UK - Pension Corporation has learned from the mistakes it made in the takeover UK telecoms firm telent and will bring trustees on side in future deals, a senior executive has told Global Pensions.
At one stage, Pension Corp threatened to pull out of the deal but it eventually went ahead following discussions with both the regulator and trustees.
Charlotte Crosswell, partner at Pension Corp, said it had not told the trustees it intended to acquire telent, which had caused suspicion.
She said: "We would look to involve the trustees next time. I think we did learn that by going about it in this way, a lot of our business model was misunderstood."
Crosswell also pointed out that the independent trustees were appointed before Pension Corp had the chance to address concerns.
While careful not to criticise the Pensions Regulator, she did say that if a similar situation was to arise in future, the company would like to be given the opportunity to participate in the process "before any rash action was taken".
She said: "That's absolutely key to us. It's obvious they need to have a better understanding of our business model."
Much of the concern centered around telent's escrow account, which was created when most of the former Marconi business was sold in 2006.
As part of the deal it was agreed that the money could be drawn on by the pension trustees if the scheme fell into deficit, or could be given back to the employer if the scheme was deemed to be more than 105% in surplus.
Crosswell said Pension Corp did not want to see risks taken with the telent pension plan and it did not believe it would be in a position to take any money out for at least 12 years.
She said: "A lot of people assume the only way we can get there is to take on a lot of risk, that couldn't be further from the truth.
"It's very important for us to make sure it's in a very safe place. We would offer advice on how some of the risks can be more carefully hedged."
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