BBC PENSION FUND HIRES GREEN ADVISERS

The greening of the BBC accelerates unchecked. I hope the 18,000 BBC staff who are in the pension fund are happy how their £9bn of funds are being managed; during the course of the past year, the trustees – who incude eco-nut head of news Helen Boaden – decided to entrust a major strand of the fund management to an outfit called Hermes EOS. This is what the fund annual report says (p15):

Hermes EOS is expected to develop policies on socially,ethically and environmentally responsible investing and to encourage these practices in the course of engagementswhere these will enhance or protect companies’ long-term prospects.

Now I do not claim to be an expert on pension funds, but that strikes me as a declaration that henceforward, management of the trust will be dominated by green principles. The impression is reinforced by the fact that Hermes EOS is listed as a member affiliate of an outfit called Eurosif, which desrcribes itself as ‘a pan-European network and think-tank whose mission is to Develop Sustainability through European Financial Markets’. In my book, that’s corporate speak for EU-related eco-loonery. The boss in the UK is Will Oulton:

Will joined Mercer in May 2010 as Head of Responsible Investment for Investment Consulting across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Previous to Mercer, Will was the Director of Responsible Investment at FTSE Group where he led the development of FTSE’s global sustainability indices and services including the FTSE4Good, Environmental Markets and Carbon Strategy indices. In June 2009, he edited the book “Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World” and in February 2010 was appointed as Vice President of the European Sustainable Investment Forum – EUROSIF.

And there we have it. The BBC has placed its pension fund into the grasping hands of a load of green zealots. Hermes EOS campaigners will be there are every relevant board meeting trying to force companies to adopt green policies, come what may.

The latest balance sheet shows that over the past five years, the fund has grown by just 3.7% against an industry average of 5%.

I’ve reported before that the pension fund has become – like everything else at the corporation – a greenie enterprise. What’s beyond belief is that the whole of the BBC has slowly but surely also morphed into an integrated campaigning machine for the eco cause, and Hermes EOS is now another arm of that effort. If I were a BBC pensioner, I would be afraid, very afraid.

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14 Responses to BBC PENSION FUND HIRES GREEN ADVISERS

  1. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    I’ll post before our resident Settled-Scientist (David Gregory) jumps all over it.

    I think on this one you’re misfiring.  On page 2 of the linked ‘fund annual report’ there is a list of the 25 managers of the BBC pension fund.  These are the people who manage the cash.  And I don’t doubt that when they meet the trustees of the pension fund, the investment managers slot into their Power Point presentations lots of guff about their huge commitment to society, pandas, the environment etc.  

    Some of the individual managers may manage their slug of the BBC fund as a stand-alone and may suck up to the Palace Builders by throwing in a sprat or two of a green company.  Most will probably lump the BBC money in with a load of other pension funds who don’t look for any environmental ’tilt’.

    The Hermes hire is just the usual BBC yoohoo-everyone-we-care-no-really-we-do guff, and while Herpes will probably make a minor nuisance of themselves chasing companies up about their ‘green’ policy.  In short I think you are tilting at a windmill here. 

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    • Bupendra Bhakta says:

      In fact the real rank hypocrisy (the smell of which I love in the morning) is how the BBC staff bleat on about The City, Wall St, and ‘The 1%’ but are quite happy for their pension fund to be run by exactly those animals.

      Artemis Investment Management Ltd
      Baillie Gifford & Co  
      BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd
      Cambridge Associates Ltd
      Goldman Sachs & Co
      Henderson Equity Partners Ltd
      Hg Pooled Management
      Hony Capital
      Invesco Asset Management Ltd
      Lazard Asset Management Ltd
      M&G Investment Management Ltd
      Nephila Capital Ltd
      NewSmith Asset Management LLP
      NewSmith UK Hedge Fund Ltd
      PGSFIII GP Ltd (investment adviser: Pantheon         
      Ventures Ltd)
      Pimco Europe Ltd
      Prisma Capital Partners
      Rogge Global Partners Plc
      State Street Global Advisors Ltd
      Sun Capital Partners, Inc
      The Carlyle Group
      Trilogy Global Advisors, LLC
      Uberior Fund Manager Ltd
      Warburg Pincus LLC

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      • Bupendra Bhakta says:

        You may even see some *gasp* private equity houses in there.

        Strange considering the Palace Builders are right behind Ed Camelnose in believing them all to be ‘predators just interested in the fast buck and taking what they can out of a business’.

        As ever with the pretrendy left, do as we say not as we do.

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        • Cassandra King says:

          Great digging there Buppy :-D

          Nothing like the stench of hypocrisy at the BBC is there? Having said that I truly hope every beeboid has good cause to curse the CAGW fraud when it comes to their pension, or lack thereof.

          I wnat to dance on their graves and shout how dya like them apples comrade?

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      • My Site (click to edit) says:

        ROBERT BROWN;Good digging Buphendra, polish it, back it up and send it to the Mail and Telegraph.

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  2. My Site (click to edit) says:

    On matters climatic, as 99% of BBC Editors have shut up shop weeks ago and seem set not to return ’til mid-Jan (begging the question as to what they add – more like take away from – to the ‘news’ as it seems to have happened without the insights of Newsnight, Robinson, Mason et al) I see Mr. Black is still broadcasting, at least via twitter.

    Seems he’s perked up to the fact that this winter has been mild, and is projecting furiously again to suit.

    I also notice the last outing on interactivity he attempted was closed PDQ when it became obvious that he a) didn’t have a clue and b) wasn’t going to let that stop him sharing such ‘analysis’ as only a BBC editor can.

    Maybe they should all be encouraged to stay on schools hols; it might eventually lead to a cuts, Cuts, CUTTTSSS! story they can ‘report’ on with some degree of knowledge.

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  3. TheGeneral says:

    Maybe the full statement goes something like this :-  
     
    “Hermes EOS is expected to develop policies on socially,ethically and environmentally responsible investing in Companies run by our mates and while this stratergy may not result in a return equivalent to the industry standard we will guarantee to maintain OUR remuneration at levels well above the industry standard while  operating a relax policy towards our expenses.” 

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  4. Umbongo says:

    BB

    As I’m sure you’re aware, pension funds instruct their managers on the strategy the fund wishes the managers to adopt.  Just because there is a list of managers as long as your arm doesn’t mean that each of the managers is following a different overarching strategy for the part of the fund for they have been given responsibility.  On the contrary, I think we can assume that this load of Islington-inspired corporate newspeak http://www.bbc.co.uk/mypension/sites/helpadvice/pages/responsible-investment.shtml forms a significant part of the BBCPF’s general instructions to all their managers concerning their investment strategies.

    What is happening is that the BBC is putting its employees money (well, let’s be frank here, the licence fee payers’ money) where its mouth is.  As you can see here http://www.bbc.co.uk/mypension/sites/helpadvice/pages/the-trustees.shtml the BBC + the BBC Trust have an inbuilt majority on the Board of Trustees of the BBCPF so there’s not much the employees can do to stop this greenie sub-Occupy London nonsense.

    Unfortunately for current BBC employees, the decrease in future benefits already forced by the existing £2 billion deficit in the BBCPF http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1290549/BBC-slashes-gold-plated-pension-scheme-bid-plug-2billion-blackhole.html will IMHO only be exacerbated by the continuing imposition of Hermes EOS type strategies.  Consequently, I think we can look forward to substantial unhappiness and unrest on the part of BBC pensioners and appropriate action against the BBCPF trustees in 20 or so years’ time when the mortally diseased chicken of the BBCPF’s oh-so-fashionable investment strategy comes home to roost.

    Regrettably, I expect that Black, Harrabin and Shukman will already be in receipt of the generous pensions the BBCPF is currently (just) able to afford.

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    • Bupendra Bhakta says:

      I agree that all this eco-fluff will not help the Fund one bit but if you look at the top 20 holdings it’s all a bit bog standard.  Oil companies, a miner, and *gasp* even a fag maker.

      I don’t really buy the thesis that the BBC’s eco-whackery presents much of a threat to BBC pensioners.  I think there are much better lines of attack on the BBC than this one.

      Vodafone  
      GlaxoSmithKline   
      AstraZeneca  
      BG Group   
      British American Tobacco  
      Baidu   
      Google   
      BP   
      Apple   
      Rio Tinto   
      Imperial Tobacco   
      BT Group  
      Roche Holding   
      Tencent Holdings  
      Royal Dutch Shell   
      Centrica   
      Ebay   
      Rolls Royce  
      Pinault Printemps
      Intuitive Surgical

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      • Umbongo says:

        As I commented to David Gregory (when he deigned to visit the deniers of B-BBC to show off to his chums in the BBC’s “science” department) like a super-tanker, a massive pension fund cannot be turned on a sixpence: it takes a generation to change comprehensively a pension fund’s investment profile.  The present profile of the BBCPF owes its shape to decisions made a generation ago, hence the investment in pretty sound stocks.  A generation from now, a fund heavily into “green” “sustainable” investments will look very threadbare indeed.

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        • Bupendra Bhakta says:

          it takes a generation to change comprehensively a pension fund’s investment profile

          *************************

          Nah.  You could change the bulk of it in a week.

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  5. Framer says:

    Little wonder the BBC Pension scheme is in serious deficit when it has to pay so many advisers so much.

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  6. Woodsy42 says:

    Sadly the BBC emplyees have no need to worry if their green pension investments fail. The licence fee will be used to simply bail the fund out.

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