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Interview – BT Pension Scheme


INTERVIEW – WYN FRANCIS


“What we are interested in are not just the returns, but the characteristics of the returns.”


Wyn Francis has been promoted to chief invest- ment officer of the BT Pension Fund. He outlines his vision for the scheme to Mona Dohle.


Are you planning to make any changes now that you are the chief investment officer? Not to the investment strategy. It is well formed and is on a path we have been on for a while. I have, however, made some changes to the structure of the team. I wanted to make it clearer where the responsibilities and accountabilities lie. In the past, we often had roles stretching across different functions, but I wanted to make it obvious who was doing what and why. The other part of the transition is chang- ing our investment platform. In the past


14 | portfolio institutional | April 2021 | issue 102


we underspent on technology and had manual processes in place. We are upgrading our analytics to make portfolio construction and reporting easier. The first phase of that process will probably finish around June. It is going to be one of those things that is never going to end. There will always be a tweak to how we want to cut things, but at least the basis is there now. All our data is in a usable for- mat, which should make that easier. The combination of the system changes plus the organisational re-design is a pow- erful way of focusing the investment team


and making it more efficient. Hopefully, it will offer more learning and development opportunities.


Has this also been prompted by the shift to working from home? Very much so. The shift to working from home has gone well for us so far. Even when we do go back to the office, we will keep some of the positives of the past year. We want to become more focused on when and why we are meeting, and I am sure we are never going to go back to five days a week in the office.


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