BT established its own Trustee body, British Telecommunications Staff Superannuation Scheme (BTSSS). In 1983, a Special Order was put before Parliament, permitting a split of the assets in POSSS on the basis of an actuarial assessment. They were divided as follows: just under 58% to BT and the remainder to the Post Office. Lengthy negotiations about managing the two pension schemes ensued between the companies, the government, the trade unions and Possfund. In September 1983, all parties agreed to a complete separation of assets between the two schemes and the existing Possfund investment team would remain intact, following the behests of each scheme in regard to its own assets. And so, we were established as PosTel Investment Management.
As part of the new arrangement, the board was drawn equally from its two shareholders, POSSS and BTSSS, alongside Chairman Leonard Hall. Meanwhile, Ralph Quartano, the head of Possfund, would take the helm as chief executive.
We were based in Equitable House on 48 King William Street, London – a stone’s through from the Monument to the Great Fire of 1666. Indeed, the monument was described by Quartano as “a most useful adjunct in meetings”.
“A quick trip up the 311 steps always instilled respect,” he said.