UK – Christine Farnish, chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), will step down at the start of October to become public policy director at Barclays.

Farnish – appointed CEO in July 2002 - has strengthened the NAPF’s reputation as the leading voice in workplace pensions, and substantially grown its membership base, the trade body said.

“I am very disappointed that she is going. She has been a breath of fresh air, and been instrumental in turning us round to a much more successful organisation,” NAPF chairman Robin Ellison told IPE.

“But her new job is a fantastic job, and I don’t blame her for grabbing the opportunity,” he continued.

In her new role, Farnish will lead Barclays’ public policy capability internationally, and she will also be in charge of a team. She reports to group director of corporate affairs Stephen Whitehead.

Farnish takes over the role from Mike Davis, who is retiring after several years at the bank and roughly five years in the position as public policy director. There will not be a transition period.

“I have been privileged to lead the NAPF at such a crucial time for pensions and I am proud of what we have achieved,” Farnish said in a statement.

“I will be very sad to leave but pleased that I will be leaving the legacy of a strong team and a healthy budget. The NAPF is well placed to go from strength to strength as the UK’s foremost pensions organisation.”

Prior to her appointment at the NAPF, Farnish was director of the consumer division at the Financial Services Authority.

According to Ellison, the NAPF has a succession plan, which it will implement.

“We’re going through due process, and I’m confident that within the not too distant future we’ll be able to make an announcement,” he said, adding that a successor could be named in October or a bit before.