Brunel Pension Partnership has published its Annual Report & Financial Statements 2020-21, which shows the partnership has achieved fee savings since inception of £33 million.
As at the end of December, Brunel has transitioned more than £31 billion of assets from its ten clients, around 80% of total client assets, and further transitions are due over the year ahead.
The report also highlights the progress we have made since pooling. Brunel is now breaking even on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities return. Based on assets transitioned, as of March 2021 we are making net fee savings of £13 million per year (£24 million gross) versus pre-pooling levels – and this figure will continue to grow ahead of the next return.
Moreover, third-party analysis has demonstrated that our total manager fees work out at 13 basis points less expensive than the market average. These are among the key benefits of pooling – bringing down costs across fund management, tax and elsewhere.
The report also shows the impact Brunel has already exerted in Responsible Investment. Two areas merit particular mention.
Our scale has helped us to target our ambition to make the broader industry fit for a Net Zero future and to work across a number of other RI priorities. As you will read in these pages, our Stewardship Officer co-launched the Asset Owner Diversity Charter over the quarter of the year – initial signatories represented more than £1 trillion in AUM. Furthermore, our Chief Responsible Investment Officer, in her role as Chair of the IIGCC, represented our views at COP 26 on panels, in talks and in meetings – including in the Blue Zone, where official negotiations took place.
A second RI area to highlight is our work on indices. In 2021, FTSE and Brunel launched a new series of Paris-aligned indices that enable investors to use indices as part of their attempt to target Net Zero. This was an enormous achievement and we have already transitioned £4 billion of client assets to the new indices. The new indices are a key element in how we transition towards Net Zero, even as we invest in passive products.
Finally, I must mention our culture. As lockdowns extended, the multiple impacts on society began to become clearer – including on mental health. Our focus on culture has enabled us to emphasise both individual and corporate sustainability through exceptional times. We are immensely proud of this culture and a recent staff survey showed it is a leading reason that staff choose to work at Brunel.
“Brunel is committed to implementing our values and ambitions both within our company and across the broader industry,” said Laura Chappell, Chief Executive Officer. “Our Annual Report demonstrates how we have done that through 2020-21. It shows that we have provided strong industry leadership, not simply because we want to lead, but because we are so firmly committed to our shared values. We believe the strength of our partnership lies in the vision and values that we share.”
We hope you enjoy reading about a remarkable year.