EUROPE – Philip Lambert, Unilever's global pensions chief and chairman of the investment committee, is to retire within the next two months.

London-based Lambert was a “key figure” in the development of the €2.5bn Unilever pension asset pooling vehicle Univest, said a Unilever spokesperson.

He added that Lambert’s retirement would have no impact on the pooling vehicle, which was set up in December 2005.

In January 2005 Walter Schapendonk - chief investment officer of the €3.3bn Dutch-based Unilever Progress scheme - quit following plans to pool the scheme’s equity assets, which account for 60% of assets.

Lambert has been head of global pensions since 1994 and employed at the scheme for roughly 30 years.

The spokesperson told IPE he would retire in April/May but no date has yet been announced. Furthermore, no successor has been named yet.

IPE also understands that Unilever UK pension fund financial controller John Wilcock, 55, will retire shortly after 14 years at the scheme.

Michael Normington of the British Steel Pension Fund has recently been named Wilcock’s successor, but no further details could be given.

The roughly €6bn UK scheme has 10,000 employee members, 43,000 deferred members and 48,000 pensioners.