BT Pension Scheme Management launches as Brightwell opening its pension management capabilities to other defined benefit pension schemes

4 April 2023

BT Pension Scheme Management Limited, (“BTPSM”) the primary service provider to the £47bn BT Pension Scheme, (“BTPS” or “the Scheme”) is opening its pension management capabilities to another defined benefit (DB) pension scheme and has announced that it will operate under a new trading name: Brightwell.

Brightwell has today been appointed as fiduciary manager to the defined benefit section of the EE Pension Scheme (EEPS) following a competitive tender process. The EEPS DB section has c.8,000 members and c.£1bn of assets under management. Brightwell will provide EEPS with fiduciary management services overseeing investment strategy, portfolio management, manager selection and oversight.

Brightwell will look for further opportunities to offer member services and funding and fiduciary services to a select group of large DB schemes that want to provide a high-quality service to members and deliver sustainable funding and investment solutions.

Brightwell will continue to support BTPS and there will be no changes to the Scheme itself or for its members. BTPSM subsidiary, Procentia, offers pensions software solutions to clients globally and is a key part of the Brightwell business strategy. It will continue to expand as a Brightwell group company.

Morten Nilsson, CEO, Brightwell said: “Defined benefit pension schemes are at an inflection point. The economic outlook is challenging, the portfolio risks posed by climate change need careful management and members expect high-quality online services which demand increased investment.”

“We devised and implemented an ambitious programme of transformational improvement to the services we provide BTPS and learned a huge amount along the way. We are delighted that from today we can mark the next stage of our development by offering our unique skills and experience to EEPS.”

Otto Thoresen, Chair of Trustees, BTPS said: “BTPS is maturing as a Scheme. Making Brightwell’s services available to EE and other schemes helps to answer the challenge of the Scheme securing access to the depth of resource we need to maintain quality service for our members and safeguard their long-term interests.”

Jonathan Clarke, Chair, EEPS said: “We’re delighted to be working with Brightwell and believe the partnership will deliver significant benefits for the Scheme and its members. As schemes like ours mature, it’s vital that they maintain access to the right mix of experience and expertise and we’re pleased to be working with a like-minded service provider able to meet our needs now and in the future.”

Appointment of non-executive directors

In line with its operational status as a full scope MiFID Investment firm, Brightwell has today appointed two new non-executive directors. Denise Le Gal joins Brightwell as independent non-executive Chair and will be responsible for leading the board and ensuring it meets its collective responsibilities. She will also chair the board’s remuneration committee.

Kevin Troup joins as a non-executive director and will be chair of the board’s risk, audit and compliance committee (RACC) with responsibility for ensuring robust oversight of Brightwell’s risk management approach and internal controls.

Background on Brightwell

Over the past five years, the team behind Brightwell has invested heavily in technology, people and processes, building a first-class investment capability and transforming member services to deliver a high-quality member experience for BTPS’s c.269,000 members.

In 2021, BTPSM implemented Procentia’s IntelliPen system for the Scheme’s member administration services including the launch of a new Scheme website and personalised member portal.

As a result of these investments, BTPS’s CEM global pension benchmarking score for service quality in member services rose from 48 out of 100 in 2018 to 82 out of 100 in 2022 – moving from the bottom, to the top, of its peer group which comprises some of the largest DB pension schemes in the UK.

In addition, BTPS’ own member satisfaction score, based on an annual survey with members, has increased from 63% in 2018 to 87% in 2023.

BTPS has a long history as an engaged and responsible investor and the Brightwell team has supported the Scheme, integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations throughout the investment process. To manage the risk posed to the Scheme by climate change, Brightwell supported BTPS in setting a 2035 net zero goal.

The Scheme’s deficit has reduced from c.£11bn in 2019 to c.£4.4bn in 2022 and it is on track to be fully funded by 2030. Brightwell has been working closely with Scheme sponsor, BT, to ensure a strategy that delivers funding stability and predictability of sponsor contributions.

Source: Brightwell
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