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BT Pension Scheme – Interview


What impact have the events of the past year had on your investment portfolio? We did an exercise at the end of 2019, which involved some serious stress test- ing across our portfolio. What I like about these playbooks is that when you have an event, you know what you are going to do and when you are going to do it. While our scenarios did not include a pandemic, we did look at a serious sell-off in growth assets and how we would react to that. When the pandemic hit, we were in a pretty good place. Of course, the assets


were volatile, but over the past five years we have taken a lot of risk out of the scheme and constructed a fairly defensive portfolio. It is fair to say that the portfolio behaved as we expected it to, which is a good start.


As events unfolded, we used our playbook and crystallised value off some of the hedges we had in place and were able to buy some discounted credit assets in March and April last year. Our private credit managers also bought assets, which have generally performed pretty well since.


To summarise, it was volatile, but our port- folio performed as expected and we were able to put some of our plans to work.


Did you reduce exposure to growth assets due to the relative maturity of the pension scheme or because of your investment outlook?


What drives that de-risking is the maturity of the scheme and where our plans are for the next 10 to 15 years. But we also use the markets and our views on the markets to help


set the path of that de-risking.


Issue 102 | April 2021 | portfolio institutional | 15


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