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UK roundup: TPR, Carrington Wire, Railpen, BNP Paribas, PIC

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The UK Pensions Regulator (TPR) has followed an £8.5m (€11.9m) settlement for the Carrington Wire Defined Benefit Pension Scheme with a contribution notice (CN) to an individual involved in the sale of the sponsor.

Russian outfit Severstal purchased Yorkshire-based Carrington Wire in 2006, but after informing the trustees it would wind down the business in 2010 while honouring the guarantee to the scheme, it sold the business for £1 to a shell company owned by Richard Williams only informing the trustees and TPR after.

Severstal and another Russian firm reached a settlement for their involvement in the scheme earlier this year.

As a result, a further CN worth £382,136 has now been made against Richard Williams.

The guarantee provided to the scheme from Severstal was no longer valid after Williams bought the company, leading to the regulator launching legal proceedings against Williams after he inherited £400,000 of working capital in the business.

Executive director for defined benefit regulation, Steven Soper, said the latest case demonstrated the regulator’s stance on pursuing targets.

TPR said the latest CN, alongside its £8.5m settlement, will still not be sufficient to avoid the scheme entering the PPF and it will continue its entry assessment.

Elsewhere, the EC De Witt & Company Pension Scheme has completed a £17m transation with Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC), shifting the schemes liabilities to the insurer in a buyout.

The deal was arranged after the scheme’s sponsoring employer, E.C. DeWitt & Company, a Liverpool-based pharmaceutical company, stopped trading in 2011 after it was sold to a private equity firm.

The scheme’s sole trustee, Steve Southern, said the transaction was completed within the time frame thanks to PIC’s flexibility and adviser support.

Southern was advised by Mercer and Mitchell Consulting Actuaries.

Finally, RMPI Railpen, the asset manager for the Railways Pension Scheme, has selected BNP Paribas Dealing Services to manage its dealing activity.

The £21bn asset manager runs investments in-house and needed a dealing agent to execute transactions on behalf of the scheme.

BNP Paribas will now provide the manager with access to capital markets, executing deals and sourcing liquidity across the different asset classes.

Rchit Sharma, senior investment manager at RPMI Railpen, said French bank’s platform will help the scheme’s investment process in the long-run and it would benefit from the firm’s track record and wide transaction client base.

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