Antony Barker, head of pensions and chief investment officer at Santander’s UK pension fund, is set to leave the group, IPE has learned.

He joined the group in 2012 from Jardine Lloyd Thompson, where he was director of investment advisory for pension funds. He had previously held similar roles at BNP Paribas and Deloitte.

IPE understands Barker is soon to leave Santander. A spokesman for Santander declined to comment.

Since joining the £10bn (€11.5bn) defined benefit (DB) pension fund, Barker has brought in a diversification policy to broaden the scheme’s investments beyond equities and bonds. The Santander UK Group Pension Scheme’s portfolio now includes real estate and a number of private equity partnerships, as well as private debt and global credit.

Santander’s UK pensions schemes had a combined surplus of £175m at the end of 2016, according to the bank’s latest annual report.

In 2015, Barker predicted a sector-wide banking pension scheme that he said could more easily compete with larger Canadian and Asian institutions. UK bank DB schemes are among the largest corporate pension funds in the country.

In December Santander’s UK Group Pension Scheme Common Fund won an IPE award for diversification, and in 2015 it won a Silver award for its overall proposition.