Issue 3 - Autumn 2013

 

Contents:

 

Archivist changes


In May we said goodbye to Katy Johnson at the end of her two year contract. Katy had made a considerable contribution to the development of the Pensions Archive during her period with us. We wish her well in her new position at the National Maritime Museum.

At the end of August we welcomed Sarah Thiel who had joined London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) under its Internship Policy which was established in January this year. It seeks to encourage and support people who are interested in careers in archives and related professions by hosting paid internships. PAT is pleased to be associated with this policy.


London Metropolitan Archives’ pension material surveyed


PAT has published its guide to archival material held at LMA relating to occupational pensions and other support provided in old age. It is hoped that this will be a valuable resource to financial and social historians for understanding the significance of pensions as well as a handy tool for locating material connected to the history of occupational pensions in the UK. The guide is broken down into 12 main sections and a miscellaneous category. Each section includes a brief introduction to the category of pension or provision and a list of relevant collections or pension funds. In many cases a brief introduction to the pension fund and its history is also provided. A hard copy of the guide is available at LMA. The guide is also available on the Trust’s website at http://www.pensionsarchive.org/guidetolmacollections.


The Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) archived records deposited


On moving to new offices, the ACA has deposited its archived records with the Pensions Archive. They include the main Committee minutes from when the ACA was established in 1951 through to 2003, copies of Sessional meeting minutes from 1964 up to when minutes were discontinued in 1990, histories produced for the 40th anniversary of its establishment in 1991 and 50th anniversary in 2001 and a range of publications – reports and surveys conducted over the last 20 years. They join the records of a number of other leading pension bodies which are now held in the Pensions Archive and which give an interesting insight into pension developments over a number of years.


Completion of cataloguing Phillips and Drew material 1892 - 1992


The PAT Archivist has worked on cataloguing the Phillips and Drew archive material held by the LMA covering the period 1892 -1992. It is a fascinating and comprehensive collection of papers and documents which covers many aspects of running the business.

The firm was well known to trustees and pension managers of pension funds for its stockbroking business and subsequently the investment management business it developed. Initially it had been a small firm focused on managing the investments of private clients, but was reshaped in the 1940s and 1950s by an actuary, Sidney Perry. Perry had joined the firm in 1936. Along with a team he assembled, Perry built up a group of institutional clients, such as insurance companies and pension funds, with a focus on dealing in gilts, which proved highly profitable for the firm. The income from Perry's area of the business began to dwarf that of the other partners, and Perry went on to take ultimate control of the business in 1950, formally becoming senior partner in 1952. By the 1960s Phillips and Drew was one of largest firms of stockbrokers in the UK, with over 200 partners and staff in 1966. In 1984 the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) acquired a 29.9% interest in Phillips and Drew and went on to fully acquire the firm in 1986.

The collection contains papers relating to its own pension arrangements including notes on proposals to for a "Top Hat" pension scheme for staff and pension arrangements for widows (1956 – 1959); 4th Deed of Amendment adopting new rules for the Phillips and Drew Pension Scheme (1962); minutes of Pension Fund Trustee meetings (1963) and a summary of the rules of the Pension Scheme (1968).

There are also a number of research papers amongst the collection including: Power from Atomic Energy: A Re-appraisement (1958); Growth Yields on Ordinary Shares (1961); The Gilt Edged Market: Some Switching Methods (1962). In 1958 there is also correspondence with Sidney Cottle on his work for Phillips and Drew and Throgmorton Management Ltd in developing investment management work with pension funds.

Added to the collection last year are the papers relating to the Blue Arrow Fraud case (1990 -1992). In 1987 UBS Phillips and Drew and County NatWest arranged a £837 million rights issue for one of their clients, Blue Arrow employment agency. To enable it to succeed both companies had to invest heavily in the shares themselves, but a subsequent stock market crash led the share prices to plummet and investors suggested that the companies' advisors had misled them. This led to a Department of Trade and Industry investigation and prosecution of the companies and eleven individuals, including four Phillips and Drew employees, for fraud. The trial of seven of these individuals and the companies became the second longest criminal trial in English history. Four of these individuals were eventually convicted but all four were later acquitted on appeal.


Substantial additions to George Ross Goobey’s collection


The collection of George Ross Goobey’s papers has been considerably enhanced by a further wide range of papers that his daughter has donated to PAT. They cover papers written on a variety of investment matters to the Trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund in the 1950s and 1960s. There is also correspondence between him and Sir James Grigg who was a non-executive director of Imperial Tobacco and Chairman of the Pension Fund’s Investment Committee. The papers include a number of presentations at conferences both in the UK and overseas when he spoke on the investment policy of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund emphasising the long term view they were prepared to take for both equity and property investment. There are also papers and correspondence to politicians on campaigns with which he was involved in relation to pensions. These additions to the collection are in the process of being catalogued and further information will be provided about them in a subsequent newsletter.


Noble Lowndes & Partners Limited history and donation of material


Noble Frank Lowndes born in New Zealand in 1896 set up his life assurance and pensions business in the UK in 1936. The remarkable story of its development and the innovations it introduced in the pensions market are recorded in a chapter of The Sedgwick Story by James Bishop following its acquisition by Sedgwick Group plc in 1993. A copy of the book published in December 1998, after Sedgwick itself had been acquired by Marsh & McLennan the owner of Mercer Consulting Group, has been donated to PAT by Michael Pilch who became policy director of Noble Lowndes & Partners in 1965. He was also Chairman of the NAPF 1979-1981.

Paul Kenny, who was in the Dublin office of Noble Lowndes & Partners (Irish Pensions Trust Ltd) before becoming Pensions Ombudsman in Ireland, donated on his retirement a collection of books whose authors, including Michael Pilch, were associated with Noble Lowndes.

A selection of Pension Technical Instructions published by Noble Lowndes & Partners between 1988 -1992 for use by its staff and the pension departments of clients has been donated by the former author of them, Paul Dawson, who is now Senior Compliance Manager at Fidelity. PAT is interested in acquiring further material of Noble Lowndes and Partners.

 

Newsletter


PAT’s newsletter gives updates on the Trust’s work and collections; to receive future copies please e-mail me at the address below.

Alan Herbert
Chairman
The Pensions Archive Trust
E-mail: alanherbert@btconnect.com
Tel: 01438 869198