Councillor recognised for pension fund work

A Northumberland County Councillor who has spent years supporting and improving local government pension provision has been recognised for his work.
Prudhoe South Councillor Tony Reid (pictured left with council chief executive Steven Mason) is Chairman of the County Council’s Pension Fund Panel, a role he has fulfilled for over 20 years during his time as member of council, since first elected in 1981.
Cllr Reid has now been named ‘Elected Member of the Year’ at this year’s LGC Investment Awards.

During his long service as Chairman and member of the Panel, he has made the considerable time commitment to meet the demands of the role, at first while working full time in his job at Newcastle Airport, and later while a full time councillor with other duties including Deputy Leader of the County Council, and currently in semi-retirement.  

His award nomination states Cllr Reid “robustly questions the Fund’s service providers, particularly the external investment managers, and is known for asking the questions no one else has thought of.  He has not shied away from difficult decisions.  He has also ensured that all members’ and observers’ views are heard and has been a champion of trade union representation on the Panel.”

His responsibilities as Chairman have changed beyond recognition during his tenure.  He presided over the Fund’s first major change in 1988, from a simple internally managed structure, investing in a small number of UK shares, to a structure with two external managers investing in property, bonds, and equities in the UK and overseas.  
More recently, he has taken an active and pivotal role in encouraging the North East LGPS funds to take a joined up approach to collaborating in the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership.
Cllr Reid said: “I’ve always had an interest in figures and even in my days working at the airport I was known as the worker who always had a copy of the Financial Times in his overall pocket.
“While our fund is technically small to medium size it still amounts to some £1bn and together with my colleagues we work to grow the fund and make it more successful for our members - it’s a great example of cross-party cooperation.
“I’m honoured to be recognised at a national level and will continue to work as we look to move into the Border and Coast Pensions Partnership which involves 12 local authorities and has a combined fund of £35bn.”

Council Chief Executive Steven Mason said: “This is a very well-deserved honour for Tony who has worked tirelessly over the years and has shown extraordinary dedication to the Local Government Pension Scheme.”
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