Productive Finance Working Group

The industry-led Group aims to develop practical solutions to the barriers to investing in long-term, less liquid assets.

What is the Productive Finance Working Group?

The industry-led Productive Finance Working Group aimed to develop practical solutions to the barriers to investing in long-term, less liquid assets. The Group was convened in November 2020 by the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority. Having accomplished its objectives, the Group was closed in April 2023.

Low interest rates and relatively slow economic growth, by historic standards, have increased the challenge for savers in terms of returns on their investments. One way to achieve higher returns, net of cost, is to invest in longer-term, less liquid assets, managed appropriately.

Investment in such assets, including productive finance assets, could also benefit the wider economy. It can support the supply of long-term capital, financial stability and the transition to net zero. Examples of productive assets include research and development, technology, and infrastructure.


In September 2021, the Working Group has published a report including recommendations that will create an environment in which defined contribution (DC) schemes and other investors can benefit from the appropriate long-term opportunities. These recommendations fall into four categories, requiring action from both industry and official sector:

  1. Shifting the focus to long-term value for DC pension scheme members 
  2. Building scale in the DC market
  3. A new approach to liquidity management
  4. Widening access to less liquid assets

In response to the recommendations in the 2021 report, the Working Group has produced a suite of materials on the key considerations around investment in less liquid assets for trustees, employers, consultants and other key DC scheme decision makers. These materials, published in November 2022, include:

  • A series of guides aiming to raise awareness of such key considerations around investing in less liquid assets as value for money, performance fees, liquidity management, fund structures, Long-Term Asset Fund (LTAF) legal guide, and due diligence.
  • Within the same document, outputs by investment and employee-benefit consultants, including a joint commitment statement to shift the focus from cost to value, an accompanying list of key principles for consultants, and a call to action for DC investment platforms to evolve their processes and systems to support investment in less liquid assets.
  • Additionally, the Group has also been producing model constitutional documents for the LTAF, to help streamline the legal process and to raise awareness of the key aspects of this new fund structure. The model documents can be found on the websites of some of the trade association members of the Working Group below.

These materials and further information could be found on the websites of the Working Group members, including Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, Association of British Insurers, Association of Investment Companies, Alternative Investment Management Association, British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, Investment Association, TheCityUK, as well as several individual member institutions. 

A recording of the launch webinar is also available.

Media and other coverage can be found, for example, in Pensions Expert, Professional Pensions, Pensions Age, and in market participants’ blogs and articles (e.g., by LCP and Simmons & Simmons). 

Working Group information

In May 2021, John Glen, Andrew Bailey and Nikhil Rathi, the co-chairs of the Working Group, gave an interim update on its progress.

In December 2021 the Working Group started work to take forward the recommendations in its Report. As part of this, the Group has reviewed its membership, in line with the membership criteria published below. In particular, given the nature and the target audience of the recommendations in the Report, the Group sought to strengthen the representation of pension schemes, and investment and employee-benefit consultants, to improve the overall expertise, representativeness and diversity of the Working Group. Revised terms of reference and membership list for the Working Group can be found below.

You can download the Working Group’s terms of reference, membership criteria, and membership list below.


To contact the Working Group, please email its Secretariat at and

This page was last updated 17 May 2023