Pensions Investment Practice

Linklaters’ Pensions Investment Practice is an accessible single source of expertise on the full range of matters relating to the investment of pensions funds.

It is a cross-specialism client-sector based practice, involving lawyers from the Pensions Group, Investment Management Group, Derivatives Group, Financial Regulation Group and the Insurance Group, and offering an integrated service to pension funds needing advice in relation to any aspect of their investments.

We apply our extensive experience to make sure each project is delivered successfully with individual trustee goals in mind. We understand regulation, tackle risk and supply insight and innovation.

De-risking

  • Assisting major pension funds to develop their own ISDA and GMRA templates, including USS, Mineworkers Pension Scheme, Tesco, BAT, Marks & Spencer, Co-op and Diageo; and negotiating them with all major bank counterparties
  • Advising on pre-negotiated template ISDA and GMRA documentation, or agency ISDA and GMRA documentation on behalf of pension funds looking to use them, for example Balfour Beatty, BP and Rolls-Royce, and common investment funds such as Centrica and Norbert Dentressangle.

Longevity

  • £5bn Aviva insurance based longevity swap - at the time, the largest of its kind, covering 19,000 members.
  • £3bn Roll-Royce/Deutsche Bank derivatives-based longevity swap.
  • AstraZeneca £2.5bn derivatives-based longevity swap – 10,000 pensioners covered.

Funds

  • Acted for various trustees – including USS, BP, Mineworkers Pension Scheme, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Diageo – on their investment in private equity, real estate, hedge, distressed debt, infrastructure, currency and insurance-related securities funds.
  • Experience of setting up complex bespoke investment arrangements and special purpose vehicles for large pension funds such as bespoke pooled arrangements.

DC specific issues

  • Trustees, including the Pensions Trust, on insurance-based DC investment platform providers.
  • Advised major pension funds on DC governance having had one of our lawyers seconded to the Pensions Regulator during development of the DC Code.

 

Governance

  • Investment governance audit for USS leading to the implementation of an FSA authorised investment management subsidiary for the trustee and review of committee structures and terms of reference.
  • Tesco trustees on the implications of a change in their investment governance structures, including the establishment of an FSA investment management subsidiary.
  • IMA amendment for major pension funds to ensure EMIR compliance and in some cases to allow EMIR/Dodd-Frank clearing.

Buy-ins/buy-out

  • The Uniq trustees in purchasing a £830m bulk annuity from Rothesay Life
  • Legal & General on the buy-out of the £1.1bn T&N Scheme
  • Tate & Lyle trustees on a £347m partial pensioner buy-in – approximately 34% of total pension liabilities.

Asset-backed structures

  • Marks & Spencer trustees on the first property-based asset-backed contribution structure which defined the market.
  • Diageo trustees on an asset backed contribution structure with whisky as the underlying asset.
  • John Laing and Costain trustees on a structure with PFI rights as the underlying asset.