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Airey named Rolls-Royce trustee chair

Airey named Rolls-Royce trustee chair

Mark Dunne
Tuesday 7th November 2017

The Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund has named Liz Airey as its next chair of trustees.

The non-executive chair of Jupiter Fund Management takes up her new post at the end of December. She will replace Paul Spencer, who is retiring.

Airey (pictured) has big shoes to fill as the outgoing chair turned £4.5bn of assets into more than £13bn transforming a £500m deficit into a £1bn surplus during his decade in charge.

Airey, a former chair of Unilever UK Pension Scheme’s trustees, acknowledged that she is replacing someone who leaves behind a strong legacy.

Rolls-Royce’s head of pensions, Joel Griffin, also praised Spencer’s “incredible contribution”, noting that he leaves the pension fund “in an exceptionally strong position, well placed to continue to protect more than 80,000 Rolls-Royce employees and pensioners who rely upon our fund throughout their retirement”.

Airey takes over a scheme that has dropped the more traditional equity/bond strategy in favour of a 75%/25% liability matching and return plan.

“Paul’s leadership was pivotal in overseeing the successful implementation and further development of the new liability-matching strategy which was a bold change in direction, but which has since become the benchmark for effective risk management of pension schemes,” Griffin said.

“It was crucial in protecting the funding position of Rolls-Royce’s pensions through the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent period of declining yields which have caused so many pension schemes’ funding positions to suffer,” he added.

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