Patrick is a partner in the pensions team as well as a director and founder of Entrust, a leading professional pension trustee company.
Patrick has overseen Entrust develop into a global business helping inward investors in more than 20 countries worldwide manage legacy defined benefit scheme liability aspects of their UK operations. Patrick has helped to develop Entrust’s comprehensive services platform for businesses seeking to reduce the time and money spent looking after their defined benefit schemes. He has worked on sole trustee appointments and co-trustee cases, including as Chair of trustees. Patrick has succeeded in challenging negotiations, assisted employers to break free from outdated scheme structures and brought a leading industry wide scheme for over 200 employers to a successful conclusion.
From Barcelona to Belfast, Patrick has spoken on a range of pension trustee and legal topics ranging from in-depth analysis of legal developments to the future of pension provision in the UK. Patrick established the UK’s legal training for the Pensions Aspects of Public Sector Outsourcing, a market with a lifetime value for contracts of £95bn in 2017/18. Patrick has served as Chair of the North West Group of the Association of Pension Lawyers and is currently President of the Pension Bond Association.
How do you help clients?
I help clients overcome the mounting costs and the drain on management resources associated with managing legacy UK defined benefit pension scheme liability for employers based in the UK and worldwide.
- Advising an employer prevented from developing its growth strategy due to uncertainties attaching to its legacy UK defined benefit scheme liability. Patrick proposed a sole trustee appointment for Entrust replacing a board of past and present senior managers and arranged for the defined benefit scheme to adopt the Enplan Pension Platform, a comprehensive service for businesses that want to reduce the time and money spent on looking after their defined benefit scheme liability. As a result the employer is managing these issues in a far more efficient and coordinated manner and the scheme no longer represents an impediment to its future growth and prosperity.
- Advising an employer for whom entrenched disagreements and associated costs around their legacy defined benefit scheme were becoming a threat to the continued existence of the employer who operate in a challenging industry environment. Patrick arranged for Entrust to be appointed as a trustee to resolve all ongoing areas of disagreement and adopt practical and innovative methods of communication going forwards to build a relationship of mutual trust and confidence between the employer and the trustees. The result is that unproductive and expensive disagreements have been replaced by regular channels of communication, via a Pensions Consultative Committee, focusing upon key issues of pension scheme funding strategy, investment strategy and the employer’s covenant. This has reduced cost, resolved all outstanding disputes, reduced risk and volatility in the scheme funding and helped communication between the employer and scheme members.
- Advising an employer whose UK defined benefit liability was mired in an outdated structure which had become costly and dysfunctional over a number of years. Working with a team of colleagues and trusted advisers, Patrick established a bespoke single-user environment with Entrust as sole corporate trustee to optimise funding strategy, investment strategy and help the employer maximise the financial covenant available to support the scheme.
- Advising an employer with a group of companies spread across Western Europe whose private equity investor wished to dispose of its shareholding to a purchaser who would subsequently support the group’s UK pension schemes both of which are looked after by Entrust. Working with a team of colleagues and trusted advisers, Patrick developed a single-metric Memorandum of Understanding which enabled a purchaser to be found from over 40 interested parties including the ultimate buyer of the business whose existing operations were of such a complementary nature that the Monopolies and Mergers Commission were at pains to study the transaction to ensure it was fair to the buyer’s competitors in the market. The result is a successful exit for the private equity house upon disposal of their shares, a stronger financial covenant supporting the schemes and a successful implementation of the buyer’s growth strategy which has moved it from a €300m to a €500m turnover business.
- Advising a Japanese-owned employer whose experienced pension scheme trustee was retiring before a major benefit change exercise, the success of which would determine the future direction of the UK business supporting the scheme. Patrick replaced the retiring Chair and steered the trustee group through a challenging period of negotiation, focused upon legal and financial considerations. The result was that spiralling pension scheme costs were capped at a commercially sensible level which in turn secured vital investment support which has transformed the UK business into a profit making centre piece of the group’s worldwide strategy for growth.