PPF hires new investment chief(2)

Morgan Stanley executive Barry Kenneth will oversee investments for the UK’s £13bn Pension Protection Fund, which allocates 20% to alternative assets.

The Pension Protection Fund, which pays out pensions of UK workers when their employers go bankrupt, has appointed a new chief investment officer. 

Barry Kenneth will join from Morgan Stanley, where he is currently head of UK fixed income institutional and pensions coverage. He has held a number of other positions with the US banking group since joining the firm in 2004, including head of its European pensions group.

His appointment fills a role that has remained vacant since July 2012, when Ian McKinley, then CIO of the PPF, left the UK fund to become pension investment director at Aviva.

“Our investment portfolio has become increasingly sophisticated and has received considerable industry recognition for its innovation and performance. We believe that Barry will bring to the PPF the expert knowledge and extensive experience needed to build on that success,” Martin Clarke, the PPF’s executive director of financial risk, said in a statement. 

Barry Kenneth

Kenneth, who also advised on interest rate derivatives for RBS in London and Edinburgh prior to its experience at Morgan Stanley, is expected to join in June 2013. 

“Barry will have a crucial part to play in developing PPF’s investment function, to help make sure we continue to pay compensation to our members for as long as they need it and achieve the PPF’s target of securing financial self-sufficiency by 2030,” Clarke said. 

The PPF, set up by the UK government in 2004, provides compensation to subscribers of defined benefit pension schemes when their employers turn out to be insolvent and when there aren’t enough assets in the scheme to compensate members to the promised level. 

It is funded by an annual levy paid by eligible pension schemes and recoveries of assets from insolvent employers, as well as returns on the assets of pension schemes transferred to it and on its own investments. 

Twenty percent of the PPF’s assets under management are allocated to alternative asset classes, including private equity, infrastructure, real estate, and absolute returns funds. 

The fund has £13 billion (€15.2 billion, $19.7 billion) of assets under management.