Pensions mega-pool hires ex-Barings operations chief

The UK’s new £40bn public sector pensions mega-pool for the Midlands has appointed its first finance and operations chief as it puts in place its senior line-up.

The hire of former Baring Asset Management group chief operating officer John Burns at LGPS Central comes just over four months after it named Andrew Warwick-Thompson as its first CEO, and Joanne Segars — former chief executive of the UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association— as chair.

Burns becomes chief operating officer and chief financial officer, according to a statement. His responsibilities will include overseeing asset management at the fund. He will also join the pension pool’s board.

The LGPS Central is one of eight new pensions mega-pools being introduced by the UK government to bring together 89 local authority funds in England and Wales in a bid to cut costs. The LGPS Central will manage the assets of nine Midlands-based local government schemes.

Burns left Barings in December 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile.

His exit came shortly after the asset manager’s parent, US insurer MassMutual, merged Barings with its other fund units, Babson Capital Management, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers and Wood Creek Capital Management, in September last year.

Prior to Barings, Burns held senior compliance and risk management roles at Fidelity International and Schroders.

Segars said: “The COO and CFO is a critical role for the company and I am delighted that we have secured someone of John’s calibre to help build the success of LGPS Central. I look forward to working with John.”

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Clare Dickinson

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