Sainsbury’s gets new pensions head

UK - David Brennan has been appointed as head of pensions at the £2.1bn (€3.1bn) pension fund of UK supermarket retailer J.Sainsbury.

Brennan joined the Sainsbury group last Monday, having previously been benefits director at UK bingo giant Rank Group, to replace Stuart Stephens, he told IPE today.

Stephens took the job of pension fund manager in October last year, but left again in June.

His arrival is accompanied by a further announcement today revealing Sainsbury has also hired Paul Kessell, joining from the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA), as investment controller.

Earlier this year, IPE reported the fund had cut its deficit to just £55m (€80.3m) in its last financial year through a £240m cash injection, and by revising the terms under which members take tax-free cash.

According to the company's results for the year ending March 24 2007, J.Sainsbury made two cash injections to its pension fund in 2006 in a bid to plug the £431m pension deficit - one in March 2006 worth £110m but recognised in its 2005 figures, and a second in May worth £240m and accountable to the 2006 results.

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