Railpen reshuffles as CIO and private markets head appointed

Both Richard Williams and Paul Bishop have been assigned the newly-created roles from positions as investment directors.

UK-based pension scheme Railpen has appointed its first ever chief investment officer and head of private markets.

The £28 billion ($39.2 billion; €32.1 billion) pension fund has moved investment director Richard Williams into the newly-created CIO role and fellow investment director Paul Bishop as the group’s new head of private markets. The pair have been at Railpen since 2014 and 2011, respectively.

The new appointments come just under two months after Railpen helped form Capital Constellation, a $700 million joint venture alongside Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation and the Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait. The vehicle will look to provide cornerstone fund commitments and scaling advice for emerging managers. APFC and Railpen have both agreed to provide $200 million, with the remainder contributed by PIFSS.

“As a leading global institutional investor, we are in a strong position to use our experience to help influence positive change across the investment industry, while continuing to deliver for our members,” said Williams following his appointment.

Railpen last year invested a total of £45 million into rural broadband provider Gigaclear, injecting funds alongside Infracapital and Woodford Investment Management. The pension fund subsequently rebuffed an attempt by Infracapital to buy its 15.9 percent stake in the company last month.

Railpen, also last year, provided £10 million to London-focused fibre broadband provider Community Fibre and was a founding member of the Pensions Infrastructure Platform in 2012.