USS strengthens its Trustee Board

Andrew Brown

USS, the largest private pension scheme in the UK, is appointing the former CEO of Church Commissioners for England as a non-executive director.

Andrew Brown was nominated by University and College Union and will formally join USS’s Trustee Board on 1 August 2020. His appointment will take the board to 12 directors.

A chartered surveyor who studied at what is now London South Bank University, Andrew spent 26 years with Church Commissioners for England – as Chief Surveyor (1994-2003) and then Secretary (CEO) – before retiring in January 2020.

The Church Commissioners for England manages £8.7bn in assets on behalf of the Church of England. Like USS, it is committed to promoting responsible investment and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in the way it invests and engages with businesses, sectors and policymakers.

USS has a long-standing commitment to responsible investment and ESG issues, most notably in relation to climate change, and Andrew’s appointment follows news of USS’s first exclusions and divestment policy.

Professor Sir David Eastwood, Chair of the USSL Trustee Board, said: “Andrew’s extensive experience will strengthen a Trustee Board resolutely focused on its responsibilities to its members, as both an investor and a pensions provider.”

Andrew said: “I’m delighted to be able to contribute my training and experience to support those serving in the Higher Education sector which is so important for our country, and beyond, both now and in the future.

“USS is one of this country's most significant investors and to join at this time with the recent developments in their responsible investment policies is very exciting.”

USS provides pensions for academics and support staff working in the UK’s Higher Education sector. The £73 billion scheme is the largest pension scheme in the UK by way of assets. It is one of the last private defined benefit pension schemes in the country still open to new members. It launched a supplementary defined contribution section in 2016.

Andrew is currently Chair of William Leech Investments and Foundation Trusts – charitable investment companies owned by five Christian charities. He was Chair of the CMS (Church Mission Society) Pension Trust between 2013 and 2018, and Chair of Trustees for the267project children’s charity between 2007 and 2010.

Date published: 6 July 2020