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Merchant Navy alters course on 'no chief exec'

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  • Merchant Navy alters course on 'no chief exec'

UK - The £3.2bn (€4.3bn) Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF) has appointed Andrew Waring as its new chief executive.

Waring will join MNOPF on March 1 2008 from Benfield Group where he was previously the chief operating officer for Benfield Advisory and Benfield Corporate Risk, and group head of compensation, pensions and benefits.

Prior to joining Benfield Group, Waring spent 13 years with the specialist pensions and investment provider NPI, where he qualified as an actuary and held a variety of positions at NPI Asset Management covering investment, marketing and performance measurement.

The scheme, which has 500 participating employers and a total membership exceeding 50,000, said the appointment confirmed the trustees' commitment to ensure the MNOPF "continues to work with the industry and government on the particular challenges facing industry-wide, multi-employer pension schemes".

Peter McEwen, chairman of MNOPF, added: "The trustees are delighted that Andrew will be leading the MNOPF executive through the significant strategic challenges facing the pension fund. Andrew brings a breadth of business, pensions and investment experience from both the perspective of employer and pension provider."

The MNOPF has not had a chief executive since Geoffrey Henry retired after 20 years service in July 2004.

At the time, the MNOPF said Peter Greenwood, director of pensions, and Alick Stevenson, director of investments, would take on the duties and both report to the chairman of trustees.  (See earlier IPE story: Merchant Navy scheme CEO retires after revamp)

McEwen said as the structure of the fund had changed in 2004 there was not seen to be a need for the role, however given the "growing complexity" of both the fund and the general pensions industry, he told IPE "really we need more resources to deal with the strategic issues as the fund has its own challenges".

The 2007 MNOPF annual report revealed while the old section of the fund, for members between 1938-78, had a surplus of £97m, the last actuarial valuation for March 31 2006 showed the newer section of the fund, for members joining from 1978 to 1996 when the second scheme closed, had a deficit of £151m.

However, an annual funding update carried out by Watson Wyatt to March 31 2007 revealed the surplus in the old section had reduced to £69m, following a 4% bonus and the impact of investment returns, while the deficit in the new section fell to £103m.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email nyree.stewart@ipe.com

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