UK – Peter Thompson, former Mercer HRC worldwide partner and ex-National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) chairman, has been appointed to the board of BESTrustees as director.

Thompson – an actuary with some 30 years of pensions experience – joined BESTrustees in April 2005 as an associate.

Thompson told IPE that this is a new position on the board, and that his new responsibilities are still to be confirmed.

He added that BESTrustees is taking on several new clients, and that there are plans to expand the number of associates. Thompson’s successor has not yet been named.

Before becoming an independent trustee, he spent 25 years with Mercer HRC in its actuarial and investment consultant practices.

Thompson, 53, was chairman of the NAPF from 2001 to 2003.

Commenting on the appointment, BESTrustees managing director Clive Gilchrist stated: “By further strengthening our board, we can promote the role of the independent trustee, while continuing our work with clients, to make sure that they are equipped to meet the challenges ahead.”

In other news, Old Mutual Asset Managers (OMAM) UK has appointed two former Millennium Capital Management fund managers to launch a statistical arbitrage hedge fund.

Paul Simpson and John Dow will join OMAM’s quantitative strategies team headed by Eoin Murray.

According to OMAM, the appointments are part of a plan to develop its team and strategies in the wake of its global equity market neutral strategy reaching $1.8bn in assets under management.

Simpson and Dow were joint managers of Millennium’s statistical arbitrage programme. Their previous employers have included investment managers and HSBC, UBS and Rabobank.

OMAM’s new statistical arbitrage fund, with a focus on European equities, will be launched later this year. There are also plans to launch a long/short fund selecting global stocks, which will be managed by the quantitative strategies team.