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London pension fund CEO Scales to retire

UK – Peter Scales, chief executive of the roughly £3.5bn (€5bn) London Pension Fund Authority, is to retire on December 31.

The LPFA is one of the UK’s largest administering authorities of the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Scales, 57, has been CEO of the LPFA for more than 15 years. He’s a well-known figure within the industry and a regular conference speaker.

A successor has not yet been appointed, Scales told IPE. However, the position will be advertised later in April for internal as well as external applications.

“We are working on a three-month handover period,” he said.

According to an LPFA statement, a headhunting firm has been hired to carry out the search. The LPFA hopes to make its choice by the summer.

Scales will not continue at the LPFA in an informal or advisory capacity following his retirement.

While he currently has no immediate plans following his departure, he said: “I hope to take on some trustee or advisory roles if possible.”

Scales fulfils numerous other roles linked to his current position. These include: chairman of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change; chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Pension Fund Investment Forum; chairman of the NAPF Local Authority Forum; a trustee of the Life Academy; a member of the Steering Committee of the Marathon Club; and a member of the CIPFA Pensions Panel.

“Apart from the Life Academy, these are all related to my position at LPFA and I would therefore retire in that capacity,” he said.

Scales has been CEO of the LPFA since its inception in 1990, and played a pivotal role in setting up the organisation, according to an LPFA statement.

The value of the fund at 31 March 1990 was £1.6bn. There were 66,647 members and approximately 200 employers, Scales told IPE.

Today, the fund has assets close to £3.5bn, and provides administration services for more than 150,000 members, including eight third party pension arrangements.

“I am fairly relaxed about retiring and looking forward to more flexibility and different challenges,” said Scales.

“The future of the LPFA is looking pretty good. The worst of the funding issues have been tackled though still to be solved long term; there is a new investment strategy which promises to deliver excellent returns; the staff are in good shape and we are looking to grow the business.”

According to LPFA board chairman Neil Newton, Scales’ retirement has been on the cards for “some time” and “we have been planning for this in a number of ways”, he said

Recent changes to the senior management team have separated the organisation into two areas: investment management and pensions administration.

“This will allow us to manage and develop both areas separately,” said Newton.

“It is now up to us to continue Peter's good work and strive to make LPFA even more successful.”

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