News in brief 19 January

RPMI investment director, Ciarán Barr, has announced he is to leave the company in the first half of 2018. During his time with the company he has held a number of positions, including head of strategy and investment director. Barr made important contributions to the investment strategy, design and architecture used by the £28bn Railways Pension Scheme, including the launch of the multi-asset growth pooled fund in 2010. More recently he was integral to shaping the future of the Investment Business during the Investment Transformation Programme which resulted in greater use of internal management, a significant reduction in costs and the expansion of multi-asset strategies into new funds.

LGPS Central Limited, the asset management company set up to manage the assets of nine central midlands based Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds, has received FCA authorisation. The company has been authorised to operate as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). The FCA authorisation permits it to act as the operator of an Authorised Contractual Scheme (ACS), and provide a range of discretionary and advisory investment services to its clients. LGPS Central chair Joanne Segars said: “This is a key milestone for the company. We are absolutely delighted to have received our authorisation. It is a testament to the arduous work and dedication of the programme team from our Partner Funds who have been working on the set up of Central for the last 18 months, and our growing team of company executives.

Trafalgar House has completed its AAF 01/06 audit with no exceptions. This process follows an independent assessment against criteria set by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Trafalgar House managing director Garry Wake said: “As a specialist administrator, it is vitally important that our control environment provides consistently good outcomes for our clients and scheme members. Completing consecutive annual AAF audit processes without any exceptions shows that we take our responsibilities seriously and that our controls and processes continue to be robust and effective.”

The Pensions Administration Standards Association (PASA), has announced ITM as its Knowledge Partner for Data Management and GMP Reconciliation. PASA chair Margaret Snowdon said: “With the deadlines for GDPR compliance and GMP reconciliation looming, the security and accuracy of all data being held is a top concern for schemes. PASA takes its role in sharing the best practice and expertise, which enables people to manage these issues efficiently, very seriously and collaborating with industry experts like ITM means we can continually expand our insight and remain at the forefront of developments impacting administration practice.”

Workplace pension provider Now Pensions has announced it has enrolled 1.5 million members and signed up 30,000 employers - just six years on from accepting its first member. The milestones were reached with the enrolment of an employee from Sealclean; a dry-cleaning and laundry service company based in Tonbridge, Kent, and the 30,000th employer is Quale Homes Limited, a housing development company from Fife, Scotland who signed up with the help of their payroll bureau Paterson Boyd & Co.

Wealth at work has launched a telephone based guidance service to offer support to employees and pension scheme members facing life changing decisions about their pensions and lifetime savings. The new service has been developed in recognition of the demand on employers and trustees to support employees and members with the complex financial decisions they face at-retirement. Its UK telephone based helpline is available to those who are approaching retirement. It will help them understand their pensions, including defined benefit and defined contribution schemes and any other pensions and lifetime savings they may have.

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