In the latest of our case studies, we look at how we demonstrated pragmatism, commercial knowledge and used strong relationships to help safeguard the interests of over 80,000 pension scheme members, by securing a mitigation package in a potential takeover of a retail group.

We were the acting Chair of Trustees for the sponsor of a scheme in the food retail sector. The company had c500 shops and c110,000 staff in the UK, with combined assets of c£5.6bn.

The sponsor was actively in discussions regarding a potential takeover. As a result, the Trustees were concerned that the proposals would materially weaken the covenant supporting the pension schemes, with additional support needed to safeguard its c80,000 members’ pensions, to ensure the schemes could complete their journey plan to buyout.

As Chair of Trustees our pragmatism and commercial knowledge were vital. We worked with multiple stakeholders including the company, two bidders, the Trustee Board and The Pensions Regulator to bring all parties together and help maintain constructive relationships.

Our intervention helped secure a strong mitigation package including security over freehold properties held within a pension funding partnership structure, a mechanism for gradual release of additional security as the schemes approach buyout, enhanced governance provisions and additional security rights.

We used our experience and skill to support the Trustee Board through a high-pressure period and emerge from negotiations with a great deal for the members and a strengthened relationship with the company.

With over 40 years-experience in trusteeship, 20-20 Trustees are an award-winning professional independent trustee organisation, committed to making a difference in the world of pensions. Whatever your trustee requirement, we can help. Get in touch today!