Brunel wins Europe-wide IPE Impact Investing award

Alex Monro
Head of Communications
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Brunel is delighted to report that it has won the Impact Investing category at the 2022 IPE Awards in Rotterdam.

The awards recognise excellence in pensions right across Europe and are the gold standard for the pensions industry, not least in Responsible Investment, an area in which Nordic countries and the Netherlands have traditionally led the field.

This award is therefore a particular badge of honour for Brunel, and also for Cornwall Pension Fund, because the application was largely focused on the launch of the innovative Cornwall Local Impact Portfolio earlier in 2022.

“It was a great pleasure to receive this award on behalf of Brunel in the beautiful Sint-Laurenskerk in Rotterdam, in my home country,” said Roelie van Wijk, Non-Executive Director at Brunel (pictured above, right). “Being recognised in the field of Impact Investing and especially for collaboration with managers on ESG integration, our climate awareness within portfolio construction, and for an innovative impact fund for our client in Cornwall was very special to me.’

The portfolio broke new ground by becoming the first multi-asset portfolio to target local impact across the LGPS. Its three mandates are divided between affordable housing in Cornwall; renewables in Cornwall; and renewables across the UK. Particular credit is due to Cornwall Pension Fund for crafting the original vision, and to Richard Fanshawe and the private markets team for bringing an ambitious vision to fruition.

“We worked closely with Brunel to ensure that pooling delivers not just scale advantages – but local impact, too,” said Councillor Jayne Kirkham, Chair, Cornwall Pension Fund Pensions Committee. “The new Cornwall Local Impact portfolio, as part of our social impact allocation, enables us to combine our fiduciary responsibilities to our members with delivering positive social and environmental outcomes in our county, where our members have worked and lived.”

The portfolio shows the enormous possibilities presented in private markets investing when LGPS can harness the scale of pension pools. Crucially, Brunel was able to persuade leading RI investors to develop a cost-effective solution at a very local level.

“There is strong onus on pension pools to prove themselves in private markets investing, given the difficulties of accessing private markets as a standalone LGPS,” said Laura Chappell, CEO at Brunel. “This is exactly the kind of product that marries the local vision of the pension fund with the scale advantages of the pool. We hope it is only the first of such projects, not just at Brunel, but across the LGPS.”

Aside of the portfolio, the judges also cited Brunel’s close collaboration with managers to integrate ESG factors and impact principles into investment processes; high RI reporting standards; and the use of Paris-aligned indices for passive portfolios.

Full details of the award results are being published over the course of the day on the IPE website.

You may also be interested to read about the awards Brunel received for stewardship and diversity in November.

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