Two Scottish local government pension schemes (LGPS) are increasing their collaboration efforts to improve investment and efficiency through economies of scale.The £6.6bn (€7.3bn) Lothian Pension Fund said it had agreed a joint investment strategy with the £1.8bn Falkirk Pension Fund as part of a new collaborative model.The announcement – contained in the fund’s annual report for 2016-2017 – followed the UK regulator’s authorisation of LPFI, formed as part of a new corporate structure at Lothian to support the in-house investment team and create efficiencies. LPFI can also facilitate co-operation with other pension fund investors.Another new Lothian company, LPFE, employs staff and facilitates separate governance and controls for the in-house investment team. The Lothian scheme – the second biggest in Scotland – said collaboration allowed other funds to benefit from the commercial advantage of its in-house team to bring benefits through scale investing.It added that sharing costs between co-operating funds would allow reinvestment in systems and the in-house team.Lothian Pension Fund has provided Falkirk Pension Fund with support on investment, including assistance on infrastructure allocations and procurement, for the past five years.The fund said that, with the FCA authorisation, it had agreed a review of the arrangements and a new collaborative model, including a joint investment strategy panel to better align investment governance.Under the new set up, the pensions committee of Falkirk Council would agree an investment strategy and delegate its implementation – including the selection of investment managers. This governance model is similar to that of Lothian.According to Lothian, a joint investment strategy panel would advise the finance directors of each administrating authority (the City of Edinburgh Council and Falkirk Council) on the implementation of the strategy. In a separate statement, Lothian said that the joint investment strategy panel would consist of members of its internal investment team and jointly appointed external advisers.Scott Jamieson and Gordon Bagot – currently advisers to Lothian – will stay on as independent advisers on the joint panel, and the two pension funds are to jointly procure an investment consultant.Despite the increased collaboration between the schemes, Lothian said that the assets of both would remain separate and that investment strategy decisions would be retained by the respective pensions committees.Last year, a spokesman for Falkirk County Council suggested it was considering using the in-house expertise of the Lothian team to look at an equity mandate.He added that the approach was viewed as a “potential model and way forward for better collaborative work” across Scotland’s local authority schemes.During the 12 months to the end of March, Lothian Pension Fund made seven investments alongside Falkirk Pension Fund and another one with the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee, which oversees the country’s £5.8bn LGPS fund.Lothian indicated it expected further co-operation with other Scottish LGPS partners in 2017-18.The announced collaboration is in line with a Scottish government-backed review recommending increased asset pooling and service sharing.
Published on April 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ After falling behind 1-2 in the count, Stephanie Watts and Lisaira Daniels were both retired in the bottom of the first inning Sunday. The next hitter, Lacey Kohl, avoided the same hole by sending the third pitch of an even count over the right-field wall.Kohl jumped on a fastball and put Syracuse on the board first against Notre Dame in SU’s home opener last weekend. But for the rest of the game, the Orange was often down in the count, making it tough to score runs in a 9-2 loss.It’s something SU head coach Leigh Ross identifies as a problem. Ross said her team needs to be more aggressive at the plate. SU has been too patient during its recent struggles.‘I think there needs to be a sense of urgency,’ Ross said in a phone interview Tuesday. ‘Let’s attack a good pitch. Let’s not wait and get two strikes on us and get deep in the count every time.’Syracuse (24-10, 3-5 Big East) is currently on a five-game losing streak in the Big East after a program-record start to the season. SU has scored just 10 runs in those five games. The lack of run production has forced the Orange to play from behind in most of the losses.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor Ross, the offensive struggles will end when the team changes its approach. The Orange had success when it was aggressive with the bats early in the season.‘There is a time and a place when you do go deep in a count and you do want to let (the pitcher) throw as many pitches as possible,’ Ross said. ‘But I think we’re a really good team when we do have that attack mentality.’Syracuse had that attack mentality and pounded its opponents during an eight-game winning streak that directly preceded the losing streak. The team scored 38 runs in three games at Rutgers, including a program-record 23 runs in one game.But against tougher competition, the Orange offense has sputtered. South Florida and Notre Dame — currently tied atop the Big East — both swept Syracuse.Ross said the Notre Dame pitching staff was particularly tough. The one-two punch of reigning Big East Pitcher of the Year Jody Valdivia and standout freshman Laura Winter silenced the SU bats.The Fighting Irish pitching staff has allowed the second fewest walks in the Big East with 55 this season. The Notre Dame pair only surrendered three walks to Syracuse all weekend.Ross said her team knew to expect strikes. Syracuse got pitches to hit, but failed to capitalize. The Orange didn’t make the opposing pitchers work enough.‘What good pitchers hate are those hitters that jump on them early,’ Ross said. ‘And foul off balls and they keep battling in there until they get a good pitch.’With two runners on and one out, Daniels stepped to the plate in the fifth inning in that first game. She quickly found herself down 0-2 in the count. Daniels extended her arms and barely fouled off the third pitch on the outside corner to stay alive. She then fouled off four more pitches and took a ball to keep the at-bat going.Finally, on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Daniels skied a fly ball into foul territory behind third base. The shortstop caught the ball and ended the battle. Kohl followed and worked a full count, but struck out swinging.The Orange had a chance to cut into a five-run lead, but couldn’t come through with the big hit. Daniels said each player has felt too much pressure to perform. She said everyone has to play well.‘We put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything — to hit a home run, to get a triple,’ Daniels said. ‘We forget there’s 25 other people on our team.’SU ace Jenna Caira said the team has to calm down when playing from behind because momentum can shift at any time. But sometimes the other team is just better.‘We faced two great pitchers on Notre Dame,’ Caira said. ‘They hit their spots. They made us adjust. We just unfortunately didn’t get the timely hits.’Ross said SU’s hitters understand their strengths and weaknesses. She said they also have good plate discipline. Now they just have to attack the right pitches again.‘The key is not missing on that pitch that you’re waiting for,’ Ross said. ‘It’s more of attacking in a smart way. It’s calculated.’[email protected]