Eight public sector pension funds in Wales have appointed Russell Investments and Link Asset Services to help pool and run £15bn (€17bn) of investments.The Wales Pension Partnership (WPP) – one of eight asset pools being set up by UK local government pension schemes (LGPS) – announced today that Link Asset Services would operate a collective investment vehicle to pool its assets.Russell has been appointed for investment advice and manager selection. The mandates for Russell and Link include portfolio construction, cost reduction, currency hedging, transition management and other services.Chris Moore, director of corporate services at Carmarthenshire County Council, described the appointments as “a significant milestone” in pooling the Welsh funds’ assets. Peter Hugh Smith, managing director of Link Fund Solutions, part of Link Asset Services, said: “We are pleased to have been selected by WPP to facilitate the pooling of the assets of the eight existing local government pension schemes in Wales.“The pooling of the assets into a collective investment vehicle means the constituent authorities will benefit from enhanced governance and the protection of a regulated tax transparent structure.”Jim Leggate, head of UK institutional and Middle East at Russell Investments, added that pooling “provides the opportunity to deliver significant savings over the long-term, which will create additional value for scheme members”.In 2016, WPP appointed BlackRock to run nearly £3bn of passive mandates on behalf of the eight pension funds, replacing State Street Global Advisors and Legal & General Investment Management. This arrangement will continue outside of the collective investment vehicle being established by Link.The LGPS pools must be ready to accept assets from early April, according to the government’s deadline.Link is one of the UK’s leading fund administration providers, and according to its website oversees roughly £45bn of annual payments across various product types.
Manchester United midfielder Fred has revealed that Thierry Henry and Gilberto Silva were among his Premier League heroes in his younger years.The Brazil international joined the Old Trafford club in the close season from Shakhtar Donetsk, scoring one goal in his first seven appearances.The 25-year-old has been left out of the starting XI in each of United’s last four matches, however, as Jose Mourinho’s side struggle for consistency at the start of the season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! And Fred admits that he was always keeping a close eye on developments in England’s top flight as a youngster, revealing that two former Arsenal stars were players he particularly admired.”I always watched a lot of English football. It has always been really strong,” he told United’s official club website . “I used to watch United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, when Gilberto Silva used to play there. I have many idols like Gilberto, Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes – many great players that have been here as well.”Fred spent five years in Ukraine with Shakhtar before his switch to United, and although his new surroundings are vastly different, he is adapting to the language and is happy to have Portuguese and Spanish-speaking team-mates.”I managed to do some classes in Ukraine but people there didn’t really speak English,” he added. “They spoke Russian so that’s what I learned there.”I didn’t get to practice much English but now I’m here and I’m going to classes. I want to learn as quickly as possible because I know it will help me to integrate and adapt here.”I already know a lot of sentences, many words – ‘How are you?’ – I know how to communicate. I’m studying, so hopefully I will be better in no time.”My wife talks a lot with Fernandinho and Ederson’s wives. For the players, the fixtures and training schedules are very different so we end up not having time.”I hang out more with the United squad – Andreas Pereira and the players who speak Spanish. Even those who speak English. We meet after work to play video games and have dinner. It is important for the team. Paul Pogba, Andreas, Eric Bailly… we are close friends.”