Representatives of two of the UK’s largest pension schemes are joining the board of the UK’s Investor Forum.

Chris Hitchen, chief executive at RPMI Railpen, and Virginia Holmes, chair of the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s in-house asset manager, were named as members of the inaugural board.

John Kay, the academic behind the eponymous report that recommended the creation of the Investor Forum in 2012, will also join its board, alongside the organisation’s chairman Simon Fraser and executive director Andy Griffiths.

Fraser said the calibre of board appointments reflected the momentum gathering behind the initiative.

“Put simply, we will bring together asset owners, investment managers and corporates to deliver a return on engagement for the benefit of all investors,” he said.

“All long-term owners of UK companies, including international investors, are invited to join the Investor Forum.”

Hitchen has been with RPMI, the investment manager and administrator of the £20bn (€25.4bn) Railways Pension Scheme, since 1998.

He is a trustee at the National Employment Savings Trust and a former chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds.

For her part, Holmes was named chair of USS Investment Management last year and chaired the £44bn scheme’s investment committee before it spun out its investment team into a standalone entity.

She is a former chief executive of AXA Investment Managers’ UK business and was a non-executive director and chair of JP Morgan Claverhouse Investment Trust.

Outlining its future activities, the Forum said it would split its activities into four areas, with an innovation forum responsible for research, and an advisory forum for individual companies and investors to engage.

The collective investor forum would focus on limiting “the risk of strategic or operational drift at companies”, and the event-driven forum would offer an “un-conflicted framework” to guarantee shareholder views are acted upon.

Edward Bonham Carter, former group chief executive of Jupiter Fund Management and now its vice-chairman, will also sit on the board, alongside Threadneedle Investment CIO Mark Burgess and Ida Levine, director at Capital International.

David Lis, CIO of equities and multi-asset at Aviva Investors, and Anne Richards, global CIO at Aberdeen Asset Management, were also appointed as members, as was Legal & General Investment Management’s head of corporate governance Sacha Sadan.

Sadan was previously responsible for the launch of the Forum, taking over from James Anderson, chairman of the Collective Engagement Working Group.

Lindsay Tomlinson, non-executive director of the Legal & General Group, and Robert Swannell, chairman of retailer Marks & Spencer, have also taken up a post, while Nicholas Moakes, as head of the Wellcome Trust’s investment division, will be the sole representative of charitable asset owners.

Daniel Godfrey, chief executive at the Investment Management Association (IMA), is the final board member.

The IMA will provide funding to the Investor Forum for a limited period, until it is able to support its activities through member fees.