Michael O’Higgins appointed as LLPP Chairman

The Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF) and London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) today announced that the former Chairman of the Pensions Regulator, Michael O’Higgins, will chair their £10bn partnership.

The London and Lancashire Pensions Partnership (LLPP) will pool LCPF and LPFA assets, jointly manage the liabilities of the two administering authorities and offer pension fund management as a fully-fledged pension service organisation.

Crucially, it will allow both Funds to maintain their local accountability with LCPF Pension Committee and LPFA Board maintaining control of key strategic decisions.

Speaking about the appointment, Leader of Lancashire County, Jennifer Mein, said: “As we await the Government’s announcement of their criteria to assess proposals for pooling LGPS assets, we are moving forward at pace. Michael’s vision and experience are welcome assets, which should give others confidence in the seriousness of our joint endeavour, as we work towards launching the new company in April 2016.

LPFA Chairman, Sir Merrick Cockell, added: “Michael is highly respected in the public and private sectors as well as academia. His experience is invaluable as we develop this unique and ground-breaking partnership and we look forward to working with him. To have a person of Michael’s calibre chairing the partnership is a real testament to what we are trying to achieve.

He has had a distinguished career spanning the academic, private and public sectors. He has a wealth of knowledge about the UK pension sector following his time as Chairman of the Pensions Regulator, serving two terms as a Non-Executive of HM Treasury and writing extensively on pension reform during his academic career.

Michael will be joined on the LLPP Board by Deputy Leader of LCC, David Borrow as the LCC representative and Skip McMullan as the LPFA Board representative, as well as three new independent Non-Executive Directors to be appointed shortly.

Commenting on the appointment, Michael O’Higgins said: “I’m delighted to be involved with Lancashire and LPFA as they embark on this ambitious project that could completely change the face of the public sector pension industry. I applied for this role because I believe what Lancashire and London are doing with this partnership is exactly what should happen across local government, and indeed the wider pension sector, to help secure better benefits for members.

My first task will be to recruit a Board to support this and in order to ensure the governance capability to deliver the ambitions of the Partnership.

Michael will commence in the role with immediate effect.

Next Finance , October 2015

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