UK - The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has appointed a new chairman, while the pension fund of Cable & Wireless Worldwide has awarded Eversheds a legal services contract, and Paternoster has reported improved capital reserves.

Lady Barbara Judge will take on the role of chair of the PPF from 1 July 2010 for an initial period of three years, after Lawrence Churchill's tenure ends and he moves to head up the trustee NEST Corporation. (See earlier IPE articles: PPF's Churchill to head up NEST Corporation and Nest Corporation reveals trustee line-up)

She will join the PPF from the UK Atomic Energy Authority, which she currently chairs, and her other roles currently include acting as a UK business ambassador, chairing the School of Oriental and African Studies and acting as an independent director at Magna International.

Churchill announced in January that he would be stepping down from the role after two three-year terms in charge of the PPF. He will take up his new appointment at NEST from 5 July 2010.

Lady Judge said: "The PPF is crucial in continuing to provide confidence and stability in pensions in the coming years and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to contribute to this important part of the pension protection system.  This is a challenging role and I envisage using my experiences from both the public and private sectors, including my roles as deputy chair of the Friends Provident and as a non-executive director of United Asset Management."

Following the demerger of Cable & Wireless last month into Cable & Wireless Communications and C&W Worldwide, the newly-established pension plan of the worldwide arm has appointed Eversheds to provide legal services to the scheme.

Eversheds has advised the trustee board of the estimated £1.2bn scheme, chaired by Alan Pickering, on the set up of the new Cable & Wireless Worldwide Retirement Plan and negotiated the terms of the transfer to it from the original Cable & Wireless Communications pension scheme. (See earlier IPE article: UK roundup: C&W, Hertfordshire, Institute of Directors)

It will now continue to advise the pension scheme trustees in the future following a competitive tender process based on expertise and capacity. The law firm Lovells meanwhile acts for the trustees of the Cable & Wireless Communications pension scheme.

Paternoster, the bulk annuity insurer, has reported an increase in its capital ratio from 184% to 234% following some "difficult decisions" earlier in the year.

Figures from the company's 2009 business results showed surplus capital also increased by 70% to £165m, while total assets increased by £166m to £3.3bn by the end of the year, so this does not include its assistance in the BMW longevity deal completed in February 2010. (See earlier IPE article: BMW UK pension completes £3bn longevity deal)

Ed Jervis, chief executive of Paternoster, said: "Although there were difficult decisions to be taken earlier in the year as we reduced our cost base, these actions have allowed us to increase the level of security afforded to our policyholders." 
He noted the company had begun 2010 "strongly" with its first move into the longevity market, and said: "We have every expectation that 2010 will see significant increases in volume in both the traditional bulk annuity market and the rapidly developing longevity market. We are currently exploring the best way to maximise these opportunities".

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email