Border to Coast Pensions Partnership was the big winner from Pensions Expert and DG Publishing’s inaugural Innovation Awards. Other winners of Innovation Awards include Scottish Widows, Clara Pensions, Penny and Cardano.

The £40 billion Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pool won the LGPS Innovation category for an innovative new investment strategy, and later also took the Audience Award, voted on by delegates at the Investment Innovation Summit.

After a day of interesting and insightful discussions covering a wide range of topics, Pensions Expert editor Nick Reeve presented the five winners with their awards.

Delegates then voted on which they thought was the most innovative proposition from the five victors, with the LGPS pool narrowly pipping app-based tech company Penny to the Audience Award.

The winners were:

DB Innovation: Clara Pensions
Clara drew the judges’ praise for its transactions with the Sears and Debenhams pension schemes, with the latter in particular noted for having brought more than 10,400 members out of the Pension Protection Fund’s assessment period and restored full member benefits.

There were special mentions for the trustees of the Debenhams pension scheme and for Pension SuperHaven. The latter is a new concept designed to “turn DC pots into DB pensions” through the use of technology solutions.

DC Innovation: Scottish Widows
Scottish Widows developed the ‘Pension Mirror’ as an engagement tool to help users visualise their retirement and increase the use of its app so that more people used it to check their pension savings. In the judges’ view, increasing engagement with pension savings was a clear tangible impact achieved in a novel way.

LGPS Innovation: Border to Coast Pension Partnership
This was the most hotly contested category. The judges were impressed by the Environment Agency Pension Fund’s work to introduce natural capital as a new asset class within its investment strategy, and with the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority’s partnership with Royal London, transforming an agricultural property portfolio into a natural capital portfolio.

However, the judges felt that Border to Coast’s new strategy demonstrated an innovative approach to the demands of the pool’s underlying fund clients.

Scheme Technology Innovation: Penny
This was another close call, with Standard Life’s collaboration with Moneyhub drawing praise for the creation of Money Mindset – a technology platform that connects users’ financial products together in one place.

Penny, however, stood out for its use of artificial intelligence and automation technologies to help people track down more than £321m in lost pensions through an innovative mobile app.

Adviser Innovation: Cardano
There was a wide range of entries in this category covering investment strategies, governance approaches and climate reporting services. However, for our judges, Cardano’s artificial intelligence (AI) powered sponsor covenant monitoring and rating service Discover stood out.

The judges were also impressed by T Rowe Price’s ‘blue bonds’ concept. The US-based asset manager has been working with the World Bank and the IFC to develop an investment strategy focused on water solutions.


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Published: May 3, 2024
Home » Border to Coast bags two awards at Investment Innovation Summit

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