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UK regulator’s policy chief to lead £40bn public pension pool

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A £40bn (€47.4bn) pooling project for nine UK public pension funds has hired a senior regulator as its first CEO.

Andrew Warwick-Thompson will leave his role as executive director for regulatory policy at The Pensions Regulator (TPR) in July to lead LGPS Central, one of eight asset pools created by the UK’s local government pension schemes (LGPS).

In a statement released today, LGPS Central said Warwick-Thompson would work with Joanne Segars – the newly appointed non-executive chair of the pool – to appoint the rest of senior management team.

Segars – who will next month step down as chief executive of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, the UK’s pension fund trade body – said the appointment was “a significant step forward” for LGPS Central.

“I am excited about the prospect of working closely with Andrew to build LGPS Central into an organisation that can surpass the expectations of the [member] funds,” Segars said. “Their commitment and unity has already progressed what is a very complex project in a very short space of time. I look forward to working with Andrew to develop that further.”

Warwick-Thompson said: “I am a firm believer in the benefits of asset pooling, and look forward to ensuring that LGPS Central can deliver both the economies of scale and the investment performance expected by the participating funds.

“I am looking forward to this exciting challenge and to completing the appointment of the remainder of my executive management team. Together we will work to make LGPS Central a successful and responsible investor.”

Warwick-Thompson joined TPR in 2013. He was previously a partner at Aon Hewitt, and has also chaired the pension trustee board of Mencap, a UK charity.

Lesley Titcomb, TPR chief executive, said: “I want to congratulate Andrew on his new role and wish him all the best for the future. I know he will demonstrate the same energy and commitment we have benefited from at TPR over the last few years. We have a dedicated and expert team at TPR who will continue to shape policy which helps to protect members of workplace pension schemes.”

LGPS Central will combine the assets of the pension funds for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands Pension Fund (including West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority), and Worcestershire.

The deadline for the pools to be up and running is April 2018.

IPE analysed the eight pools’ bids and the journey still ahead of them in January – read more here.

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