July 7, 2011 / 8:24 AM / 7 years ago

Ex-pension regulator chair Norgrove returns to industry

LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) - British pension consultant PensionsFirst Group has hired David Norgrove, a former chairman of Britain’s pensions watchdog, to oversee its move into insuring pension obligations, a sector tipped to grow as more companies seek to offload risk.

Norgrove, a one-time private secretary to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and who left The Pensions Regulator last year after overseeing its launch in 2005, joined on Monday — the company said on Thursday.

PensionsFirst advises defined benefit pension schemes on investments as well as risks like inflation and interest rate changes and plans to branch out next year into the pension liability insurance market.

More companies are taking out this type of insurance, which sees them partly or completely offload their pension obligations to an insurer in exchange for payment of a premium.

The company declined to say what form of risk transfer it would eventually offer.

Consultant Hyman Robertson estimated that in the year to end-March, 4.5 billion pounds ($7.2 billion) of pension liability transfer deals were completed, forecasting a substantial increase in volumes in 2011. ($1 = 0.622 pound) (Reporting by Cecilia Valente; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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