RPMI Railpen's Head of Corporate Governance to retire

RPMI Railpen’s Head of Corporate Governance to retire

04 April 2016

RPMI Railpen’s Head of Corporate Governance to retire

London, 4 April, 2016 – Frank Curtiss, Head of Corporate Governance, will be retiring from RPMI Railpen (Railpen) on 4 April after over 25 years of distinguished service.

Frank joined the company in 1990 having qualified as a Chartered Secretary in 1986 and subsequently as an accountant in 1991. He has had several roles over the years at Railpen, including working on private equity at the very beginning, taking on responsibility a few years later for custody of assets, risk management and internal audit. He was even involved in setting up Railpen’s external insurance programme, including helping to draft the highly innovative trustee liability insurance cover in the late 1990s, and he still serves on the advisory council of the Occupational Pensions Defence Union. However, Frank will be best known for his work on corporate governance which finally became a full-time task in 2005.

Commenting on the announcement, Ciarán Barr, Investment Director at Railpen, said:

“Frank has made an outstanding contribution to the development of Railpen’s investment team over the years, not least in his expertise and work on corporate governance.

“We will miss Frank and we wish him all the best in his retirement. The foundations that Frank has laid are a key element of our mission to pay pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

Frank Curtiss said:

“I’m glad to see that the house I helped build over the last 25 years has such strong foundations and will go from strength to strength as my successors at Railpen take forward Sustainable Ownership”.

The publication of the Cadbury Report on the Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance in 1992 marked the beginning of a long journey to integrate corporate governance and wider sustainability issues into the investment arrangements of the Railways Pensions Scheme. This has involved working closely with investment colleagues and the wider Trustee to ensure that corporate governance matters are at the core of being an asset owner.

The Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited was one of the first UK pension funds to vote actively on its equity holdings in the UK and published a voting and corporate governance policy in 1992. In addition, it has been an early pioneer of incorporating remuneration issues into corporate engagement, something which has grown in importance in recent years. Under Frank’s oversight, active voting has gradually been extended to overseas markets, such as the US, Japan, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Moreover, the important stewardship considerations raised by the original Cadbury Report over

20 years ago are now widely accepted and Railpen was an early adopter of both the UK and Japan Stewardship Codes.

Frank has also been involved in efforts to encourage better corporate reporting by investee companies in terms of better accounting standards and auditing practices, and also beyond financial reporting in promoting integrated reporting through his role as a member of the Working Group of the International Integrated Reporting Council from 2010 to 2015.

Over the years Frank has worked closely with industry bodies and served on the board of the International Corporate Governance Network from 2009 to 2015, and chaired its Integrated Business Reporting Committee from 2004 to 2010. He is currently the UK President of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators for 2015/16. More latterly, and as part of the investment transformation undertaken by the Trustee, work has begun to integrate Sustainable Ownership considerations into wider portfolio construction, a natural extension of the corporate governance framework Frank built. Railpen was an early adopter of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in 2010 and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) as long ago as 2000. Overall, the foundations that Frank has laid are a key contribution to Railpen’s mission to pay pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.

Frank’s activities will be taken over by Deborah Gilshan, Head of Sustainable Ownership, and her team. Recruited by Frank, Deborah joined Railpen in late 2007 and has worked closely with him on corporate governance and wider sustainability issues. Integrating sustainable ownership issues into portfolio analysis and construction is a core part of RPMI Railpen’s journey to be a world class asset owner.