Pensions SuperFund to name new chair

By Mark Kleinman, City editor
An influential figure in the UK pensions industry is to lead a new vehicle targeting the consolidation of hundreds of billions of pounds-worth of liabilities in private sector retirement schemes.
Sky News has learnt that Chris Hitchen is to be named as the founding chairman of the Pension SuperFund (PSF), which wants to become Britain's first giant pension pool for companies wrestling with ballooning scheme deficits.
The appointment of Mr Hitchen, who ran the rail industry's €28bn pension scheme RPMI Railpen for well over a decade, is expected to be announced on Friday.He currently chairs the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, which manages about €46bn of pension assets on behalf of 12 local government pension scheme funds.Mr Hitchen's arrival will be announced alongside that of Wolf Becke, a former chief executive of Hannover Life, who will join the PSF's commitments committee - the panel responsible for examining prospective transactions with pension scheme sponsors.The duo's recruitment will provide a welcome boost to the new vehicle, which last month saw its chief executive and a big financial investor walk away following a disagreement about its strategy and pace of development.In total, there are about 6,000 defined-benefit pension schemes in the UK, with total liabilities of about €1.7trn.The PSF is the brainchild of Edi Truell, a former pensions adviser to Boris Johnson during his tenure as the mayor of London.Mr Truell, who previously headed the private equity firm Duke Street Capital and now runs Disruptive Capital Finance, is a prominent City figure.
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