Chris Hitchen to leave RPMI

After 13 years as CEO of RPMI, Chris Hitchen has announced that he plans to leave the organisation within the next year.

Chris joined as Investment Director in 1998 and over nearly two decades he has helped to build the reputation of the £25 billion Railways Pension Scheme as an internationally regarded investing institution. Most recently, Chris oversaw a comprehensive Investment Transformation Programme (ITP), which led to the insourcing of investment management, significantly lower costs and a sharp focus on drivers of real returns.

Chris said “ITP was a fantastically worthwhile and inspiring programme, which was necessary for us to meet our mission of paying members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably in a low-return world. It has been an honour to serve the needs of one-third of a million railway workers and their employers.”

During his time with RPMI, Chris has also served at various times as Chair of the PLSA and of the Pensions Quality Mark, and, was the first Chair of NEST’s Investment Committee. He was part of a three-person advisory board for Professor John Kay’s 2012 study into short-termism and sits on the board of the Investor Forum, which was set up following that review.

Chris added “I have for some time been working with senior stakeholders on a succession plan for RPMI, and now is the right time to put it into effect. I am confident that I am leaving the organisation, and members’ pensions, in very safe hands.”

John Chilman, Chair of the Railways Pension Trustee Company Ltd, said “I and my fellow Trustee Directors would like to thank Chris for the exceptional service he has given to the railways pension schemes over some nineteen years. We respect his desire for a fresh challenge and will be announcing our plans for the future leadership of the organisation shortly.”

Chris Hitchen to leave RPMI

RPMI Railpen invests in Gigaclear ultrafast broadband

RPMI Railpen (Railpen) today announces a total of £45 million of investment in Gigaclear, a leading provider of ultrafast broadband to rural areas in Britain. This is made up of a £35 million new investment into the Company and the purchase of £10 million of existing shares.

This investment by Railpen comes at the same time as Gigaclear secured significant additional investment from existing shareholders including Infracapital and Woodford Investment Management.

Within Railpen, the Private Markets team focusses on illiquid investments across private equity, private debt and infrastructure, employing a range of strategies and methods to access the market either directly or through investment partners.

Paul Bishop, Investment Director, Railpen said:
“As a long-term investor, we see the partnership with Gigaclear as a natural fit that will allow us to generate strong returns over time and help fulfil our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

Mirza Delibegovic, Investment Manager, Railpen said:
“We are pleased to have been able to invest in a great company in a sector we like, focussed on serving homes and businesses in rural communities which suffer from poor broadband connectivity and which have to date been under-served by incumbent ISPs. We are also pleased to partner with leading institutions such as Infracapital and Woodford Investment Management.”

Mathew Hare, Chief Executive, Gigaclear, said:
“This latest round of investment will enable Gigaclear to step up our speed of network delivery and is a clear signal of the confidence investors have in our continued expansion and success.”

RPMI Railpen invests in Gigaclear ultrafast broadband