IPE AWARDS - Readers of IPE and IPE.com have awarded Chris Verhaegen, secretary general of the European Federation of Retirement Provision (EFRP), the prize for Outstanding Industry Contribution.

From a list of nominees drawn up using suggestions from the pensions industry, Verhaegen was short-listed along with Penny Green, chief executive of the Superannuation

Arrangements of the University of London, and professor Klaus Heubeck, one of the most prominent actuaries in Europe.

The Outstanding Industry Contribution prize is one of only two awards decided on by IPE and IPE.com readers.

IPE said Verhaegen had not only been a "source of knowledge for all concerned with occupational pensions at a European level", but had made the EFRP the "leading industry voice for Europe".

Accepting the prize at the tenth annual IPE Awards in Monaco, Verhaegen was clearly touched and reiterated that the EFRP would continue to help "steer the pension industry through difficult times".

In the organisation's annual report, Verhaegen noted that the organisation stood ready to "bring in the views of pension providers that withstood the financial storm fairly well" into the debate on budgetary constraints in many member states.

After working for the Belgian Pension Funds Association for nine years, she joined the EFRP - which represents 26 member organisations in some 19 countries - as its permanent representative in Brussels in 1997.

In early November, Patrick Burke, director of Dublin-based Irish Life Investment Managers, was elected chairman of the EFRP.