Swansea and North East Scotland Pension Funds invest in BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power III fund

The City and County of Swansea Pension Fund and North East Scotland Pension Fund have expanded their partnership with BlackRock and invested in BlackRock’s Global Renewable Power III fund, in a bid to capture growth opportunities in renewables and invest in line with their long-term financial and sustainability goals. 

GRP III invests in global renewable power assets to generate attractive risk adjusted returns with a low correlation to the economic cycle. The fund’s profile is particularly attractive to UK Local Government Pension Schemes because it can help diversify their asset allocation while investing in more sustainable assets. Close to 20 per cent of the USD1.5 billion raised to-date has come from LGPS, representing around USD240million. Over 40 institutional investors are invested in the fund. 

Swansea and NESPF share BlackRock’s aim to commit to the global energy transition from two-thirds fossil fuels to two-thirds renewables by 2050. They join three other LGPS who committed to the first close in late 2019. 

Clive Lloyd, chair of the Swansea Pension Fund Committee, says: “We were the first local government pension scheme in Wales - and among only a small number in the world – to commission a review of our equity investment portfolio to find out the exact extent of our carbon and fossil fuel related investments. This latest step, in partnership with BlackRock, is part of an on-going effort to gain attractive returns for pensioners, reduce our carbon footprint and support climate-friendly energy production.”

Graham Buntain, Investment Manager, North East Scotland Pension Fund, adds: “We are delighted to have made this investment with BlackRock, our trusted and experienced partner in this sector. Demand for renewables continues to grow and this allocation produces both an attractive yield, whilst offering diversification benefits for our overall portfolio. It is important to all our stakeholders that not only do we pay pensions, but that we incorporate and embed ESG through everything we do, for the benefit of everyone.”

Gavin Lewis, Head of UK LGPS at BlackRock, comments: “From our work with LGPS clients, we know they are contending with how best to achieve strong and diversified returns. By electing to invest in a global portfolio of renewable power assets, which includes an attractive cash yield, Swansea and NESPF are better positioned to meet member benefit liabilities. Additionally, sustainability is increasingly at the forefront of clients’ minds, and the interplay between their asset allocation decisions and long-term sustainable goals can lead to better investment outcomes.”

GRP III is managed by BlackRock’s dedicated Renewable Power team, one of the largest renewable investment managers globally with 44 dedicated professionals, including six technical engineers. The team has been entrusted to manage USD6 billion in AUM for over 150 investors and have invested in over 250 renewables projects across 11 countries globally.