UK - The 14 billion-pound (20.8 billion-euro) Railways Pension Trustee Co. has appointed Frank Johnson as finance director following the retirement of Malcolm Gray.

Johnson joined Railpen today and takes over on October 1. He was previously finance director of South Eastern Trains Holdings, a subsidiary of the Strategic Rail Authority. Gray has been with Railpen since 1991.

"Frank's considerable experience and knowledge of the rail industry gained at the Strategic Rail Authority, at train operating companies and at Stagecoach Group will be invaluable given Railpen operates one of the most complicated schemes with over 100 separate and individually valued sections,” said Railpen chief executive Chris Hitchen.

Hitchen called Gray “a pioneer in the field of corporate governance” and added that he developed the concept of pension fund operational risk management.

"Malcolm has seen through the financial aspects of the privatisation as Railpen moved from a single employer to an industry-wide scheme,” Hitchen added.

Johnson said he was looking forward to joining Railpen “at one of the most interesting times for both the pensions and rail sectors".

Railpen's main role is to provide pension and allied benefits for staff in the UK’s rail industry. It has around 30 external asset managers.

Railpen runs one of the UK's top 10 pension funds, with 350,000 members.

Johnson is a qualified chartered accountant and holds a commerce degree from Birmingham University. In 1991 he was appointed as group chief accountant of the British Railways Board, before taking on finance director roles within the privatised rail industry.