Lesley Titcomb’s successor must be ‘bold’, TPR says

The Pensions Regulator has said it is looking for somebody who can be “bold and take tough decisions” as it looks to appoint a new chief executive by the end of the year.

Speaking at the Society of Pension Professionals annual conference today, 21 September, TPR non-executive chair Mark Boyle said that they required somebody with “thick skin” who can "take the baton" from outgoing chief executive, Lesley Titcomb.

TPR started advertising for the new role earlier this month and Boyle said they were looking to have a shortlist together by mid-October, with a view to appointing by the end of 2018.

“Firstly, we want a delivery focused leader, someone who is adept at translating policy initiative and programme outputs, such as TPR future, into active regulation. Secondly, we want an accomplished communicator.

“TPR’s profile is higher than it’s ever been and I don’t see it changing for the foreseeable future, so we need somebody to articulate that message, be it to the media or parliament and too wider audiences,” Boyle said.

“Thirdly, somebody who is collegiate, one of Lesley’s legacies is that she built a very strong team, and we want somebody who can come in, work with, and get the best out of that team.

“Lastly, we want someone who is decisive and resilient, who has thick skin but has the ability to be bold and take tough decisions both internally and externally when necessary. Putting those together … I think continuity is going to be key.”

The role, which is on a four-year term, will be based in Brighton and offers a salary of £222,500.

TPR faced heavy criticism from the Work and Pensions Committee following the major collapses of Carillion and BHS, for failing to act earlier to ensure members pensions benefits.

In a joint report on Carillion published by the Work and Pensions and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committees, it was said that the departments are “far from convinced” that TPR’s current leadership can effect change, and that it was “deeply concerned” with evidence it received from the regulator.

This week, Field again questioned what the regulator could learn from the “unusual experience” of the Kodak pension scheme, which is “likely” to fall into the Pension Protection Fund.

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