UK - Jane Newell, chairman of the £21bn (€31.3bn) Royal Mail Pension Plan, is to join the board of new pensions annuity firm Synesis Life as a non-executive director.

Synesis, set up by a group of former Prudential executives and backed by JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Warburg Pincus, said Newell would join the board on January 1.

Newell is chairman of the DSGi Group Retirement and Employee Security Scheme. 

She's been involved in the pensions industry since 1992 when she was appointed as a founder trustee of the Maxwell Pensioners Trust and Maxwell Pensioners Charitable Trust, becoming Chairman in 1995.  

She also served as an independent trustee of the GlaxoSmithKline Pension Fund from 1994-2004 and as chairman of both the United Utilities Pension Scheme and the UU Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme.

"Having served on the board of major plc pension funds for a number of years, I believe that Synesis has the experience and business model to work with corporates and pension funds as they seek to manage their pension liabilities more effectively," Newell said. 

"The management of Synesis was largely responsible for developing the annuity transfer market and is well placed to continue to play a leading role in this rapidly evolving market. They are backed by respected, long term investors and I'm delighted to join the team".

Added Synesis chairman David Newbigging: "Our goal is to establish ourselves as a leading acquirer of medium to large annuity portfolios from UK insurance companies and pension fund liabilities and I have no doubt that Jane will help us drive this strategy forward. 

"She brings considerable insight into the needs and concerns of trustees of major corporate pension funds and I'm delighted to welcome her to the board."