UK – Tony Watson, the former chief executive of Hermes Pension Management, has been appointed as chairman of the Marks & Spencer Pension Trust Ltd.

“Tony will take on the role with effect from April 1 2006,” the retailer said.

He’ll take over from interim chairman David Eyre, a retired member. Eyre has been in place since David Norgrove left to chair the Pensions Regulator.

Watson retired from Hermes in December to be succeeded by CalPERS’ Mark Anson. In November he joined the Witan Investment Trust as a non-executive director.

M&S chairman Paul Myners said: "This is excellent news for the scheme. We are delighted to attract someone of Tony's experience who will be invaluable in working with the trustee board to deal with the many investment, funding and legislative issues facing all trustees at the current time.

“Tony's appointment is consistent with the engagement I have been giving to increasing the professionalism of trustee work. I am personally delighted that he has been appointed as chairman by our trustees."

Watson said: "I am very pleased to take on this role as chairman of the trust. The scheme has over 130,000 members for whom current and future payments are a key element of their financial planning.

“However, there is an absolute need to safeguard the well-being and exposure of the scheme whilst also respecting shareholders' interests."

Hermes, owned by the BT Pension Scheme, has been in the news recently over a court case in Korea over alleged stock price manipulation.