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Industry veteran to head Pensions Infrastructure Platform

25 September 2014

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The UK's National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has appointed industry veteran Mike Weston as chief executive of Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PIP).

Weston, who has recently left the ?2bn Daily Mail General Trust (DMTG), joins the PIP with immediate effect and he brings extensive experience to the role. He was previously in-house CIO at DMTG, responsible for strategy and performance of investments for the DMTG's pension funds.

In his new role at PIP, Weston will be responsible for developing an investment programme, building an internal team and increasing the fund's investor base to help reach the target size of ?2bn.

Joanne Segars, chief executive at the NAPF, said: "This is exactly the right time to appoint a chief executive, and Mike's experience in leading pension scheme investments, including extensive investment in infrastructure, makes him ideally suited to this role."

PIP was co-created earlier this year in a joint initiative with the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) but it suffered a significant setback when three of the 10 founding investing pension funds left citing cost issues. It will now run on a not-for-profit basis.

Weston's appointment was praised by Chris Hitchen, chief executive at founding investor Railpen.

"This appointment is great news for the PIP, its founding investors and all future investors. Mike's expertise and focus will enable PIP to fulfil our vision," he said.

Meanwhile, NAPF has set an October deadline to begin working on a template for directing consumers to the Guidance Service.

The NAPF has stressed the importance of starting work in October 2014 if a standardised wording and branding is to be agreed in time for schemes to use in their member communications ahead of April 2015.

Jackie Wells, NAPF head of policy and research, said: "Finding a way to direct pension scheme members to the guidance service, and in a way that they can use it to make an informed decision, will take effort and ingenuity.

"The NAPF and its members are ready to work with the Government, FCA and other industry bodies to develop the template for the guidance signposting so that it works for pension savers, and schemes have enough time to understand their responsibilities and make necessary changes," she said.

First published: 25.09.14

lindsay.sharman@wilmington.co.uk