The Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund (the UKRF) is one of the largest occupational pension schemes in the UK, with around 250,000 members and assets under management of approximately -£25billion ($40 billion).
It is managed under trust by the Barclays Pension Funds Trustees Limited (the trustee) and is sponsored by Barclays Bank PLC.
The assets of the UKRF consist of many different types of investments from around the world. These are managed by an in-house team of investment professionals, who work for the trustee and oversee more than 150 different external investment managers. More than 30 per cent of the fund is invested in alternatives.
The UKRF pursues sustainable investment themes in its portfolio. For example, through its venture capital portfolio, it invests in companies developing new technologies such as solar and wind power. It also offers a sustainable investment option (Jupiter Ecology Fund) to members who have a choice about how their pension savings are invested. The trustee recognises the importance of exercising the rights (including voting rights) attaching to its investments. The responsibility for exercising such rights has been delegated to the investment managers, who are expected to exercise these rights in the best interests of the fund.
The trustee’s UK Stewardship Code Policy Statement sets out the trustee’s policy on exercising its voting rights on UK shares and the Conflicts of Interest Policy defines how trustee directors are required to act in the best interests of the membership.