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Railpen Names CIO, Private Markets Head

The $39 billion railway workers pension manager promoted two of its investment directors to the newly created roles.

RPMI Railpen, the investment manager for the U.K.’s railway employee pensions, has appointed a new chief investment officer and head of private markets.

Investment directors Richard Williams and Paul Bishop were promoted to the newly created positions at the £28 billion ($39 billion) pension manager, with Williams named CIO and Bishop appointed to lead private market investments, according to a statement from Railpen on Wednesday.

As Railpen’s new investment chief, Williams will oversee the pension's holdings across public, private, and property markets to ensure its investment strategies help meet the scheme's needs.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to lead our investment team at a time when we are continuing to grow our investment capabilities,” Williams said in the statement.

Williams joined Railpen in 2014 after five years as a principal and portfolio manager at hedge fund BlueCrest Capital Management, which closed to outside money in late 2015.

His promotion to CIO marks a change in leadership structure at Railpen, which has experienced some recent turnover in senior staff. In the last year, investment directors Ciarán Barr and Chris Hitchen each announced their departures from the pension manager.

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Railpen has also been shifting its investment strategy by bringing more investments in-house. In June, the pension manager hired a new chief operating officer, Paul Nathan, to support internal investment capabilities.

The shift in strategy also includes an expansion of the scheme’s private markets investments, which Bishop will oversee in his new role.

His promotion follows “significant private market transactions” recently completed by Railpen, according to the statement. These include a $700 million joint venture with the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. and Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait that aims to seed “breakthrough emerging private equity and alternatives managers.”

Bishop joined Railpen in 2011 after five years at the Royal Liver Group, where he rose up the ranks to CIO.

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