UK – Richard Thomas, the former head of Law Debenture's pension fund trustee business, has joined pensions and life insurance services firm Higham Group.

The hire follows Higham’s appointment of former London Stock Exchange chief executive Peter Rawlins as chairman in June.

The company said the 60-year-old Thomas, who retired from Law Debenture in May, would assist chief executive Alan Higham on pensions growth strategy.

'We are delighted to have appointed Richard whose experience and standing within the pensions market place is universally respected,” Higham said. “His knowledge of the pensions sector and trustees' perspective will prove invaluable to our business as we look to continue our impressive growth.”

He added the firm expects to grow to over 400 staff by the end of 2004.

Thomas is a former president of the Association of Corporate Trustees and a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. He was replaced at Law Debenture by Eddie Thomas, an official said.

In July Law Debenture said the uncertainties surrounding company pension schemes “continue to provide opportunities for our pension trustee business and we expect the business to grow in response to concerns regarding the security of pension scheme benefits”.

It added: “We have had a strong flow of enquires in the current year. Our recent appointments have included the pension scheme of a speciality engineering company with scheme assets of over one billion pounds.”