Steve Balmont

Pension Trusteeship

LawDeb Co-Chair. Airline pension scheme

Areas of expertise

Steve has represented Law Debenture as a professional trustee since 2000. Examples of particular expertise includes:

  • Investments: all aspects of investment including liability management initiatives, buy-ins and buy-outs and investment options for substantial DC schemes
  • External relationship management: including sponsors (in connection with major corporate transactions); scheme members; the Pension Protection Fund; and the Pensions Regulator
  • Schemes in transition: including scheme merger, schemes in wind-up; regulated apportionment arrangements; closure to future accrual; and administrative change

Notable successes

  • Successful merger of two substantial pension schemes following the merger of sponsoring parent companies. Oversaw the subsequent alignment of investment and funding strategies, preservation of key funding concessions and the smooth rationalisation of trustee boards and committees.
  • Currently chair to an unconnected pension scheme embarking on a major scheme merger.
  • Led a number of buy-in and buy-out transactions to secure some or all the pension liabilities to provide certainty on funding volatility. One such transaction was, for many years, the largest medically-underwritten transaction in the market. Currently working on a highly innovative and bespoke transfer of scheme liabilities.
  • Chaired the pension scheme of a well-known airline during financial difficulties. Working closely with the Pension Regulator, PPF and other interested parties in very challenging circumstances to preserve the business as a going concern without further detriment to the interests of pension scheme members.
  • Achieved innovative valuation settlements, including one involving the establishment of an asset-backed funding arrangement, to the satisfaction of both sponsor and trustee alike. Also experienced valuations concluded under regulatory scrutiny as part of proactive engagement by TPR.

Current appointments

  • Steve is currently appointed as Lead Director to 17 schemes, half of which he chairs. His appointments include DB, DC and Hybrid schemes ranging in size from £40million to £5billon.
  • Steve’s current client list includes a long-standing appointment to the Taylor Wimpey Pension Scheme, the schemes of several financial services businesses, manufacturing and service industry schemes, utility companies and a prestige motor car company.

Professional roles and qualifications

  • Membership of an actuarial committee of the Financial Reporting Council, PRAG, OPDU and the PLSA South London Group.
  • Chaired PLSA training courses, spoken at conferences and written about pension risk.
  • Steve is a long-serving Governor and director at London South Bank University (one of the top ranked UK universities for construction industry disciplines), where chairs the Audit Committee and the Advisory Board of the School of Business.

 

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