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NAPF governance advisor Lindey to leave

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UK - Geoff Lindey, strategic advisor on corporate governance at the National Association of Pension Funds, is to leave.

"We are in the final stages of agreeing the appointment of a highly experienced and well-regarded successor," said NAPF spokesman Andy Fleming. Lindey will stay until his successor begins, probably in the spring.

He added: "Having retired from JP Morgan in 2003, Geoff is now hoping to retire properly this time."

Lindey joined the association in April 2003 on a part-time basis with a three-pronged remit.

This included work on the start-up of RREV, the NAPF's proxy voting venture with Institutional Shareholder Services, overseeing a new NAPF corporate governance policy and re-establish the facility for case committees. "All have been achieved," Fleming said.

Meanwhile, the NAPF has released a survey revealing further evidence that UK schemes moved away from equities in 2005.

Its new Annual Survey showed that 30% of schemes reduced their exposure to equities – with 25% increasing their bond holdings.

"These findings add to the growing body of evidence that pension funds are becoming more risk-averse in their investment patterns,” said chief executive Christine Farnish.

"There are a variety of factors at work here, including greater longevity, lower interest rates, new accounting standards and a tighter regulatory climate.

“This combination of developments is leading UK pension funds to steer away from traditionally higher risk investments, like equities, and towards "safer" options in order to match their liabilities more effectively.

“Schemes had also increased their investment in property (13%) and alternatives, such as hedge funds and commodities (11%),” the NAPF added. The association also said that the mean solvency level is 82.5%.

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