RPMI Railpen appoints Michael Marshall as Head of Sustainable Ownership

RPMI Railpen (Railpen), which manages approximately £30 billion of assets on behalf of the railway pension schemes, has appointed Michael Marshall as Head of Sustainable Ownership with effect from September. He will report to Mads Gosvig, Chief Fiduciary Officer, Investments.

Michael’s team lead on how sustainability considerations are included in the investment process at Railpen. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) values are a core part of Railpen’s culture, and the Sustainable Ownership team will continue to integrate ESG considerations, constructively engaging with companies in which we invest and looking at longer-term risks and opportunities. We believe this provides greater value for Railpen’s beneficiaries.

Michael joins from LGPS Central, where he had been Director of Responsible Investment & Engagement. He has previously held roles at West Midlands Pension Fund, Trucost and EIRIS, specialising in responsible investment. He will take over from Leo George, who will stay with Railpen until the end of 2020, to ensure a smooth transition.

The Sustainable Ownership team will be boosted further through the appointment of Caroline Escott as Senior Investment Manager, leading Railpen’s active ownership work. She will join in September and will oversee engagement with the companies in which Railpen invests and, where appropriate, exercises its voting rights to have a positive influence and support member outcomes.

Caroline’s most recent role was as Senior Policy Lead on Investment & Stewardship at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), where she led its investment, ESG and corporate governance policy and engagement work. Prior to this, she was a Senior Policy Adviser at the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA).

Mads Gosvig, Chief Fiduciary Officer, Investments said: “At Railpen, we are guided by the investment belief that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors materially impact long-term investment returns and must be taken into account. These appointments further support our commitment to this approach.

“Michael and Caroline will be crucial figures in incorporating ESG considerations into our portfolios and leading our thoughtful, constructive engagement with invested companies to enhance investment performance for our beneficiaries.”

RPMI Railpen and Wrenbridge secure consent for major London warehouse development

RPMI Railpen (Railpen), the investment manager for the £30bn railways pension schemes, and Wrenbridge have achieved planning consent for a 128,000 sq ft warehouse development on a 5.85-acre site in Waltham Cross, London, purchased in October 2019. The development will create six Grade A units ranging in size from 5,400 sq ft to 84,500 sq ft.

The site benefits from close proximity to major roadways including the M25, A10 and M11, and is immediately adjacent to Waltham Cross Station with regular 27 minute services to London Liverpool Street. Wrenbridge will act as development partner with Railpen, with the new units due to be completed in Q2 2021.

Alastair Dawson, Senior Asset Manager at Railpen, commented: “Securing planning consent achieves a major milestone in our objective of creating a new, Grade A warehouse development in this prime London location. We are committed to delivering this scheme and re-generating this derelict site, creating jobs for the Borough of Broxbourne.”

Jeff Wilson, Director at Wrenbridge, added: “The industrial sector continues to grow, with demand for premium space outstripping supply. This new development in Waltham Cross, with its range of unit sizes and excellent accessibility, is exactly what the market is looking for.”

The planning permission was secured at one of the first virtual planning committees held by video conference since lockdown commenced.

CBRE, Avison Young and Montagu Evans have been appointed as the leasing agents for the new development.