Brunel Pension Partnership has launched a £945 million private debt portfolio, targeting corporate direct lending strategies in Europe and North America.
The pensions pool has partnered with Aksia, a specialist research and advisory firm, in the hope of pushing the boundaries of responsible investment in direct lending.
The objective is to build a portfolio of private, corporate loans, diversified by sector and region. Private loans offer an attractive yield relative to the broadly syndicated market, with greater downside protection and a more hands-on approach from lenders.
Brunel will make between six and eight primary fund commitments to specialist direct lenders.
The vehicle has already made one primary commitment to a Europe-focused fund, ICG Senior Debt Partners IV and the second commitment, to a US-focused manager, is expected to follow soon.
“The attractions of this asset class for our clients are clear, but the challenges of implementation in this climate are clear, too,” said Richard Fanshawe, head of private markets at Brunel.
“We needed a partner, not just a manager and, in Aksia, we have both. Their very experienced team, extensive market coverage, and industry-leading risk and performance analytics will stand us in good stead to deliver to our clients’ exacting standards,” he added.