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Unilever pension chief joins 300 Club

16 June 2016

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Mark Walker, the global chief investment officer and managing director of Unilever's internal pension investment organisation, is the latest new member of the 300 Club.

The Club is an independent group of leading investment professionals from across the world.

It was formed to bring together a group of experts to ask fundamental questions about the investment market, including topics that might be uncomfortable.

Walker currently oversees the investments of Unilever's pensions funds – it currently has more than 80 funds in 42 countries.

He has more than 20 years' experience in actuarial, pensions, and investments – prior to joining Unilever he was a partner at Mercer and head of the London Investment Consulting Unit.

Changing the way the industry thinks about issues that are key to the future success of the industry is part of Walker's motivation for joining the Club.

He said: "As someone who thrives on new challenges and responsibilities, I am looking forward to this opportunity to work with the 300 Club to confront the industry's mindset on issues such as sustainability and long-term value creation."

"These issues are now more than ever, critical to companies' future successes and to delivering the financial outcomes that the beneficiaries of our pension funds will need."

He went on the emphasise the importance of working together to improve the financial decision making and risk management approaches of the industry.

The 300 Club was formed in response to a need for experienced investment professionals to raise uncomfortable questions.

It believes that economic and investment trends are set to change the investing landscape over the next two decades, heading towards a turning point that presents huge risks to ordinary savers, and has published a series of papers focusing on challenges such as dynamic asset allocation, risk management, manager selection, principal agency relationship, long horizon investment and client engagement.

Lars Dijkstra, chairman of the 300 Club, welcomed Mark and applauded the skills he will add to its expertise.

He said: "Mark brings a deep understanding of the importance of sustainability in investment and business practices to the 300 Club."

"Unilever's corporate vision of sustainable growth and intense sense of social purpose means that their pension schemes are some of the more innovative."

First published 16.06.2016

Lindsay.sharman@wilmingtonplc.com