confirmed at the pension fund’s meeting last week, where it also received a presentation from JPMorgan on the fund. Ealing has agreed to invest 3 percent of its total assets in IIF, worth about £1.2 billion. It will look to invest a further 2 percent in about 12 months’ time in another infrastructure fund, as recommended by consultant Hymans Robertson.

Ealing had been presented with an overview of the infrastructure market by Dominic Helmsley, head of infrastructure equity at Standard Life, at its previous meeting in July. Renewable energy investor Temporis Capital provided training on renewables and ESG last week, it noted in documents.

The pension fund had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Ealing has become at least the fourth UK local government pension scheme to invest in JPMorgan’s IIF in recent months. Strathclyde agreed a £500 million investment in May, while Suffolk has also committed £35 million to the vehicle. Lewisham is set to be admitted to the fund next month with an $80 million investment after confirming the commitment in July.

Both Strathclyde and Lewisham opted to invest with JPMorgan instead of IFM’s open-ended Global Infrastructure Fund, while Lewisham had also considered Aviva Investors’ Infrastructure Income Fund. Strathclyde and Suffolk both also cited the speed of deployment of the IIF as significant factors in their investments. UK investors in particular are thought to be driving demand for more open-ended offerings, with several closed-ended managers considering open-ended vehicles for their next fundraisings.

JPMorgan’s IIF has now invested about $10 billion of equity across 17 portfolio companies since 2007, with a gross asset value of about $20 billion, according to latest figures. The fund has more than 250 LPs, with a majority from North America. It targets net returns of between 8 and 12 percent.