One of a new breed of vehicles set up to consolidate the billions of pounds held in defined benefit pension schemes is in talks with prospective investors about a substantial fundraising.
Sky News has learnt that Clara-Pensions, which was set up in 2018, is seeking to raise hundreds of millions of pounds in additional capital.
City sources said on Wednesday that the tranche of new funding would not come from Sixth Street Partners, a former affiliate of the global investment firm TPG.
TPG Sixth Street Partners, as it was then known, committed an initial £225m to Clara-Pensions in December 2018, and said that figure could rise to £500m “as Clara grows to scale”.
It is understood that Sixth Street remains committed to investing that £275m of further funding once Clara-Pensions has been authorised by watchdogs.
That would be in addition to other new investors with which it is now in discussions to raise between £200m and £300m.
Clara has said it wants to consolidate £5bn of pension liabilities within five years.
Industry insiders say that Clara and the Pension Superfund, founded by the City financier Edi Truell, are close to being approved by The Pensions Regulator, which will enable them to start consolidating retirement schemes.
Clara’s model is expected to see it acting as a bridge by taking on pension schemes with the aim of selling them onto a specialist insurer within about a decade.
The idea behind such superfunds is that they offer more certainty to pension scheme members because they are part of a larger, dedicated organisation with expert managers and the capital required to meet pension obligations.
Examples of prominent companies whose pension schemes could end up being consolidated by superfunds include Thomas Cook, which collapsed into liquidation last autumn, and Debenhams, the struggling department store chain.
Clara and Sixth Street declined to comment.