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Willis Towers Watson launches new fund after SIF hits GBP1bn

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Willis Towers Watson has launched the Towers Watson Euro Secure Income Fund (ESIF) after the Towers Watson Secure Income Fund (SIF) reached GBP1 billion of commitments.

SIF, which is available to Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes in the UK, was launched in March 2017 to meet institutional demand for a product offering long-term sustainable income and which could help alleviate liability mismatch.
 
The new ESIF is designed to help Euro-denominated pension funds access secure income assets and is available to investors in Europe and elsewhere. It will allocate its investments across Europe, principally focusing on the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, France and Spain.
 
The ESIF marks a continuation of Willis Towers Watson’s commitment to developing strategies designed to provide stable returns during periods of higher volatility. Like the SIF, it will invest across low risk, cash generative strategies in infrastructure, real estate and real asset debt through funds, joint ventures, co-investments, secondary deals and more.
 
A critical element of the SIF’s success has come through sustainable investing, a commitment to which the ESIF will retain. The investment team identifies opportunities which will make a demonstrable positive societal and environmental impact alongside strong financial returns, such as social housing, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, which all feature in the fund.
 
Among the SIF’s real estate investments, for example, are properties specifically designed for people with physical or mental disabilities, as well as emergency accommodation, which was added to the fund in Q3 of 2018.
 
Duncan Hale (pictured), Portfolio Manager at Willis Towers Watson for the SIF and ESIF, says: “We launched our Secure Income Fund to give pension schemes access to a strategy that was cash-flow generative, allowing them to more effectively match their liabilities, but that also had sustainable investment at its core.”
 
“After two years, we’re delighted by the interest that the Fund has generated and we’re looking forward to broadening access to this approach through the launch of the Euro Secure Income Fund.”

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