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Defined benefit

Pension Protection Fund CEO to step down in 2018

Alan Rubenstein will step down as CEO of the 30 billion ($39 billion) Pension Protection Fund, London, early next year.

Mr. Rubenstein has been CEO at the U.K. lifeboat fund for the defined benefit plans of insolvent companies for eight years, over which time assets have grown from 2.9 billion.

Arnold Wagner, chairman of the PPF, said in a telephone interview that work has begun on finding a replacement. Executives are in the process of running a competitive process to select a search firm. “They will be asked to look both at any internal and external candidates on an equal basis,” Mr. Wagner said.

“If all goes to plan, (the PPF will have) an appointment to announce before the end of the year,” he added.

Mr. Wagner said executives also have drawn up a profile for a replacement. “It clearly needs to be somebody able to manage a large number of assets under management … it is huge in all kinds of ways — not just numbers but the implications for management.” He said the new CEO will need to understand the risk issues associated with the PPF, the diverse stakeholders it serves, and be someone committed to customer service — not just for the participants but also for levy payers. He expects the customer service part of the role to grow.

“It is a big job, big shoes to fill, but we will look for the right person to take us forward,” added Mr. Wagner.

In the same telephone interview, Mr. Rubenstein said he has had “tremendous fun” over his tenure, but that it is now time for a fresh challenge. While he does not know what his next step will be, he said he is “keen to do something new while I still can.”

Mr. Rubenstein said he is proud of several achievements during his time as CEO, including “that we have grown from an organization which when I joined was about 3 billion in assets and where people were constantly questioning whether we could survive and (whether) the next big claim would swamp us; to an organization over 30 billion in size and where, I think, we’ve become part of the national pensions fabric.”