SWITZERLAND – The CHF20.2bn (€12.8bn) pension fund of Swiss banking giant UBS has appointed Christoph Schenk as its new managing director, effective January 1, 2007.

Schenk replaces Francoise Romanoff who will retire on April 1, 2007. He begins working at the scheme, which is a Pensionskasse – from September 1.

Schenk is currently global head of multi-asset class solutions at Crédit Suisse Asset Management in Zurich. Prior to joining CSAM, the 41-year-old was a managing director at the investment arm of Swiss industrial firm ABB.

UBS Pensionskasse said that beyond steering the fund, Schenk would take over as head of its investment committee from Ulrich Niederer. Niederer will remain a member of the committee.

“The move is a proper response to greater demands on corporate governance that are related to the planned switch from defined benefit to defined contribution,” the scheme noted.

As reported by IPE in late March, UBS Pensionskasse plans to switch from to DC from January 2007 without increasing contributions paid by its members.

Instead, Swiss bank UBS is helping to finance the costs of the switch by contributing another CHF100m annually. UBS Pensionskasse is also providing a cash injection equalling CHF760m that was taken from its CHF4.6bn in reserves.

“With these moves, UBS will ensure that it continues to provide its employees with a competitive pension plan over the long term,” UBS said.

For 2005, UBS Pensionskasse posted a return on assets of 12%. It also said its deficit was cut to CHF743m at the end of last year from CHF1.7bn the previous one.