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UK roundup: Railpen scheme director to retire

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The managing director of the £28bn (€31.7bn) industry pension scheme for the UK’s railway sector is to retire at the end of June, the fund has announced.

David Maddison has worked for the pension scheme for 30 years, including spells as deputy CEO and latterly managing director for scheme operations.

He was also part of the senior management team that implemented an extensive overhaul of the scheme’s investment strategy, including an insourcing programme and a strategic shift away from asset class silos.

Maddison was appointed to the trustee board of The People’s Pension last year.

In a statement, RPMI Railpen said: “During his 30 years with the business, his commitment and passionate leadership have played a critical role in the development of RPMI over that period, always with the clear aim of improving the ways in which RPMI services it customers and delivers the Railways Pension Scheme trustee mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

RPMI chairman Babloo Ramamurthy said Maddison would be “greatly missed” at the pension fund and the wider industry.

John Chilman, chairman of Railways Pensions Trustee Company, added: “We would all like to thank David for his long and dedicated service to RPMI, helping to shape the Railways Pension Scheme both during and after the privatisation of the railways industry.

“His contribution to the scheme and our industry has been enormous.”

Last month, Railpen announced its CEO Phil Willcock had resigned after less than a year at the helm to take up a role in the insurance industry.

LGPS fund awards £443m global equity mandate

Hampshire Pension Fund has awarded a global equities mandate worth roughly £443m to US asset manager Dodge & Cox.

The £6.6bn fund, part of the UK’s Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), awarded Dodge & Cox a one-year rolling contract to oversee 6.7% of Hampshire’s investment portfolio.

The short-term nature of the contract reflected the ongoing process of pooling LGPS investments into larger vehicles, according to a contract award notice published earlier this month.

Hampshire is part of the £42bn ACCESS pool, which recently appointed M&G and Longview to run global equity mandates. However, the funds are not yet available for investment.

PIC insures supermarket pension scheme in £425m deal

Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has completed an insurance buy-in for the Somerfield Pension Scheme worth £425m.

Chris Martin, chairman of the scheme’s trustee board, said the deal was “the result of many years of hard work” on a long-term de-risking strategy across multiple pension schemes sponsored by the Co-operative Group (Co-op). The Co-op bought Somerfield in 2008.

Mitul Magudia, head of business development at PIC, added that the deal was expected to be “the first of many significant transactions by insurers in 2019”.

PIC wrote £7.1bn of new business with 30 pension schemes in 2018.

Tom Scott, principal consultant in Aon’s Risk Settlement Group, and who advised on the transaction, said: “The transaction… reflects the vibrant bulk annuity market, but also the preparedness of the scheme, which is a vital factor in ensuring that insurers focus on a particular transaction over the many other opportunities brought to them.”

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