FTSE funds help raise £1bn for infrastructure

Michael Bow
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A HOST of FTSE 100 retirement funds yesterday revealed they had raised £1bn to plough into the UK’s creak- ing infrastructure as inf luential investor Edmund Truell called on government to do more to boost building investment.

Pension schemes run by BAE Systems, BT, Lloyds TSB and British Airways are among ten schemes launching a £1bn fund designed to address the UK’s sluggish infrastruc- ture building programme.

Last week, Labour attacked the coalition government for failing to deliver on its heavily trailed national plan, which originally aimed to encourage £20bn of investment from pension funds.

Yesterday, private equity entrepreneur Edmund Truell – who was last year made chair of a London pension fund contributing to the fund – said the government should reform plan- ning laws to help encourage private sector investment.

“They are not doing enough,” Truell told City A.M. “We need more action and more push from central and local government on the investment side. On the planning side, the UK is notorious for finding a reason to delay.

“There are always going to be losers in planning. We should compensate the losers properly and get on with it.”

The £1bn fund, called the Pension Infrastructure Platform (PIP), current- ly aims to invest in infrastructure projects that have already been com- pleted instead of investing in things which still need to be built.

Truell yesterday admitted the PIP has “relatively limited ambitions” at the moment, but said he hoped it would help investors exchange ideas and get larger projects like housing and energy off the ground in future.

Truell co-founded pension insur- ance company Pension Corporation in 2006. He left the firm last year. He has since gone on to set up private equity outfit Duke Street Capital.