Andrew Marker succeeds McPhail as chair of Star Steering Group

Andrew Marker has been named as chair of the Star Steering Group, following the departure of founding chair, Tom McPhail, in June.

The appointment follows a shift in focus by the Working Group and Steering Group towards the implementation phase of the campaign, as of March 2020.

Marker, who is Vanguard Asset Management head of retail pensions, has over 25 years technical experience with retail and occupations pensions, having held roles in operations, proposition and operation design.

He is also an active member of the Association of British Insurers Platforms Working Group, and the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) Pension Standing Committee, which is currently working on the Pan European Personal Pension.

The government-backed initiative, aimed at reducing defined contribution pension transfer times, now has more than 60 supporting signatory organisations.

Marker has promised to use his role to "take a stand for retail investors" and ensure they have the "best chance of investment success", as well as representing their view in the formulation of the transfer standards.

He stated: “I strongly believe in the development of a robust set of transfer standards adopted by all within the industry and the importance this will play in the success of the financial services within the UK market.

“Government and regulators have set a clear challenge to the industry: fix this for the benefit of your customers or we will impose regulations on you. It is essential that the perspective of the end retail investor is taken into account in the formulation of transfer standards.

“Within this framework it is also important to understand the challenges certain proposals may have on organisations operating in the UK market, both from a cost and practicality perspective.

He added: “Implementing and evolving standards within the market will need to balance all of these challenges and also has the benefit of improving the robustness, competitiveness and value-for-money of the UK pension and savings market.

“I am honoured to chair the Steering Group and am passionate about the role Star is playing in making transfers easier and more successful for UK investors.”

The steering group is made up of senior members of signatory organisations, and is overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority, the Department for Work and Pensions, The Pensions regulator and other consumer groups.

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