He scooped the accolade – voted for by members of the 40-strong awards judging panel –at a glittering gala dinner at the Royal Exchange, which also saw the £6bn Marks & Spencer UK Pension Scheme take home three awards for the best pension scheme II (over £1bn), best risk management and best portfolio structure categories.
Ellison is head of strategic development for pensions at law firm Pinsent Masons, acts as a trustee for several pension funds and is a visiting professor in pensions law at Cass Business School at City University and visiting senior lecturer at King’s College, London.
He is a founder of the Association of Pensions Lawyers, being awarded its Wallace Prize in 1995, and is a past chairman of the National Association of Pension Funds. He was the first solicitor to be elected honorary fellow of the Pensions Management Institute in 1997.
On accepting the award from Barnett Waddingham partner Malcolm McLean, Ellison said he was “very touched” to be recognised by his industry peers.
The evening also ended in success for the £5.2bn Church Commissioners for England endowment fund, which picked up two awards in the best charity/endowment/foundation and the best investor in property categories.
The award for best pension scheme I (under £1bn) was handed to the Volkswagen Group Pension Scheme, while Rentokil Initial was victorious in the best corporate treasury category.
Elsewhere, the £12bn Pension Protection Fund scooped the award for best use of responsible investment and The Pensions Trust, which manages about £5bn in assets, took home best investor in alternative asset classes.
Guests including pension fund investors, insurers, investment consultants, academics and economists were also treated to a pre-dinner keynote speech from the ‘father of fiduciary management’ Anton van Nunen, who spoke on the subject of financial repression.
Full list of winners
Industry achievement – Robin Ellison
Best pension scheme I (under £1bn) – Volkswagen Group Pension Scheme
Highly commended – London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
Best pension scheme II (over £1bn) – Marks & Spencer UK Pension Scheme
Highly commended – RBS Group Pension Fund and Trafalgar House Pension Trust
Best corporate treasury – Rentokil Initial
Best implementation of responsible investment – Pension Protection Fund
Highly commended – Environment Agency
Best risk management – Marks & Spencer UK Pension Scheme
Highly commended – Trafalgar House Pension Trust
Best investor in alternative asset classes – The Pensions Trust
Best portfolio structure – Marks & Spencer UK Pension Scheme
Highly commended – Pension Protection Fund
Best charity/endowment/foundation – Church Commissioners for England
Best investor in property – Church Commissioners for England