RPMI Railpen scoops multiple investment awards

RPMI Railpen (Railpen) has won a haul of three awards from two major investment industry awards events. At the Institutional Investor Peer-to-Peer awards, Steve Artingstall, Investment Director, Railpen won the “Best Use of Equity” award, while Richard Williams was named “Chief Investment Officer of the Year”. In addition, at the European Pensions Awards, Railpen won in the “Best Investment Strategy” category.

The Institutional Investor Peer-to-Peer Awards recognise people and firms for excellence across the financial services sector, corporate management and institutional investment industries.

The European Pensions Awards recognise companies and organisations which have set the standard for professional excellence to best meet their objectives and fiduciary duties.

These latest awards add to an already impressive list of industry awards Railpen has picked up in recent years.

Commenting on the award wins, John Chilman, RPMI Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to receive these awards in recognition of our industry-leading investment approach, outstanding scheme governance and risk management.

“These latest awards are a welcome reflection of the quality, dedication and expertise of our investment team, which enables us to deliver on our continuing commitment to pay our members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

-ENDS-


RPMI announces new Chief Executive Officer

RPMI Limited has announced the appointment of John Chilman as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He will be responsible for RPMI’s pension administration business, which counts the industry-wide Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) among its clients, as well as its investment arm, RPMI Railpen (Railpen), which manages the c £29 billion of RPS assets.

John has a MA from St. Anne’s College, Oxford, is a chartered accountant and joins RPMI from National Grid where he was Group Head of Pensions, overseeing their pension arrangements in the UK and US. John was previously Group Pensions Director at FirstGroup as well as Group Head of Reward at HBOS.

With over 25 years of pensions experience, John is the current Chair of the Railways Pension Scheme Trustee, a role he has held since 2014, having been a Trustee Director since 2007. He will be stepping down from this role in March, when his successor will be confirmed, prior to taking up his new role at RPMI in June. John’s appointment follows the departure of Phil Willcock, who will leave RPMI at the end of February.

Commenting on John’s appointment, Babloo Ramamurthy, Chairman of RPMI, said:
“John’s past knowledge and experience of RPMI and his reputation as an innovative leader for many years in the pensions industry will be invaluable to ensure RPMI continues to deliver the Trustee’s mission of paying members’ pensions securely affordably and sustainably.

“John’s commitment to both RPMI and the RPS will prove invaluable as we continue to provide the best possible service for all our clients and their pension scheme members.”

John Mayfield, RPS Trustee Director added:
“We would all like to thank John for his service to the Railways Pension Scheme over many years. His leadership as our Chair has been an incredible contribution and we are confident he will lead RPMI and its people with the same passion, commitment and quality.

“We have a robust succession plan in place and will be appointing a new Chair of the Trustee in the near future.”

John Chilman, also added:
“I am delighted to have the confidence of the RPMI Board. RPMI is a fantastic business, with knowledgeable and passionate people delivering an incredibly important service for hundreds of clients and hundreds of thousands of pension scheme members.

“We have an important mission and I look forward to working with my new colleagues to further its delivery.”


RPMI Railpen expands Private Markets team with appointment of Andrea Ash as Investment Director

RPMI Railpen (Railpen), the investment manager for the £28bn Railways Pension Scheme has announced the appointment of Andrea Ash to the role of Investment Director in the Private Markets team, with effect from 26 November 2018.

Reporting to Paul Bishop, Railpen’s Head of Private Markets, Andrea will work alongside Richard Moon, Investment Director, and will be primarily focussed on growth investments.

She joins Railpen from Tesco Pension Investments, where she held the position of Alternatives Fund Manager, having previously held roles at Amundi Asset Management and Pioneer Investments.

Andrea’s appointment continues the recent growth in Railpen’s Private Markets team following the appointment of Ted Jennings as Senior Investment Manager in September.

Commenting on the appointment, Railpen’s Head of Private Markets, Paul Bishop, said:

“Andrea’s appointment marks another chapter of growth as we develop the capabilities of our Private Markets team. She brings valuable perspective and experience in sourcing, executing and managing illiquid investments and we are delighted to welcome her to the business.”

 Andrea Ash said: 

“RPMI Railpen is rightly recognised as a leading global investor, with a strong and growing reputation for excellence in private markets investing. I look forward to working with the team in continuing to generate sustainable, long-term returns for the schemes’ members.”  

RPMI Railpen to expand Private Markets team with appointment of Andrea Ash as Investment Director


RPMI Railpen appoints new Senior Investment Manager to Private Markets team

RPMI Railpen (Railpen) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ted Jennings as Senior Investment Manager within the £28 billion fund’s Private Markets team.

In this newly created position, Ted will lead the Defensive Team with responsibility for RPMI Railpen’s Long-term Income Fund. Launched in 2016 the fund capitalises on returns from less liquid assets with more predictable cash-flows.

Ted joins from Aviva, where he was Portfolio Manager for the Alternative Income Solutions Fund. He previously held roles at Friends Life and Knight Frank.

RPMI Railpen’s Head of Private Markets, Paul Bishop, said:

“Ted brings valuable additional experience and expertise to our growing Private Markets team, which continues to be a core area of focus for RPMI Railpen. I look forward to working with him as we build our capabilities in this critical area, and continue to deliver on our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

Ted Jennings said:

“RPMI Railpen has a growing reputation as a leading and innovative investor in private markets and I am delighted to be joining the team. This is a time of exciting challenges for the pensions industry, particularly from an investment perspective.”

RPMI Railpen appoints new Senior Investment Manager to Private Markets team


RPMI Railpen appoints Michelle Ostermann as Chief Fiduciary Officer, Investments

RPMI Railpen has announced the appointment of Michelle Ostermann as Chief Fiduciary Officer, Investments with effect from 1 January 2019.

Michelle will be responsible for determining the high-level investment strategy and risk appetite of the £28bn railway pension schemes, and defining the range of our internally managed pooled funds.

She will work closely with the Investment, Funding and Covenant teams in proposing tailored solutions for the multi-employer sectionalised schemes. Michelle will also be responsible for our Sustainable Ownership strategy and client relationship management.

Michelle previously held the position of Senior Vice President at British Columbia Investment Management, where she was responsible for leading the Corporate & Investor Relations team. She brings over 25 years of experience in the Canadian pensions, investment and insurance industries, and has previously held senior positions at Manulife and Sun Life Global Investments. Michelle is also the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pension Investment Association of Canada.

 Julian Cripps, Managing Director at RPMI Railpen said:

 “We are delighted to announce Michelle’s appointment to the role of Chief Fiduciary Officer, Investments. Michelle brings a wealth of international experience to RPMI Railpen and her proven track record of leading teams to deliver best practice across the institutional investment industry will be invaluable as we continue to fulfil our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

 Michelle Ostermann added: 

“I am very excited to be joining RPMI Railpen, which is recognised globally as an innovative leader among institutional investors. I look forward to working closely with colleagues across the business to ensure that the scheme continues to deliver great outcomes for members.”

RPMI Railpen appoints Michelle Ostermann as Chief Fiduciary Officer, Investments


RPMI Railpen exchanges on Birmingham’s largest office investment deal of the year to date

RPMI Railpen and Nurton Developments have exchanged on Birmingham’s largest investment transaction of the year, with Railpen acquiring 2 Colmore Square and Cannon House in the city centre.

GVA and V7 Asset Management acted on behalf of RPMI Railpen, with CBRE representing the vendor, Colmore Square LLP (Nurton Developments).

Formed of two interconnected buildings, which offer contiguous 40,000 sq ft floorplates from the third floor upwards, 2 Colmore Square and Cannon House were purchased for approximately £95 million, representing a yield of 6.4%.

Situated at the head of Colmore Row, Birmingham’s professional and financial services heartland, the building is 95% let off an average rent of £21.50 psf and provides approximately 300,000 sq ft of BREEAM Excellent, Grade A commercial space across seven upper floors, with retail accommodation at ground level.

Occupiers include Shoosmiths, Jacobs UK, Energy Systems Catapult, the Secretary of State, and Handelsbanken.

Anna Rule, Head of Property at RPMI Railpen, said: “We are delighted to have exchanged on this significant Birmingham asset.  The building’s proximity to the new HS2 Curzon Street station, the low rents and the asset management opportunities that exist provide long term opportunities for growth. This purchase meets all of our core investment themes and will help to meet our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably”.

Rupert Young, Development Director of Nurton Developments, said: “We’re proud of what we achieved with the back to frame refurbishment of this significant asset. Having completed the vast majority of our business plan now is an appropriate time to recycle the capital and look for new value add opportunities“.

RPMI Railpen exchanges on Birmingham’s largest office investment deal of the year to date


Victoria Bell named Pension Manager of the Year

RPMI is delighted to announce that Victoria Bell, Director of Trustee Accounting, has been named Pensions Manager of the Year at Professional Pensions’ inaugural Women in Pensions Awards, ahead of a final shortlist of 12 managers

The awards, hosted by comedian Zoe Lyons, took place on Tuesday 26 June 2018 at the Hilton London Bankside, and aim to highlight the successes and industry contributions of women within the pensions sector, while also serving to inspire more women to work in what is an exciting and dynamic sector.

Victoria, who has been with RPMI for more than 20 years, has been at the vanguard of championing best practise in asset valuation and accounting, using her role as a platform to promote greater diversity across the industry.

Commenting on her award, Victoria said: “I am honoured to receive this award from what is truly a brilliant initiative by Professional Pensions. By shining a light on the incredible work of women across the sector, we can raise the profile of pensions amongst women, enabling the industry to draw on a wider gene pool of talent, for the benefit for pension funds and their members.”

Phil Willcock, CEO at RPMI added: “We are incredibly pleased for Victoria. She is a fantastic leader and role model within in our business and across the industry. At RPMI we are proud to offer a working environment that supports and encourages talent, irrespective of gender, to support the organisation in delivering secure and sustainable benefits for our members.”

Victoria Bell named Pensions Manager of the Year


Railways Pension Scheme wins European Pension Fund of the Year

The Railways Pension Scheme wins 'European Pension Fund of the Year' at the 11th annual European Pensions Awards. The final shortlist comprised seven European funds and was judged by a panel of 12 senior figures from across the European financial services industry.

The ceremony, which took place on 21 June 2018 at the London Marriott Hotel, recognises the organisations that have set the standard for professional excellence in order to best meet their objectives and fiduciary duties.

Commenting on the award, John Chilman, Chairman of the Railways Pension Trustee Company, said: “We are delighted to receive this award as a recognition of our commitment to delivering continuous improvement for our 350,000 members - whether that be to our investment arrangements, scheme governance or member communications.

As an organisation we continue to fulfil our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

Railways Pension Scheme wins European Pension Fund of Year


Reckitt Benckiser Group plc – AGM statement 3 May 2018

Reckitt Benckiser Group plc – AGM statement 3 May 2018

Statement from UK Railways Pension Scheme

Mr Chairman

My name is Jocelyn Brown, and I am a representative of RPMI Railpen, the investment arm of the UK Railways Pension Scheme.

Two years ago RPMI Railpen spoke at the 2016 AGM where we began by noting that Reckitt Benckiser is a company that the Railways Pension Scheme would like to hold over the long-term. That was true then and is still the case today.

In the past year there have been significant positive governance changes. We applaud you and the Board for responding to the concerns we and other shareholders have raised, and welcome the opportunity to engage with the new Board Chairman and new Chairs of the Audit and Remuneration Committees. That said there is one observation, and one question, which I would like to make today.

Board diversity is important to us. We are a long-standing supporter of the 30% Club and incorporate diversity in our voting decisions. Despite meeting the Parker review recommendation, the Board currently does not meet our voting threshold for gender representation. However, we see that the Board has noted the conclusions of the Hampton-Alexander Review and look forward to further progress in this area.

On pay, we appreciate the Remuneration Committee’s use of discretion in reducing the LTIP payout, for the decision to keep Mr Kapoor’s base pay unchanged and to pay no bonus in 2017. However, ultimately it is hard to see how total compensation of nearly £12.5 million can be justified in a year where the share price has declined by 30%. This is an outcome we were not comfortable to support, and so we voted against the remuneration report.

Looking forward, we recognise the Remuneration Committee has sought to address the issue of quantum by making a one-third reduction in the number of shares and options awarded to the CEO for 2018 to 2020. We acknowledge the effort the company has made to engage with us and other shareholders and we commend them for taking action on this topic.

We note that the LTIP paid out in the year under review straight after the vesting period, while best practice is a three-year performance period followed by a two-year holding period. The current policy falls short of this, which is one of the reasons we voted against it in 2016. The next time the policy will be put to shareholders will be in 2019 – will the Board commit to addressing this as part of their next consultation?

Reckitt Benckiser Group plc – AGM statement 3 May 2018


RPMI Railpen appoints Chief Investment Officer and Head of Private Markets

RPMI Railpen (Railpen) is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Williams as Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and Paul Bishop as Head of Private Markets. Both appointments are with immediate effect and are newly created positions.

Richard joined Railpen in 2014 and formerly held the position of Investment Director. In the role of CIO, Richard will have overall responsibility for Railpen’s asset management capabilities across the public, private and property markets while ensuring that the implementation of Railpen’s pooled fund investment strategies meets the needs of the £28 billion Railways Pension Scheme.

Richard Williams said: “I am excited to have the opportunity to lead our investment team at a time when we are continuing to grow our investment capabilities. As a leading global institutional investor, we are in a strong position to use our experience to help influence positive change across the investment industry, while continuing to deliver for our members.”

Paul Bishop joined Railpen in 2011 and formerly held the position of Investment Director. In his new role, Paul will be responsible for the management and oversight of all private market investments.

Commenting on his appointment, Paul said: “I look forward to working closely with Richard as we continue to expand our private markets offering. This opportunity comes at a very important time following the recent significant private market transactions that we have completed.”

Julian Cripps, Managing Director at Railpen added, “Through their continued efforts Richard and Paul will help to grow our internal investment capabilities and fulfil our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

RPMI Railpen appoints Chief Investment Officer and Head of Private Markets