UK pension invests £20m in GIP Fund II

The £760m Northumberland County Council Pension Fund’s debut infrastructure investment went to Global Infrastructure Partners’ second infrastructure fund, which recently reached a first close on $3bn. The pension may do a second infrastructure investment in the next six months.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), the New York-based global infrastructure fund manager, is proving popular with small UK pension funds looking to dip their toes into the infrastructure market, with the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund the latest scheme to place its maiden investment with GIP.

The £760 million (€909 million; $1.2 billion) pension fund has committed £20 million to GIP’s second infrastructure fund, which recently reached a first close on $3.04 billion, according to fillings submitted late last year to the US’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). First State Investments and Meridiam Infrastructure were also said to have competed for the mandate.

The UK pension had earmarked up to 5 percent of its portfolio, or £38 million, for its maiden infrastructure investment, with a spokeswoman adding the pension may invest in a second infrastructure fund within the next six months.

Last year, the £1 billion Shropshire Pension also invested in GIP’s second infrastructure fund to the tune of £30 million. The investment was also the pension’s first foray into the infrastructure space.

GIP’s Fund II is targeting a final close of $6 billion. The New York investor closed its first, $5.64 billion fund in May 2008, which has invested in the likes of the UK’s Gatwick Airport, Australia’s Port of Brisbane and US wind farm developer Terra-Gen power.

Investors in the first fund include the likes of Alaska Permanent Fund, Industriens Pension of Denmark and the UK's West Midlands Pension Fund .