Ex-Boots pension chief sets up consultancy

UK – The former head of corporate finance at retailer Boots - the man responsible for the company pension fund’s controversial move into a long bond portfolio – is to set up his own consultancy firm.

John Ralfe confirmed newspaper reports that he is to set up his own firm. He left Boots at the end of 2002.

The reports were “absolutely” true, Ralfe said. He declined to provide any further details about the new venture, saying more information would be made available within three to four weeks.

He was quoted as saying by the Financial Times that Boots is around 700 million pounds (one billion euros) better off as a result of the high-profile switch into bonds.

Boots was named joint leader in the second annual IPE awards in Amsterdam last year, with the judges praising its “outstanding courage and leadership” for the portfolio switch.

As Ralfe told IPE in an interview last year: “The fund has turned conventional pension fund wisdom on its head. The cult of the equity has been has been embedded in UK and US fund thinking, for a generation.”

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