RPMI has appointed Julian Cripps as managing director of investment business, a new role from which he will lead RPMI Railpen, the in-house investment manager for the UK’s £25bn (€29bn) Railways Pension Scheme.

Cripps has been chief operating officer for investments at RPMI since 2015, but “now takes a wider role in leading the business in its vision to be a world-class asset owner”, RPMI said in a statement.

A spokesman for RPMI told IPE that the role was new, although it had some similarities with a position held by Frank Johnson before RPMI’s restructuring.

RPMI Railpen’s three investment directors – Ciarán Barr, Paul Bishop, and Richard Williams – now report to Cripps, who in turn reports to Chris Hitchen, CEO of RPMI.

Cripps has also been appointed to the RPMI board as an executive director of the company. RPMI oversees administration and operations of the pension scheme.

Cripps said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead our investment business as we continue to build our internal capability to generate superior returns for our 350,000 members and their families.”

Two other non-executive board appointments were announced.

Joining the RPMI board is Richard Jones, who is a director of RPMI’s parent, the Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited (RPTCL). He is also head of UK real estate and facilities at engineering firm AECOM.

Joining the board of RPMI Railpen is John Chilman, who is group pensions director at FirstGroup plc and chair of RPTCL. He is the former chair of RPTCL’s own investment committee.

CEO Hitchen said: “I know that Julian will be a great leader for our investment business, and that Richard and John will provide strong governance while maintaining and strengthening our links to our rail stakeholders and the members whose pensions we are here to pay.”