The Pension Superfund appoints Chris Hitchen as founding chairman

The Pension Superfund has announced the appointment of Chris Hitchen as its founding chairman.

Hitchen brings over 30 years of experience in pensions and investments to his new role, also joining as a member of its commitments committee.

He currently chairs the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, a consolidator for £46bn of local authority fund assets, and industry-wide pension schemes totalling £5bn for The Pensions Trust.

Hitchen also sits on the board of Nest and the International Centre for Pensions Management, based in Toronto.

Previously, Hitchen worked for the Railways Pension Trustee Company, first as CIO then CEO. He was also elected as chair of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association from 2007 – 2009 and became the inaugural chair of the Pensions Quality Mark.

Hitchen commented: “I have spent my career working to improve retirement outcomes for workers and savers and believe that well-run, right-scaled institutions are vital if the UK is to achieve this aim. The Pension Superfund is an important and timely innovation which can help both scheme members and scheme sponsors.”

In 2012, Hitchen was appointed to the advisory board for Professor John Kay’s review of short-termism in the UK stock market and now sits on the board of the Investor Forum, which emanated from it.

He is also an advisory board member for Aquila Capital and for the AQR Asset Management Institute at the London Business School. Hitchen is a fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, an Honorary Fellow of the CFA Society of the UK, and a governor of the Pensions Policy Institute.

His appointment to The Pension Superfund follows the appointment of Luke Webster as its CEO.

The Pensions Superfund also announced that Wolf Becke will join as an independent member of the Pension Superfund Commitments Committee, which will “consider new transactions and recommend them to investors and the superfund trustees”.

Becke was CEO of Hannover Life Re from 1999 to 2011. Under his guidance, it became the first counter-party in longevity reinsurance for Pension Insurance Corporation plc.

He started his business career in reinsurance at Hamburg International Re, ending up in charge of life reinsurance, accounting and investments. He is currently serving as chairman of the supervisory board at AEGON Blue Square Re N.V., deputy chairman of the supervisory board of FWU AG and chairman of the board of directors at Vitality Life Ltd.

Webster said: “We are building a team at The Pension SuperFund that will ensure first class leadership and governance for the future, all united by our purpose to improve the security of members’ pension promises. Today’s appointments are an important step as we continue preparations towards our first deal. We will be strengthening the team further over the coming days.”

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