UK - The information commissioner has ordered two local authorities to disclose details of their pension fund investments, but this should not have a huge impact on the private equity or pension fund industry.
The Hertfordshire and Tameside councils had refused to disclose details of their private equity, venture capital and real estate investments. But commissioner Richard Thomas ruled that information should be disclosed “on the basis that the public interest in knowing that public funds are being invested wisely overrides the public interest in protecting confidentiality in this instance.”
Reacting to the news, Andrew Bradshaw, associate and investment unit member at Sacker & Partners LLP speculated that the ruling was unlikely to have any far reaching impact.
“Basically, in this case, the information being asked for only involves what the pension fund has contibuted, what it has received back, the current worth of investments in the fund, and so on . It does not relate to potentially commercially sensitive information about the underlying investments.” explained Bradshaw.
“I don’t think this will have a huge impact on private equity fund investment, because many private equity funds already release such information. Those that don’t will have to realise that if they want to continue to invest public sector pension scheme assets , they will have to start doing so.
“What is key is that investment providers and public sector investors deal with this issue at the outset and make sure that any confidentiality clauses are appropriately worded to deal with these types of requests ,” he added
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