Bfinance consultant joins BAE Systems Pension Scheme

Vikram Aggarwal has joined the £8.9 billion scheme as investment manager, alternatives, PERE has learned.

One of the most highly rated UK-based real estate and alternatives consultants has joined BAE Systems Pension Scheme.

Vikram Aggarwal has joined the £8.9 billion (€10.4 billion; $13.8 billion) pension as investment manager, alternatives, having left his most recent employer of three years, bfinance. In his new role, Aggarwal will focus on real estate, infrastructure and other private investments such as timber, farmland and shipping. Traditional private equity investments, however, will be managed by his colleague, Jackie Canner.

He joined BAE Systems Pension Scheme earlier this month having worked for London-based bfinance since January 2010 where he undertook search and advisory projects relating to private asset classes; real estate, infrastructure and private equity for institutional clients in the UK, continental Europe, Canada and the Middle East.

Prior to that he worked at HSBC from 2003 to 2008, where he was part of a team that advised on unlisted real estate funds totaling around £2 billion in commitments. He also worked as an advisor to HSBC Bank Pension Trust on its £1 billion direct real estate portfolio and co-founded the HSBC Real Estate Multi-manager team. In June 2011 he figured in a feature published by PERE magazine called “Super senior advice” highlighting young gun consultants as well as senior advisors that have operated in the industry for decades.

BAE Systems Pension Scheme is based in Crawley in England, and has 7.4 percent of assets allocated to property according to its latest annual review published in September 2012. Of that, around £800 million is held in common investment funds, £628 million in pooled investment vehicles and £662 million in direct property.

It is one of 10 funds that have signed up as an investor to the UK's Pensions Infrastructure Platform that was launched by the National Association of Pension Funds and the Pension Protection Fund to ramp up infrastructure projects and at the same time offer an easier route for pension funds to gain access to projects that can be a good match for pension fund liabilities.

David Adam, chief investment officer, said in the annual review that the performance of financial assets continued to be volatile with equity markets initially rallying before declining again on concerns of political fragmentation and recessionary conditions across Europe.

UK equities make up 26.3 percent of assets; overseas equities 20 percent; and government bonds 10.6 percent.