The Pensions Regulator in the U.K. has forced Discovery Flexibles CEO Thomas Christopher Wrigley to leave his role as the chairman of trustees of the company’s pension fund, following an investigation.
The asset size of the pension fund could not be learned.
TPR said Wednesday that an independent trustee had been appointed to act in place of Mr. Wrigley, who is also a major shareholder in the packaging company. Mr. Wrigley will remain CEO.
Mr. Wrigley, in his role as chairman of the pension fund trustees, had considered investing £1.2 million ($1.5 million) of the pension fund’s assets in the Dundee, Scotland-based company, TPR found during its investigation. However, under U.K. law, pension funds can invest no more than 5% of their assets in their sponsoring employers, a TPR spokesman said.
Under the Pensions Act 1995 and in the occupational pension funds investment regulations set in 2005, employer-related investments, including loans or guarantees, are additionally prohibited.
For refusing to provide information to TPR during the investigation, Mr. Wrigley was additionally fined £400 after the regulator brought a case against him to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Edinburgh. Mr. Wrigley pleaded guilty at Dundee Sheriff Court to a charge of failing or refusing to provide information to TPR without a good excuse, TPR said.
Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation, said in a news release: “(Mr. Wrigley) earned himself a criminal record by refusing to give us the information he was legally required to. His behavior towards TPR staff doing their job was intolerable so I welcome the fact that the determination panel took this into consideration when it decided to prohibit him. Complying with our powers is not optional — if we ask you for information … you must provide it. If you fail to give us information we’ve asked for, you should be prepared to be prosecuted — and convicted.”