The parent company of UK master trust provider The People’s Pension has appointed Nico Aspinall to the newly created role of chief investment officer in anticipation of rapid growth of funds under management.

He will be responsible for the investment strategy of The People’s Pension and the other asset pools within B&CE, which had £2.9bn (€3.7bn) of assets under management as at the end of March 2016.

A spokesperson told IPE that B&CE had from the outset planned to strengthen its investment capability over time. As it was expecting rapid growth it said it was the right time to bring in a CIO to lead the investment strategy team and drive the investment strategy.

The independent trustee board will continue to make the investment strategy decisions, and investment management will continue to be with State Street Global Advisors.

As founder and administrator of The People’s Pension, B&CE will work closely with the trustees to help develop the investment strategy.

Aspinall ran his own consultancy before joining B&CE, which he set up after leaving Willis Towers Watson in 2016. He was head of defined contribution (DC) investment consulting at Willis Towers Watson in the UK for four years.

He was head of DC and communications for the Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund before joining Willis Towers Watson.

Aspinall was chair of the resource and environment board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries until July, where he worked to raise the profile of climate change as a consideration for the actuarial profession.

Patrick Heath-Lay, CEO at B&CE, said Aspinall brought with him “impressive experience” of creating and implementing investment strategies within the DC market. This would allow B&CE and The People’s Pension “to maximise the effectiveness of our assets and crucially, improve investment outcomes for the group and its members”.

Aspinall said: “I am delighted to be joining B&CE, which offers the rare opportunity of working in a not-for-profit environment, to influence the shape of the DC industry, and all dedicated to the benefit of millions of members.”

The People’s Pension is the largest private sector multi-employer pension scheme in the UK, with 3 million members and over 65,000 employers. It was created for auto-enrolment. 

NOW: Pensions, another UK DC master trust provider, recently named Troy Clutterbuck as interim chief executive officer to replace Morten Nilsson, who led the firm since its launch in 2011.