George Ross Goobey, the U.K.'s "father of the cult of equity," was honored for contributions to the actuarial profession by the Worshipful Company of Actuaries Jan. 29.
It was Mr. Ross Goobey who, as investment manager for the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund in the 1940s and 1950s, realized equities provided a higher yield than gilts, and persuaded edgy trustees to abandon their 80% allocation to gilts.
A talented rugby, cricket and golf player and one of London's best-known after-dinner speakers, Mr. Ross Goobey was able to persuade other pension funds that equity offered superior returns to gilts.
He carried his message as chairman, and subsequently president, of the National Association of Pension Funds, introducing investment issues to the industry group.
Mr. Ross Goobey also was one of the first to invest pension assets into direct real estate.
He resigned his last chairmanship of a public company about seven years ago, when he was 80 -- at a time when his son, Alastair Ross Goobey, now chief executive of Hermes Pensions Management Ltd., was arguing directors should retire at 70.