Smart Pension has appointed former Mercer DC investment strategist James Lawrence as head of investment proposition. Lawrence will develop and lead investment strategy for the Smart Pension Master Trust, which has £1.8bn assets under management.
Lawrence is charged with delivering Smart Pension’s net zero pledge for its members. Earlier this year Smart Pension committed to halve its emissions significantly earlier than the Paris Climate Agreement deadline of 2030, and to achieve net zero ahead of the Make My Money Matter pledge of 2050.
Lawrence worked at Mercer for 9 years. In his most recent role he was lead investment strategist for the UK DC delegated investment business. He was responsible for the strategic direction of the delegated investment solution, Mercer SmartPath, which included a significant allocation to a newly built ESG fund, as well as building a net zero transition pathway.
Launched in 2015, the Smart Pension Master Trust has more than 800,000 members and 70,000 employers on the platform.
Lawrence says: “Joining Smart Pension feels like a natural progression in my investment journey. I’m really excited to further develop Smart’s investment offering especially in the area of ESG. I was really impressed with what they have already done in this space and their commitment to be truly innovative. My aim is to add value to the proposition to make it as robust as possible with the full support of our members and trustees.”
Smart Pension UK managing director Paul Bucksey says: “I’m proud of the significant enhancements we have made to our investment proposition, including the recent allocation to illiquids. With further enhancements ahead we are delighted to welcome James to Smart Pension. His wealth of experience, particularly in devising and implementing ESG investment strategies, will be particularly valuable to us. James’ appointment reinforces our commitment to this area of our business, and we will continue to expand the investment team.”