The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has appointed Michelle Ostermann as chief executive officer, succeeding Oliver Morley.

The PPF announced Morley’s departure to take up a new role as the CEO of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) back in October.

Ostermann will assume her new role on 1 April and will be based in London. Katherine Easter, currently chief people officer, will act as interim CEO until Ostermann joins in April.

Ostermann is the chair of the global pension industry association, International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM), and brings to the PPF more than 30 years of pension investment and senior leadership experience.

She also held several other senior positions at leading firms, notably as the managing director of Railpen Investments in the UK and most recently senior vice president and global head of capital markets at PSP Investments in Canada.

Michelle Ostermann, CEO PPF

Michelle Ostermann, PPF

The PPF was thrown into the limelight earlier this year with two separate proposals to use the fund as a public sector consolidator.

In May, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change published a report that set out the future of defined benefit (DB) schemes in the UK, suggesting that the PPF be turned into a superfund to boost investments into the UK economy.

Separately, the UK Treasury suggested that “struggling” DB schemes could choose to opt in to the PPF, which would likely provide full benefits to members of those schemes and potentially release sponsoring employers that were otherwise struggling to support those schemes.

The consultation on the PPF’s role as a public sector consolidator is currently underway.

Kate Jones, chair of the PPF, said: “We are delighted to welcome Michelle to the PPF as we navigate our next chapter.”

Jones said that Ostermann’s member-centric approach and fiduciary experience will help the PPF continue to play a pivotal role in safeguarding the futures of those who rely on the lifeboat, while also delivering for its levy payers and other key stakeholders.

Jones added that Ostermann’s vision, curiosity, knowledge, and transformative approach will be “invaluable” as the PFF continues to explore the possible expansion of its remit in support of the government’s economic plans for the UK.

Ostermann added that she has long admired the PPF’s astute approach to investing and its profound impact on the UK pension system.

She said: “It is both an honour and a privilege to now contribute to shaping its future.”

Ostermann said that in a pensions industry rife with challenges and opportunities, she believes the PPF is poised to play a critical role in defining the best practices and reshaping the UK pensions landscape, a prospect she “eagerly anticipates diving into”.

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