The UK’s National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has appointed industry veteran Mike Weston as chief executive of its Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PIP), shortly after his departure from the £2bn (£2.5bn) Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT).

Weston was previously in-house CIO at DMGT, responsible for strategy and performance of investments for the newspaper-house’s pension funds.

He joins the PIP with immediate effect after leaving DMGT – where he was in charge of investments for five years – earlier this year.

In his role at the PIP, Weston will be responsible for developing an investment programme, building an internal team and increasing the fund’s investor base to help reach the target size of £2bn.

Earlier this year, the PIP, co-created with the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), suffered a significant setback when three of the 10 founding investing pension funds left the initiative, citing cost and return issues.

The remaining seven investors each made soft commitments of £100m, of which more than £200m has already been invested by sole investment manager Dalmore Capital.

The PIP’s creation was beset by delays but will now run on a not-for-profit basis and expects to provide pension funds with access to infrastructure projects for fees around 50 basis points.

Weston’s appointment was praised by Chris Hitchen, chief executive at £18bn founding investor Railpen.

“This appointment is great news for the PIP, its founding investors and all future investors,” he said. “Mike’s expertise and focus will enable PIP to fulfil our vision.”

Joanne Segars, chief executive at the NAPF, said: “This is exactly the right time to appoint a chief executive, and Mike’s experience in leading pension scheme investments, including extensive investment in infrastructure, makes him ideally suited to this role.”

The PIP’s creation was backed by the central government.

Earlier this year, senior Treasury minister Danny Alexander called on pensions to invest more in national infrastructure, praising the PIP for its progress to date.