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West Midlands pensions chief Drever to retire

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Geik Drever, strategic director of pensions at the UK’s West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF), is to retire at the end of September, the public sector scheme announced today.

The £14.3bn (€16bn) local government pension scheme (LGPS) is also set to lose its chief investment officer, Jason Fletcher. He is to move to LGPS Central, the £40bn asset pool of which West Midlands is a founding member.

Drever joined WMPF in 2012 after a 25-year career with Edinburgh council. In the Scottish capital Drever was the council’s chief accountant, before moving to run its pension scheme, the Lothian Pension Fund, in 2002.

Rachel Brothwood, WMPF’s director of pensions, will take over from Drever from 1 October 2017, the scheme said in a statement. She joined the fund in 2015 and has since led reviews of its administration, funding, and investment strategies.

Chair of the WMPF pensions committee, councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with one of the industry’s best known individuals. We wish Geik well in her retirement – she is a great colleague who will be sorely missed.”

Meanwhile, Fletcher is to leave WMPF after less than a year in order to lead the LGPS Central pool’s investment team. He joins Andrew Warwick-Thompson, LGPS Central’s CEO.

Since joining in September last year, Fletcher has played an active role in setting up LGPS Central, co-operating with senior staff at fellow LGPS funds for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire.

He also led a groundbreaking review of WMPF’s asset management costs, using a template developed by Chris Sier and now being adopted across the LGPS in England and Wales.

Fletcher joined WMPF after a 20-year career at the Universities Superannuation Scheme, where he was latterly deputy CIO. He has also worked at the British Airways Pension Fund.

Fletcher said: “Since joining the West Midlands Pension Fund I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the other partner funds of LGPS Central. I am delighted to have been offered one of the most exciting challenges within the industry, and to have been given the opportunity to work with our partner funds to deliver their objectives.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead and a very challenging timetable, but I am convinced that LGPS Central will be successful in its ambition of providing transparent, high quality, excellent value for money investment management services to its partner funds.”

WMPF is actively recruiting for its senior management team, although investment strategy implementation will pass from WMPF’s internal team to LGPS Central from April 2018.

Last week another LGPS pool – Brunel Pensions Partnership – announced the appointment of two staff from one of its founder members to its senior management team.

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