The day to day running of the Fund is carried out by a team employed by an arms-length company which is owned by the Council, who act as administering authority. The company is supervised by a Board of Directors. Our functions include investment management, pension administration, employer liaison, data quality, member support, accounting, legal, risk and compliance, people and communications, communications and business admin. The investment management responsibilities include carrying out over 85% of investment management in-house and the monitoring and selection of external investment managers. In addition, through our FCA regulated entity, we provide investment advice to a number of LGPS pension funds in Scotland.
Our core values
We’re passionate about pensions and our values are enduring principles that inform, inspire and instruct day-to-day behaviour.
We are proud to be:
- Agile and dependable We approach work with an open and flexible attitude and take responsibility to manage our work effectively and efficiently. We also embrace new processes in a consistent and reliable way.
- Self-motivated and team players We actively participate as individuals, taking pride and responsibility in what we do. At the same time, we show awareness for the team and ensure our objectives support the team’s objectives.
- Challenging and respectful We appreciate the need to challenge status quo and ask questions in a constructive and respectful way.
- Innovative and prudent We always look to improve processes and practices and ensure we do this in a way that’s safe and protects LPF from unnecessary risk.
David Vallery , CEO
David Vallery, Chief Executive Officer
I joined LPF in June 2021 after spending 30 years working in financial services in the UK, France and Australia. I’ve had a clear goal in each of my roles – to do the best job I can to help the business exceed and deliver for our customers. LPF is no different; my goal is to work with the talented team to continue to deliver an excellent service to all members and employers and make LPF a great place to work for our colleagues.
With over 84,000 members and £8bn of assets, LPF is a major part of the LGPS in Scotland which is of critical importance to the financial well-being to around one in five people in Scotland. At LPF, we provide essential administration and investment services to the 90,000 members of our fund.
All of our members, whether they’re retired and are receiving pension payments, deferred members, or actively working and continuing to make contributions, expect to receive high-quality service from the fund. And it’s my privilege to lead the team who provide this service. This talented team consists of the investment managers and pension administrators who manage these services, supported by professionals in Finance, Risk, People, Communications and IT.
Our members and employers are at the heart of everything we do, and we’ll continually strive to do the best we can in the interests of our members and their employers to safeguard their retirement.
Bruce Miller, Chief Investment Officer
Investments – Bruce Miller is the Chief Investment Officer
The Investment function administers and manages the assets of the Fund with the objective of paying members’ pensions during their retiral years. It does this by investing the regular pension contributions of employers and members in a diversified portfolio of assets (currently circa £8bn in size), including equities, bonds, property and infrastructure. The investment management team implements the investment strategy determined by the Pensions Committee. Whereas most LGPS funds outsource management of their assets to external providers, Lothian has expanded its internal management capability over the last decade, so that it is able to manage most asset classes in-house. This results in better alignment of interests and a truly long-term investment focus. The team manages a number of different portfolios, including regional and global equities and sovereign bonds, meaning that it selects individual securities on listed markets and funds on unlisted markets.
Pensions & Accounting – John Burns is the Chief Finance Officer
The Finance function is responsible for the preparation of the Fund’s (Group) Financial Statements in accordance with CIPFA / LASAAC Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom 2018/19. With Lothian Pension Fund valued in excess of £8 billion and, in 2018/19, 384,490 pension payments totalling more than £231 million being made to 30,623 to members to support their lives in retirement, therefore, there is both scale and complexity to the workload of the Finance team.
The Pensions Administration team is responsible for the delivery of our pension administration services to scheme employers and members in line with the Local Government Pension Scheme. The team carries out all types of benefit calculations and is accredited by the Pension Administration Standards Association (PASA). Also, the Fund holds the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Award. Accordingly, the team is committed to deliver a high-quality pension administration service placing high importance on continually improving member experience.
The Employer and Member team acts as a first point of contact for members and employers and their responsibilities include member liaison - answering calls and e-mails from members and helping members register for our online service and employer liaison – working with employers throughout their lifecycle, including employers joining the Fund, dealing with day to day queries on Scheme Regulations and administration of the Scheme, annual covenant analysis as well as working with employers leaving the Fund. The team also ensure that annual pension forecasts are produced for members, monitoring and cleaning monthly data from employers and preparing the information used to pay pensions to ensure that the right amounts is paid to over 30,000 pensioners every month.
Legal, Risk, Compliance and Governance - Struan Fairbairn is the Fund’s Chief Risk Officer
The legal, risk and compliance team manages those core functions of our regulated investment and pensions business, as well as all governance and company secretarial matters. That involves providing strategic advice on the development of our business to the board and supporting its market leading investment, pension administration and employer teams on the work they do to ensure a best value pensions product is delivered. Because we invest across the whole spectrum of asset classes, operating our own internal investment management team, we operate in a very transactionally active environment. The team also works to support its members on complex pensions administration matters, as well as the scheme’s employers in putting together admission and affordability packages, involving security and guarantees arrangements to support contribution stability.
People and Communications – Helen Honeyman is Chief People Officer
The People and Communications function was set up to accomplish two things: ensure our people feel positive about working for us and enable them to effectively and efficiently serve our members through their efforts. The function comprises communications with its responsibilities for the Fund’s brand, strategic communications and employers and members communications. The team are also responsible for developing and managing our people practices, implementation of HR and people policies and initiatives, attracting and retaining talent to deliver an exceptional employee experience, ensuring people policies and practices support and enhance our organisational culture. The business support function has responsibility for ensuring our office environment reflects the needs and aspirations of both colleagues and visitors, management of internal and external events, managing our Health and Safety needs, managing our Business Continuity responsibilities, organising travel.
IT Oversight and Governance – Anne Mitchell is the Head of IT
We operate a pension fund for more than 85,000 members and made 384,490 payments to members to support their lives in retirement last year. As you might expect, we need a combination of people, processes and systems to allow us to do that with efficiency and control. Our technology oversight and governance functions exist to protect our operations against the risk of disruption from failure in our technology and to ensure our company and member data remains secure. How we do that involves ongoing monitoring, due diligence reviews, service plan goals and targets, maintaining business continuity plans and using policies to ensure a high standard of governance.