RPMI Railpen has appointed Anna Rule to the new role of head of property as it looks to increase its in-house investment capabilities.

Rule, a senior director and fund manager at Aviva Investors, will take up the position in the new year.

Railpen, which manages the £24bn (€27.9bn) Railways Pension Scheme in the UK, has been shifting towards more in-house investments.

Orchard Street Investment Management has been managing a UK property mandate for Railpen since 2005. In 2008, it was given greater discretion over investments.

At the end of last year, the Railways Pension Scheme had £1.9bn invested in real estate, approximately 8% of its total assets at the time.

Richard Williams, investment director at Railpen, said Rule “will be working closely with Orchard Street, Railpen’s longstanding partner for property investment”.

It was not disclosed whether Railpen planned to eventually take over the mandate internally, but Williams said it “is an important step in further developing our in-house investment expertise”.

Rule is responsible for Aviva Investors’ Pooled Pension Fund, manages to two separate accounts worth £2.2bn and launched two opportunity funds.