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Standard Life latest naming Independent Governance Committee

Standard Life latest naming Independent Governance Committee

Standard Life has today (31 March) become the latest life and pensions firm to name its independent governance committee members, led by pension fund trustee René Poisson.

The IGC comprises four independent members and one Standard Life employee, with Mr Poisson serving as chairman and also becoming a director on Standard Life’s Master Trust board.

He is a lawyer by training, but has worked mostly as a senior banking professional, spending 30 years at JP Morgan in senior credit roles. His trustee experience includes both defined benefit and defined contribution, having been a trustee of JPMorgan’s London office retirement plan for the last 15 years and latterly chair of the board and investment sub-committee of JPMorgan’s UK pension plan.

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Mr Poisson will be joined by Richard Butcher, a managing director of Pitmans Trustees Ltd, the trustee of Standard Life’s master trust scheme since its launch.

He is vice chair of the National Association for Pension Funds’ DC council and sits as a non-executive director on the Napf board, as well as being a fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and a member of the PMI Council.

Along with him, Roger Mattingly joins from being the immediate past president of the Society of Pension Professionals and managing director of PAN Trustees Ltd.

Finally, Ingrid Kirby comes in as an independent trustee with 30 years’ experience in pension fund investment, having worked at Hermes Investment Management for the BT pension scheme and its third party clients.

The in-house member is head of product and technical consultancy Michael Craig, who is also a director of Standard Life Trustee Company and a trustee chair of the Royal Blind pension scheme.

IGCs are being established by firms to provide additional governance for savers in workplace pensions, after the regulator confirmed they will become mandatory from pension freedom day on 6 April.

One of their main tasks this year is to review older pension arrangements, based on the independent review carried out in 2014, keeping tabs on exit charges and other fees, whilst making sure they offer the full suite of retirement options.

Friends Life was first to name their IGC board back in September, appointing Pitmans Trustees director Steve Carrodus as independent chairman, supported by Capital Cranfield Trustees client director Jonathan Lord and Rothesay Life non-executive director Charles Pickup.

Then, during March Aegon named Sacker and Partners partner Ian Pittaway as the chair of its IGC, while Fidelity Worldwide Investment has appointed Pitmans Trustees Ltd client director Kim Nash as independent chair, supported by BESTrustees’ Rachel Brougham and David Felder of the Law Debenture Pension Trust Corporation.

Last week Zurich also confirmed the final members of its IGC as Anna Bradley, Ken Hogg, Virginia Holmes and Robert Laslett, who join Laurie Edmans as chair.

peter.walker@ft.com