PensionsFirst Capital hire CEO with longevity hedge experience

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PensionsFirst Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of PensionsFirst Group, who offer pension risk transfer solutions to major UK companies in the management and derisking of their defined benefit pension schemes, have announced the appointment of a new CEO. Ex-Credit Suisse Fixed Income MD, Hugo James, has joined PensionsFirst Capital as CEO to lead the company’s drive to offer alternative “end-game” solutions for defined benefit pension schemes.

Huge James has more than 15 years of corporate advisory, capital markets and insurance experience and will lead the PensionsFirst Capital team in sourcing, structuring and delivering solutions to the corporate sponsors of major DB liabilities of £500m and above.

PensionsFirst Capital assist large UK firms with DB pension schemes by partially or wholly transferring their pension scheme liabilities to PensionsFirst Capital’s pioneering insurance company Long Acre Life.

“Defined benefit pension funds have, in recent years, both destroyed tens of billions of pounds of shareholder value and caused significant concerns for corporates and scheme members alike,” said James. “While many schemes have started down a road of de-risking, funding volatility shows that shareholders and members are still exposed to substantial risks. While insurance solutions offer the most complete solution to this problem, to date they have been unattractive to corporate sponsors of the larger schemes from a value and transparency perspective.”

James added; “At PensionsFirst Capital we believe that a fundamentally different approach is needed, and are therefore focusing on corporate finance driven solutions that enable corporate sponsors to fully understand the risk and reward involved in the transaction. Furthermore, this transparency will help demonstrate shareholder value to their investors and provide security to scheme members.”

During his time at Credit Suisse James was responsible for the company’s UK actuarial risk business, and notably led the award-winning £1.7 billion ITV pension scheme longevity hedge in 2011. Prior to that, he was Sales Director of the Bulk Annuities team at Legal & General, where he took responsibility for all structuring and sales of bulk annuities. While there, he led the development of the company’s longevity insurance and collaterised buy-in offerings while jointly developing its combined investment and insurance de-risking propositions.

“We are absolutely delighted that Hugo, who is highly-respected within the pensions industry, has decided to join PensionsFirst Capital as our new CEO,” adds Timothy Lyons, CEO of PensionsFirst Group. “His unrivalled knowledge of the de-risking industry and his extensive experience of structuring and delivering innovative bulk annuity and longevity solutions that bring real value to clients will be important to our company as we continue to offer innovative insurance-based products to help pension scheme sponsors and trustees reduce their risk exposure.”

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