Railpen chief executive Peter Murray to retire

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UK – Peter Murray, chief executive of the 13 billion-pound (19.5 billion-euro) Railway Pension Trustee Company, is to retire in May.

Murray, 62, told IPE that he would stay on the trustee board and that he might consider some independent consulting work.

His successor as chief executive is believed to be Chris Hitchen, managing director of Railpen Investments, which manages the assets of the UK’s rail pension schemes.

Hitchen is also the incoming chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds’ investment council, a role Murray has held.

Murray added that the fund could be appointing hedge fund asset managers in the next few weeks.

The Railpen trustees have agreed in principle to allocated five per cent of the fund’s assets to hedge funds. This follows the BT Pension Fund’s decision to invest 500 million pounds, or two percent of its assets, in hedge funds.

The move by such a high-profile scheme may lead other funds into the asset class, observers said. An official at the Connect trade union, which represents 65% of BT’s workers, said: “We are happy with the way that the investments in the BT portfolio are managed at present.”

“Given that it‘s a small proportion of the overall fund, the union is supportive of the way the pension fund is run.”

Earlier this year Railpen hired Brendan Reville, former investment director at consultancy Gissings, as head of investment manager monitoring and research. Bruce Marsden was named as actuarial manager. Stephen Lowe was named head of investment strategy.

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