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UK pension infra scheme boosts AUM to £1.3bn

Three new institutions have joined the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and London Pensions Fund Authority to become members of GLIL, strengthening its standing as a 'serious investor' in infrastructure.

An infrastructure investment scheme set up by the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and London Pensions Fund Authority has secured the commitment of three new pension funds.

The addition of West Yorkshire Pension Fund, Merseyside Pension Fund and Lancashire County Pension Fund to GLIL Infrastructure takes the scheme’s assets under management from £500 million ($620.9 million; €594.6 million) to £1.3 billion.

“The expansion allows GLIL Infrastructure access to a greater pool of financial commitments and investment expertise from its five contributing funds, cementing it as a significant and serious investor in the UK infrastructure market,” the organisation explained.

A summary of a West Yorkshire Pension Fund meeting last month said each of the new members will commit £250 million to the scheme. The note said that GLIL “may form part of a national solution to increasing commitments to infrastructure”.

GLIL Infrastructure was created in January 2015 as its two founders began “to realise the potential for public pension funds to support the development of infrastructure projects”. The move came about a year after the LPFA left the Pensions Infrastructure Platform just 12 months after joining. At the time it cited a mismatch in pricing and risk-return targets as reasons for its departure.

GLIL’s first investment was sealed in October 2015, when it ploughed £60 million into Iona Capital’s pipeline of bioenergy projects. It has since acquired a £150 million stake in the 350MW Clyde wind farm in Scotland. Most recently, it also provided £40 million to fund 378 new trains for the Abellio East Anglia franchise.