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DB consolidator Clara unveils trustees ahead of first deal

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Clara-Pensions, one of two emerging defined benefit (DB) consolidators in the UK, has picked the former chair of the country’s pension trade body and two other senior pension professionals as the first trustees of its independent governing board.

The formation of the government board was the first in a series of developments for the company as it planned to take on its first pension scheme – and thereby formally launch – later this year, according to a statement.

The trustee board will be responsible for governing the occupational pension scheme trust that Clara will set up to execute its stated purpose – to serve as a bridge to the insured market.

Incoming schemes would each become a section with the trust.

Commenting on the trustee appointments, Adam Saron, CEO of Clara-Pensions, said: “As Clara gets ready to welcome its first pension schemes and members, establishing our independent board of trustees is a key milestone.

“The collective experience of these trustees greatly enhances our ability to put members on a more secure path to a fully-insured future,” he added.

Alan Pickering, a well-known figure in UK pensions, has been selected as Clara’s first chair of trustees. He is the chairman of BESTrustees and a trustee of multiple pension schemes. Pickering is a former chair of the UK pensions trade body, when it was still called the National Association of Pension Funds, and has also served as a non-executive director of The Pensions Regulator.

Pickering said: “It is an honour to be asked to take this role since I have spent most of my life helping to fulfil pension promises. I now have an opportunity to help members and employers in a new way by delivering these promises clearly and cost-effectively.”

The other two trustees are Michael Chatterton and Frank Oldham.

Chatterton is managing director at Law Debenture, representing the firm on eight pension schemes. Previous roles include head of settlement solutions at what was Watson Wyatt, and chief executive of Black Mountain Group.

Oldman is client director of Independent Trustee Services (ITS) and a trustee director of the Marsh & McLennan Companies UK Pension Fund. Before joining ITS he was at Mercer, most recently as global leader of DB risk consulting and solutions.

The other DB consolidator in the UK market, The Pension SuperFund, recently lost its first CEO and head of origination. In a statement announcing their departures, the company said it expected to imminently announce the composition of its trustees and a range of senior appointments.

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