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The Leaders in Pensions Podcast
42 minutes | May 25, 2021
Ashleigh Harwood - Actuary at Mercer
Season 3Episode 4: Ashleigh Harwood - Actuary at Mercer.Time to talk to another fantastic rising star within the Pensions industry, Ashleigh Harwood. Ashleigh is an Actuary at Mercer and has been in the industry for nearly 6 years. Ashleigh won the Rising Star Award at the Women in Pensions Awards 2020, an amazing achievement!We discussed Ashleigh's educational background and how she ended up in the pensions space. It was great to also discuss Ashleigh's journey as an Actuarial Graduate, which came with lots of hard work and study hours to become qualified pretty quickly. We also chatted about Ashleigh's career goals, how to deal with failure, commons myths and the perks of working in the pensions industry. Ashleigh gives a real honest account of her experiences so far and this is a great episode for any aspiring Actuaries who are looking to become qualified!
50 minutes | May 18, 2021
Helen Hope - Mercer
Season 3Episode 3: Helen Hope - Partner and Head of UK Clients at MercerIt was a pleasure sit down and chat with Mercer's Helen Hope, who is a partner and Head of UK Clients for Mercer’s Delegated Solutions Team.Helen is a Principal within Mercer's Investments business. Located in London she is responsible for providing advice to a portfolio of institutional clients (both DB and DC).As always, we discussed the earlier days and Helen's educational background. We also chatted about how she entered the pensions industry and how her career took shape in 2004 when she joined Mercer as a graduate. We talked about the importance of great leadership, work-life balance, career progression tips/advice and the importance of mentors. It was also nice to discuss the career choice of Investment Consulting, so if anyone out there is considering a career within pensions investment consulting, please give this a listen!
28 minutes | May 11, 2021
Corey Cook and Lorraine Harper
PMI Mini SeriesEpisode 2: Corey Cook and Lorraine HarperIn episode 2 of our PMI Mini Series, I caught up with Corey Cook and Lorraine Harper...a couple of familiar names within the pensions industry!This episode focused on Corey and Lorraine's mentorship relationship through the PMI Mentoring and Development programme. We discussed more about the PMI Mentoring and Development programme and their own experiences as the Mentor (Lorraine) and Mentee (Corey). It was great to see both individuals so passionate about constant improvement and both Corey and Lorraine learnt a lot from the experience. A great episode dedicated to Mentorship!
40 minutes | May 11, 2021
Michael Clark - CBC Pension Services
PMI Mini SeriesEpisode 3: Michael Clark - Director at CBC Pension ServicesIn the final episode of our PMI Mini Series, we caught up with the brilliant Michael Clark of CBC Pension Services. We discussed Michael's journey to becoming the first PMI Accredited Professional Trustee in the UK and how his career progressed up until CBC.Michael set up CBC Pension Services in 2012 and we discussed how different the professional trusteeship landscape was compared to the current day. We also discussed the increasing diversity in trusteeship and the future of trusteeship.A great episode for anyone interested in the trustee side of things!
36 minutes | May 11, 2021
Hannah Hillier - Pensions Analyst at Mercer
PMI Mini-SeriesEpisode 1: Hannah Hiller - Pensions Analyst - MercerIn part 1 of our PMI Mini Series, I caught up with Hannah Hillier from Mercer. Hannah has 7 years experience working as an Analyst/Consultant for DB Pension Schemes.In this episode, we spoke about how Hannah managed to complete the DipPMI and her experience sitting exams whilst working. We also discussed the importance of the PMI exams and the benefits of becoming qualified. Hannah also recently wrote a piece for the Pensions Aspects magazine about the ADRP qualification ‘ADRP - 'Not just letters after my name’ - which we talked about briefly. If you are curious about the PMI exams or want to hear Hannah's journey so far in pensions, please tune in!
40 minutes | May 4, 2021
Marliane Owen - Partner at MakingGiants
Season 3Episode 2: Marliane Owen - Partner at MakingGiantsI was delighted to have sat down with Marliane Owen, who is a Partner at MakingGiants, a successful communications firm. We are now in Season 3 and shockingly, Marliane Owen is our first comms guest! We touched on how Marliane navigated her first few years in the industry which included roles with Alexander Forbes, Sterling and Barclays. We also talked about MakingGiants and the services they provide, especially within a pensions context. We discussed all things pension communications and the importance of financial communications within society. This was a really fun episode with some interesting perspectives from Marliane.
57 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Daniel Gerring - Travers Smith
Season 3Episode 1: Daniel Gerring - Partner and Head of Pensions at Travers SmithI was thrilled to sit down and pick the brains of Daniel Gerring, a Partner and Head of Pensions at the highly reputable law firm, Travers Smith. Daniel is a leading figure in the Pensions industry. He is one of the most high-profile LGBTQ+ business leaders in the UK and internationally. Daniel also sits on many committees and is a trustee for a not for profit organisation, Just Like Us. Daniel led the establishment of Travers Smith Corporate Social Responsibility programme and served as the firm's first CSR partner. He also speaks regularly about D&I at major pensions industry conferences and in the press.We discussed Daniel's early days and education, where he interestingly studied History! Daniel then moved into the legal side and fell into the pensions legal space. From there, the rest is history! We discussed other topics such as diversity & inclusion, Daniel's work outside of pensions, charity work, work-life balance, career progression advice and some fun quick fire questions at the end.A great episode to kick off Season 3!
46 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Neil Middleton and Andy Valentine - Ebury
Bonus episodeNeil Middleton and Andy Valentine from EburyWhat if there was a way to save money and time sending international pension payments to scheme members? A lower cost, faster solution? An easier way for administrators? All whilst being completely secure?Neil and Andy, Key Account Directors at Ebury, explain how Ebury have created a faster and more secure payment method for international pension payments. This solution actually saves the recipients money, which could add up to a large sum over the long run.Neil and Andy both discussed their careers to date and the challenges of breaking into the pensions industry. We discussed the outsider mentality, the great things about the pensions industry and the Ebury journey so far. This is a really interesting episode on how international payments work within a pensions context, and how Ebury are saving the headaches for administrators. A really great proposition!
50 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Ben Pollard - Founder and CEO of Cushon
Season 2Episode 13: Ben Pollard - Founder and CEO of CushonIn the season finale, I was delighted to catch up with Ben Pollard, the Founder and CEO of Cushon. This was an episode that I was looking forward to recording and it was a lot of fun!Ben started in the pensions industry as an Actuary for a couple of consultancies before becoming self employed as an Independent Consultant. Ben then took the leap into creating Cushon, a fintech firm who provided the world's first net zero pension and sustainable investing options to the every day employees. Cushon was created to offer employees of SME and corporate firms an easier way to invest and create a brighter financial future. Cushon provide a straightforward platform offering ISAs, Pensions and Investment Accounts to employees. This usually comes in the form of an Employee Benefit from their employer. We discussed the net first zero pension, myths about ESG, sustainable investing and the impact some pension schemes can have on the planet, without many people actually knowing about it! It was also interesting to discuss the Cushon journey and how Ben has managed to successfully grow the business to over 40 people. An amazing episode to finish the season!
44 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Akash Rooprai - Independent Trustee Services
Season 2Episode 12: Akash Rooprai - Director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS). It was a pleasure to sit down and chat with Akash Rooprai of ITS. Akash is a Director within the firm and operates as accredited professional trustee.Akash is an Actuary by trade and we discussed his time at university, education and early roles within the pensions sector. As well as discussing Akash's successful career, we delved deeper into independent trusteeship and what the future holds for trustees and pension schemes. Other topics discussed included leadership, career progression advice, work-life balance, mentoring and some quick fire questions at the end, which is always fun!
56 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Suman Sidhu - Lane Clark & Peacock
Season 2Episode 11: Suman Sidhu - Investment Consultant at Lane Clark & PeacockIt is time for an emerging leader and rising star within the pensions industry...I was delighted to chat with Suman Sidhu of LCP, in a really interesting discussion around her first few years within the industry. Suman is a Qualified Actuary and experienced Investment Consultant, working with a range of clients (predominantly Trustees) to provide tailored and bespoke advice on investment strategy.Suman is also a committee member on the LCP Women's Network and actively works with the Diversity Project's Gender Equality Workstream. Most impressively, she won the Rising Star of the Year 2020 in the Women in Investment Awards.We discussed Suman's experiences at university, studying and completing the actuarial exams, moving into investment consultancy, personal development and the power of mentors.This is our first "emerging leader" on the podcast and it wa great to give Suman the opportunity to share her story. We will be introducing a few more rising stars within the industry in the next few seasons. Another fantastic episode!
50 minutes | Mar 16, 2021
Kim Gubler - KGC Associates
Season 2Episode 10: Kim Gubler - Director at KGC AssociatesIn this week's Leaders in Pensions Podcast, I was delighted to sit down and speak with the one and only, Kim Gubler of KGC Associates. Kim is a very respected and friendly figure within the pensions industry and it was great to run through her successful career. Kim set up KGC Associates in 2002 after a successful corporate career within the pensions space. We discussed the transition of going from corporate to self employed and everything that comes with it. We also discussed some of the extra things Kim does outside of the day job such as Chairing PASA and operating as a Trustee for the Crystal Master Trust. Other topics discussed included leadership, work-life balance, influential people on Kim's career and some quickfire questions at the end!
49 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
Margaret Snowdon OBE
Season 2Episode 9: Margaret Snowdon OBEIt isn't often we can sit down with an OBE and pick the brains of one of the industry's most influential people. In this special episode, I sat down and spoke with Margaret Snowdon OBE.Margaret has been a prominent figure within the pensions industry for many years, now sitting on many boards, committees and is currently the president of PASA.We discussed the early days where Margaret was brought up within a working class environment in sunny Ayrshire! We discussed the early roles within the industry and the journey to becoming a trusted advisor within the pensions space. Of course, we talked about Margaret's OBE award and her experiences of winning numerous awards over her career. Other topics discussed included work-life balance, leadership, mentorship and tips on how the next generation can successfully progress their careers. An episode not to be missed!
57 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
Lesley Alexander - President of the PMI
Season 2Episode 8: Lesley Alexander - President of the PMIIt was an honour to sit down and spend some time chatting to Lesley Alexander in this weeks Leaders in Pensions Podcast. This was one of the funniest and light-hearted episodes so far full of laughs and jokes! 10/10 for entertainment! Lesley is a truly amazing character with some amazing stories about her hugely successful career. We discussed her journey from starting in pension documentation to the pinnacle achievement of becoming President of the PMI.Lesley held key leadership roles including CEO at HSBC Pension Trust (UK) and Managing Director at Ferrier Pearce. We talked about how she managed the pressures of these high- level roles and how work-life balance has always helped Lesley in stressful times. We discussed more about the PMI and some of the great things happening within the organisation. Topics included membership benefits, qualifications and some future initiatives in the pipeline. This is a MUST listen and if you are looking for a smile today, then this should help!
53 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Iona Bain - Young Money Blog (Special Episode)
Season 2Special episode: Iona Bain - Young Money BlogIn this special episode of The Leaders in Pensions Podcast, I sat down with Iona Bain, Founder of the Young Money Blog. Now widely considered the UK's go-to voice on millennial money, Iona is a regular presence on TV and radio, and is quoted frequently in national and online press. Iona is a writer for the FT Money section in the Financial Times and recently became Money Hacker in residence at BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks show, regularly broadcasting money advice to young people across the UK.This episode was based around personal finance. We discussed how young people can manage their finances better and become better educated to create a brighter future. Other topics discussed were the influence of social media on young finances, investing, saving and tips/hints on how to get started. We also discussed Iona's latest book "Own It" which is now available for pre-order. I really hope this episode provides value to anyone out there with an interest in personal finance. Iona's open and honest interview is packed with great information!
46 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Matt Macri-Waller - Founder and CEO of Benefex
Season 2Episode 7: Matt Macri-Waller - Founder and CEO of BenefexWhat a treat we have in store for episode 7.... I sat down the Founder and CEO of Benefex, Matt Macri-Waller. Matt founded Benefex in 2010 and has since grown the firm to over 400 staff. A truly inspiring story! We discussed the early days for Matt in which we agreed he was destined for entrepreneurship due to his parents both owning businesses. It was literally in his blood and he feels his parents were a huge positive influence on his early decision making. It was great to talk through the Benefex journey and how Matt had handled the pressures of being CEO. Topics discussed included staff retention, creating a positive culture, growing/scaling a business and much much more!Some great book recommendations in here as well!Enjoy..
54 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Caroline Escott - Senior Investment Manager at RPMI Railpen
Season 2Episode 6: Caroline Escott - Senior Investment Manager at RPMI RailpenI was delighted to catch up with the amazing Caroline Escott of RPMI Railpen. Caroline was the Investment Women of the Year 2020 (small-med size companies). Caroline is responsible for leading global corporate governance activities, developing and implementing RPMI Railpen's active ownership strategy and leading external manager monitoring on ESG and stewardship.We discussed the experience of starting a new role from home in the middle of a global pandemic, remote on-boarding and Caroline's experience of her first few months within her current role. It was interesting to run through Caroline's career which started in the House of Commons. The bulk of Caroline's career has been in policy and public affairs, with more recently an investment focus. Other topics discussed included the importance of networking, work-life balance, mentorship and giving back to the industry. Caroline has achieved success fairly young and this will be a great episode for people who are looking to progress their careers quickly. This was a really fun episode to record and there are plenty of laughs and light hearted banter...Well worth a listen!
47 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Rona Train - Partner & Senior Investment Consultant at Hymans Robertson
Season 2Episode 5: Rona Train - Partner & Senior Investment Consultant at Hymans RobertsonI caught up with Rona Train of Hymans Robertson, in an amazingly honest and open chat through her impressive career. Rona won the Role Model of the Year award at the Women in Pension Awards 2020 and I was thrilled to spend an hour discussing life and business. We discussed the early days of Rona's career which included a period living in Norwich and working for Norwich Union. Rona had some difficult personal challenges early on in her career but still managed to progress and move forward. We ran through Rona's career with Scottish Widows, Aegon and now Hymans Robertson and discussed how Rona managed to make Partner at Hymans Robertson. Other topics discussed included mentorship, leadership, developing others, work life balance, dealing with failure and how you can accelerate your career. Rona provides some amazing advice, hints and tips for the Next Generation of professionals and I hope listeners can take some value from this podcast.
45 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
Samantha Brown - Partner and Head of Pensions at Herbert Smith Freehills
Season 2Episode 4: Samantha Brown - Partner and Head of Pensions at Herbert Smith FreehillsI was delighted to catch up with Samantha Brown, who is a Partner and Head of Pensions at Herbert Smith Freehills. Samantha has been practicing Pensions Law at the same firm since 2003, so is a highly experience Pensions Lawyer. Samantha talked about how she was stitched up and fell into pensions law but came to love it very soon after. It was all a blessing in disguise!We discussed how to handle stress, mental health, self awareness, dealing with failure and the importance of a work life balance. Samantha was highly commended for the Pensions Women of the Year at the Women in Pensions awards 2019. We talked a little about why she was nominated and things other professionals can do to get noticed!This was a lovely chat through Samantha's career with a little bit of humour and light hearted banter throughout. Really enjoyable episode!
55 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
Lisa Lyon - MD of Target Professional Services and Founder of MyPensionID
S2, Episode 3: Lisa Lyon - MD of Target Professional Services and Founder of MyPensionIDI sat down with the truly inspiring Lisa Lyon who is the MD of Target Professional Services and Founder of MyPensionID. Lisa is one of the most passionate and charismatic leaders I have interviewed so far, so this episode was a joy to record! We discussed the early days of Lisa's career and ran through the journey to becoming MD of Target and now Founder of MyPensionID. We talked about how Lisa has managed her business through Covid19 and the ways she has kept staff motivated and engaged in difficult times.Lisa is a family orientated individual who believes in generosity and giving to others. This came across in this interview where Lisa discussed here charity work and the amazing things she is doing for the local community. We also discussed the idea behind MyPensionID and how the proposition can help the pensions industry moving forward. Lisa's best advice for aspiring professionals early in their careers would be have a "can do" attitude and picture the end result, as well as being kind to others. Give it a listen and let us know what you think!
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