Warren Buffett, the world's second richest man and arguably the most important man in the US insurance industry, is believed to be considering entering a venture to buy private pension schemes in the UK.

The Sunday Times has reported that Mr Buffett, the head of leading US insurance house Berkshire Hathaway, is considering joining Prudential executive Mark Wood in a new venture that will buy up the pension schemes of British companies.

Mr Wood is currently the head of the major UK insurer’s domestic division, but will be leaving at the end of January to set up his new pensions venture. According to the Sunday Times article Mr Wood has recruited broker Numis and corporate-finance specialist Hawkpoint Partners to set up a buyout fund.

Mark Wood, with the backing of men such as Warren Buffett, is hoping to buy up to 50 funds, preferably from medium-sized companies who are keen to offload the burden from their balance sheets. The ultimate plan is to merge the purchased schemes and then make money from the economies of scale.