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Desfossés to leave €30bn French public service pension fund

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Philippe Desfossés, the chief executive of ERAFP, France’s €30bn public service pension fund, is due to leave the scheme in December, a spokeswoman has confirmed.

He has held the post since 2008. 

The decision to appoint a successor to Desfossés is understood to have been announced at a meeting of the pension fund’s board of trustees at the end of June.

The chief executive officer at ERAFP is appointed jointly by the government ministers for public service, the budget and social security. 

The spokeswoman for ERAFP, which manages the mandatory pension scheme for around 4.5m civil servants, said it did not yet have official information about Desfossés’ replacement but his departure had been confirmed.

Desfossés’ appointment was last renewed in 2013. IPE understands he had indicated wanting to continue in the role beyond 2018. 

His departure comes at a time of a sweeping pensions reform in France. The government wants to establish a universal system to replace the country’s many mandatory retirement schemes – there are more than 40 – and is currently laying the groundwork for this by way of an extensive consultation process being led by Jean Paul Delevoye, the high commissioner for the pension reform.

ERAFP, which is a fully funded scheme in a predominantly pay-as-you-go system, comes under this reform and is supposed to be absorbed by the universal system.

The government is also reforming private pensions savings within the framework of the “Pacte” law, which was adopted by the lower house of parliament earlier this month.

Desfossés has been a strong advocate of responsible investment and the need for pension funds to take account of climate change. He has been vice chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change since 2016.

He started his career in the French treasury, within the ministry of economy and finance, but also has private sector experience. He worked at AXA Group from 1998 to 2006 and then at Eli Lilly France.

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