LGPS Central, the company set up to manage £40bn (€47bn) of assets being pooled by nine Midlands-based UK public pension funds, has appointed Joanne Segars as its non-executive chair.

Segars will leave the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) in June after more than 10 years of service as its chief executive. Her position as chair of LGPS Central will contribute to the “portfolio career” she is intending to build.

LGPS Central said she would quickly start helping the company fill key executive and non-executive positions.

The company is also looking to appoint two non-executive directors, a chief executive officer, a chief investment officer and a joint chief operating officer/chief financial officer. It opened the search for a CEO in January alongside that for the chair, and has recently launched the search for a CIO.

LGPS Central will seek authorisation as a regulated alternative investment fund manager by the 1 April 2018 deadline set by the government for pools to be established.

In a statement, Councillor Reg Adair, chair of Nottinghamshire Pension Fund Committee and chair of the recruitment panel, said Segar’s appointment was a major step for LGPS Central.  

“Investment pooling of the England/Wales LGPS funds is a government initiative that has a very ambitious timetable,” he said. “The nine funds have worked extremely closely for the last 18 months and huge progress has been made in that time. It is now time to turn all the planning and design into a tangible investment management company that will be capable of successfully delivering the investment requirements of the funds within an authorised investment environment.”

Securing Segar as chair was “both an endorsement of the work that has already been done by the funds and a clear signal that the pension and investment community is supportive and engaged in what LGPS pooling is looking to achieve,” he added.

Segars said: “Pooling presents a real opportunity to deliver effective and innovative investment approaches that will benefit scheme members, participating employers and administering authorities.”

The nine funds forming LGPS Central are the pension schemes for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands (including West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority), and Worcestershire.

The Brunel partnership, another collaboration of LGPS funds, recently appointed Denise Le Gal as independent chair.