Elective Professional Client - Status Assessment

 

The questionnaire can be found at the following link:       Elective Professional Client - Status Assessment Questionnaire

 


Supplementary Evidence to Support Applications to Opt Up to Elective Professional Client Status:

Evidence of approval that the officer completing this application has the necessary authorisation to do so.

The authority to complete the Elective Professional Client - Status Assessment form was approved by Cumbria Pensions Committee on 19th September 2017 as agenda item 13. A weblink to the Agenda reports pack for this meeting is provided below:

The Pension Committee Agenda Item

In paragraph 3.2 of this report it was recommended that Pensions Committee "Agrees that applications from the Administering Authority for opting up to elective professional client status should be made on behalf of the Fund with all current managers promptly in order to ensure it can continue to implement an effective investment strategy."

Evidence of the scheme of delegation to confirm decisions are delegated to committee or sub- committee with partial delegation to an officer or officers.

The Cumbria Pensions Committee is responsible for carrying out the Council's functions as the delegated decision making body of the Administering Authority for the management of the Cumbria Local Government Pension Scheme which includes its involvement in the Border to Coast Pension Partnership (BCPP) as the Council's approved Pension Pool.

Investment decisions in the administering authority are delegated to the Investment Sub-Group (ISG) of the Pensions Committee. It is the role of the ISG to consider and continually review an investment management structure for the Pension Fund and to be responsible for assisting the Assistant Director - Finance (Section 151 Officer) in:

(i) The appointment and termination of investment managers with holdings of less than 5% of the portfolio; and

(ii) The establishment and review of performance benchmarks and targets for investment.

The functions of the Cumbria Pensions Committee are detailed in Part 2H Section 2 of the Constitution of Cumbria County Council and available at:   Functions of Pensions Committee

The functions of the Investment Sub-Group are detailed in Part 2O Section 2 of the Constitution of Cumbria County Council and available at:    Functions of Investment Sub Group

Remit of the Assistant Director - Finance (Section 151 Officer) are set out in Part 3 Section 6.9 (within Section 6 - Specific Areas of Responsibility) of the Constitution of Cumbria County Council and available at:   Remit of Assistant Director - Finance (Section 151 Officer)

Evidence that Members are provided with a written brief on joining the committee.

Members joining the Cumbria Pensions Committee are given specific induction training. A link to the slides from the training session on 26th April 2018 is provided below.

New Members Induction Training

Example of training offered to Members on investment matters in the last 12 months

Members will always be provided with training in advance of any investment strategy or new tactical investment decision made. As an example, attached below is part of the training programme to complement a review of the Fund's Investment Strategy. This was provided to Committee in September 2017 to support their subsequent decision making regarding the strategic asset allocation. This included specific investment training on multi asset credit, private rental sector and equity protection.

Example of Training Provided to Committee

Details of the Members' self-assessment tool with regard to their knowledge of investments

Members of the Cumbria Pensions Committee are required to complete an annual self-assessment of their skills. This self-assessment is based on the CIPFA knowledge and skills framework and considers six areas of knowledge and skills that have been identified as the core technical requirements for those working in public sector pensions.

        pensions legislative and governance context

       pensions accounting and auditing standards

        financial services procurement and relationship management

        investment performance and risk management

       financial markets and products knowledge

       actuarial methods, standards and practices

 

A link to a copy of the questionnaire is provided below. 

Questionnaire

Provided a link to the most recent version of the authority's Investment Strategy Statement.

The Investment Strategy Statement (ISS) of Cumbria LGPS is included within the Fund Policy Document. A link to this document is provided below.

Fund Policy Document - Investment Strategy Statement

Details of the authority's risk framework and/or risk management policy in relation to investments

The Fund's approach to risk management and reporting and its appetite for risk are considered in section 4.5 of the Fund's Investment Strategy Statement.

Furthermore, the Fund's approach to financial risk, demographic risk, regulatory and governance risks are considered in section 6.7 of the Funding Strategy Statement

Both of these statements are driven by the Fund's Investment Beliefs. All risks are continually monitored by officers and considered at each quarterly Committee meeting.

Both the Investment Strategy Statement and the Funding Strategy Statement are included within the Fund Policy Document

Copy of the last review of the Fund's risk framework and/or risk management policy.

The Fund's approach to risk management and reporting and its appetite for risk are reviewed annually with the last review being presented to the Cumbria Pensions Committee in March 2018. Agenda item 10 "Cumbria LGPS Fund Policy Document Annual Review" was considered by the Committee. The Fund Policy Document includes both the Investment Strategy Statement and the Funding Strategy Statement.

A link to the agenda for this meeting is provided below:

Pensions Committee Agenda March 18 

Examples of training provided to those directly involved in decision making on risk management, including focussed training on understanding the risks involved with investments.

All training provided to those directly involved in decision making includes a consideration of the risks relevant to the topic being presented.

Attached below is an example of training provided to Committee in September 2017 relating to a review of the Investment Strategy. This includes consideration of investment risks throughout.

Training Example

Details of the Members' self-assessment tool with regard to their understanding of risk management.

Members of the Cumbria Pensions Committee are required to complete an annual self-assessment of their skills. This self-assessment is based on the CIPFA knowledge and skills framework and considers six areas of knowledge and skills that have been identified as the core technical requirements for those working in public sector pensions.

  •         pensions legislative and governance context
  •         pensions accounting and auditing standards
  •         financial services procurement and relationship management
  •         investment performance and risk management
  •         financial markets and products knowledge
  •         actuarial methods, standards and practices

 

Copy of the Questionnaire

Details of the succession plan to manage key person risk.

The Senior Manager - Pensions and Financial Services (Deputy Section 151 Officer) has the responsibility to "Ensure that the Cumbria LGPS is impartially, effectively and efficiently operated on behalf of all Scheme members and employers. In the capacity as Deputy Section 151 Officer for Cumbria LGPS deputise for the Section 151 Officer as and when required."

A link to a copy of the Senior Manager - Pensions and Financial Services (Deputy Section 151 Officer) Job Description is provided below.

Senior Manager Pensions and Financial Services (Deputy Section 151 Officer)