25 Oct 2021

Metro Bank GC joins rail pension scheme as top lawyer

Sally-Ann James named general counsel of Railpen, which manages funds of around £35bn

Sally-Ann James Image courtesy of Railpen

Recently-rebranded railway pensions manager Railpen has hired Sally-Ann James as general counsel from Metro Bank.

James brings more than three decades of experience in the financial sector to the business, which manages around £35bn in funds and announced at the end of last month that it had rebranded from RPMI to Railpen following several years of transition.

London-based James will take over from interim general counsel Oliver Basi and report to chief executive officer John Chilman, who said James’ track record of building teams “positions her perfectly to assess and build-out Railpen’s legal capability, to support the entire business”. He added: “Creating a strong team that can deliver in our complex environment will help us collectively deliver on our purpose, and position us for future growth.”

James was the first lawyer to join Metro Bank, as sole counsel, in 2012 and was promoted to the GC role two years later. She eventually became responsible for a team of seven, including the company secretarial function.

Prior to that James spent 17 years at the Co-operative Banking Group in a variety of roles, including senior commercial solicitor, head of banking commercial and finally head of banking contract and commercial for the then merged financial services business, Co-operative Financial Services. She also spent four years on corporate transactional and commercial work at legacy firm Manches & Co prior to its 2013 merger with Penningtons.

“I’m very pleased to be joining as general counsel at this exciting time for the business, as benefits administration, our fiduciary services and investment management come together under one name, Railpen,” said James. “I’m looking forward to building an effective legal function and delivering legal services that meet the needs of the business, ensuring we deliver on our purpose of securing our members’ future”.