Starting Now: Chair's welcome
Starting Now: Risk and Reward
Starting soon: DC Stream and DB stream - please pick a session to watch
Starting Now: Signalling a virtual S.H.I.F.T
Starting Now: Closing remarks from the chairman
Starting Now: Chair's welcome
Starting Now: Risky Business
Starting Soon: DC Stream and DB stream - please pick a session to watch
Starting Now: Business as unusual
Starting Now: Closing remarks from the chairman
Starting Now: Chair's welcome
Starting Now: What could the future look like and how quickly could we get there?
Starting Now: What place ESG?
Starting Now: Future World Panel
Starting Now: Closing remarks from the chairman

Wednesday 1st July: 09:10 – 11:20 and 14:10 – 16:20

Thursday 2nd July: 09:10 – 11:20


As the situation regarding Covid-19 continues to develop, UK pension schemes, their sponsors and members will need to continue to deal with the impacts.

Professional Pensions presents our second Deskflix episode in partnership with Mercer on the 1st and 2nd July. This three part episode will look at how you can respond, return and reinvent

Covid-19: Dealing with the impacts; will examine how the pandemic has amplified some of the challenges DB and DC pension schemes have to overcome, and how you’ll now need to rise to a new set of challenges that, whilst created by Covid-19, are probably here to stay.

We’ll reflect on what schemes have already done – for example a shift to virtual meetings, what they’re doing right now – like having to look at increased cyber risks and business resilience, and consider what the future might look like and how long it might take to get there. 

This three part live event provides you with the chance to interact with our expert speakers, your peers, and visit the Mercer booths during the breaks to ask those all important questions, all from the comfort of your own desk (and let’s face it, the coffee is better there).

Don’t panic if you get called away by surprise, we’ll have all of the content available on demand so you can consume it anywhere, anytime. Deskflix: login, begin, take it in.




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Jonathan Stapleton

Editor, Professional Pensions

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Jonathan is editor of Professional Pensions and has been reporting on UK occupational pensions since 2001. He has won a number of awards during his career, most recently the SPP Trade Journalist of the Year Award in 2019. He is also holder of the PMI's Retirement Provision Certificate.

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Wayne Fitzgibbon

Chief Investment Officer, Mercer

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Wayne is CIO of UK DB Investment Consulting at Mercer. He is a strategic investment adviser to a range of UK defined benefit pension clients with liabilities of £1bn to £5bn. He is Chair of their Investment Ideas Group and is involved in producing intellectual capital on financial markets, risk management (including LDI) and alternative approaches to asset allocation.Wayne was previously Global Head of Fixed Income and Currency at Macquarie Investment Management with offices in Sydney, London, Seoul and Los Angeles. He has managed global fixed income portfolios, led tactical asset allocation teams, and worked as a macroeconomist, specialising in monetary theory and policy.

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Brian Henderson

Partner and Director of Consulting, Mercer

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Brian is a Partner and Director of Consulting within Mercer’s Wealth business. Lead advisor to some of the largest UK Pension Schemes and Employers and known for developing innovative and award winning wealth solutions. As Director of Consulting, Brian is responsible for overseeing the consulting agenda, developing key market themes and regularly represents Mercer’s view externally.

He has over 25 years’ experience which also includes investment consulting together with performance measurement. Before joining Mercer in 2008, was a Senior Investment Consultant within the Investment Practice of Hymans Robertson LLP. Prior to that, he was a director of The WM Company, the specialist performance measurement firm, latterly owned by Deutsche Bank.

An industry influencer he has supported many groups, including:

• Member of both the PLSA Policy Board and DC Committee.

• Member of the CFA Institute ESG taskforce

• Chair of the PLSA cross-industry taskforce delivering guidance for trustees on ESG and Stewardship.

• Chair of the Customer Engagement team for the Advisory Group to UK Government: Creating a Culture of Social Impact Investment and Savings.

• Member of the UK Social Impact Investment Implementation Taskforce

• Leader of the Financial Wellness team on behalf of the DWP Fuller Working Lives strategy group.

• Primary delegate representing consultants globally on the CFA Institute Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) Council.

Received doctorate from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh in 1990 and is an associate of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).

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Jeremy Milton

UK Financial Wellbeing Leader, Mercer

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Jeremy is the UK Financial Wellbeing Leader for Mercer. He has spent over 30 years advising clients on Benefits strategy and DC Plan management, and has been part of Mercer’s specialist Financial Wellbeing Team since its inception in 2015. He is now focused on supporting our clients to develop effective Financial Wellbeing strategies that are fit for the future world of work.

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Darren Masters

Partner and Head of Covenant Consulting Group, Mercer

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Darren is a Partner and Head of Mercer’s Covenant Consulting Group, and established Mercer’s covenant business in 2006. He is a chartered accountant and former insolvency practitioner, and represents Mercer on the Employer Covenant Practitioners Association.

Darren advises trustees and corporate sponsors on all aspects of employer covenant, providing analysis and strategic advice for input into triennial scheme funding discussions, corporate transactions and major scheme events.

He has developed a number of tools and processes that integrate covenant ratings into Mercer’s actuarial standards, providing a direct link between employer covenant strength, the setting of Technical Provisions, the establishment of affordable Recovery Plans, and establishing tolerance for investment risk.

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Nicci Take

Head of Growth/Sales UK Wealth, Mercer

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Nicci used to be a boy but she’s alright now! She is Interim Head of Growth/Sales for Mercer Wealth UK and is Chairwoman of a company called m62|vincis, which has been a Mercer supplier for over 10 years. She spent 44 years pretending to be male and trying hard to fit into a role that ultimately, like a bad suit, didn’t fit. For the past 8 years she’s been wearing haute couture that does fit and spends her time trying to change the world, one bigot at a time. In 2017 she made the FT OUTstanding list of 100 LGBT Role models and in 2018 the FT’s HERoes List of 100 women who support women in business and inadvertently became hated by the ladies of “Mums Net”. She works in London but lives in Liverpool with her wife and 3 teenage kids, all of whom don’t miss her as much as her cooking when she’s away.

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James Crask

Head of Business Resilience, Mercer

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Marsh’s UK & Global Head of Organisational Resilience and Crisis Management.

• Expert crisis advisor to governments and corporations, UK-based.

• Leads 30-strong UK team of Resilience & Crisis Management professionals.

• Former COBR advisor and Head of Risk Management for UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

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Jano Bermudes

Head of Cyber Risk Consulting, Marsh

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Jano leads Marsh’s Cyber Risk Advisory practice, which helps clients understand, measure, mitigate and manage cyber risk. Prior to Marsh Jano led an international cyber practice for consulting firm Ankura (previously Navigant), specialising in crises management driven security services such as incident response, forensics, business recovery, disputes and investigations. During this time Jano supported hundreds of clients through major crises events such as data breeches, destructive ransomware attacks. Prior to this Jano has a background of nearly two decades of management, risk and technology consulting within the big four (PricewaterhouseCoopers and then KPMG). He has held leadership roles in both organizations and his last role at KPMG was as a Director in the cyber security practice specialising in de-risking large complex technology transformations.

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Simon Turner

Partner, Mercer

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Simon is a Partner and Actuary who provides advice to a range of companies.

His corporate clients range in size from £100m to £10bn. He believes all clients should have a clear short, medium and long term plan. He has worked with clients across the pharmaceutical sector, construction sector, professional services sector and energy sector.

He has been involved in a number of large projects which include:

• Advising an engineering company on a strategic journey plan for its three defined benefit pension schemes which involves bespoke solutions for each scheme but an overall objective for the Group.

• Advising a major pharmaceutical company on the sale of a large part of its global business and scheme closure exercise.

• Advising a number of clients in the energy sector on changing the pension scheme benefits and liability management exercises

• He also has engaging with a range of clients to understand the level of investment risk and set strategic direction on the long term investment strategy

Simon is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

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Jenny Condron

Partner, Mercer

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Jenny was Chief Actuarial Officer of Mercer from 2017 to 2020 and became the first female Chair of the Association of Consulting Actuaries in June 2018, serving until May 2020. She is also a member of the Cost Transparency Initiative Board. She is a Scheme Actuary, supporting her clients which range in size from £150m to £30bn, in all areas of funding and risk management.

Jenny graduated from Oxford University in 1991 with an MA in Mathematics. She qualified as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) in 1994.

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Alastair Walker

Director, Mercer

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Alastair is lead consultant on a wide range of trustee and corporate clients, including various multi-nationals and the DB schemes of a FTSE 100 company. Over recent years, Alastair has been at the forefront of developing novel and practical IRM frameworks for his clients. Alastair is also Mercer’s UK Head of Longevity Analytics, giving particular focus to the short and long-term impacts on longevity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alastair has worked in the pensions industry since 1994, joined Mercer in 1997, and qualified as an actuary in 1999.

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Marion de Voy

UK DB Governance Leader, Mercer

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In her role as UK DB Governance Leader, Marion is responsible for ensuring that schemes are managed effectively and efficiently to the highest standards of scheme governance. The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of pension scheme governance, sometimes in unexpected ways, and she has worked with other senior team members to help shape Mercer’s support for its clients throughout the pandemic. The lessons learned over this time have helped inform today’s presentation.

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Gail Philippart

UK DC Consulting Leader, Mercer

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Gail runs the Mercer UK DC Consulting team which comprises over 70 DC specialists based around the UK. She has worked in pensions for over 30 years and works with a variety of trustee and corporate clients helping them ensure their pension arrangements deliver the best outcomes for members.

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Barrie Wilkinson

Partner, Oliver Wyman

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Barrie joined Oliver Wyman in 1993 after graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge. His background is in Risk Management within Financial Services with a particular emphasis on the modelling and management of crises. For the last five years Barrie has been leading Oliver Wyman’s digital work for leading banks globally including the creation of number of greenfield digital propositions. This work built upon Barrie’s depth of knowledge in data and analytics.

Barrie was one of the lead creators of Oliver Wyman’s Pandemic Navigator, a suite of tool which derives economic output from epidemiological scenarios. Since its development the tool has been put to widespread use by policymakers, health professionals and companies in the private sector.

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Charles Cowling

Chief Actuary, Mercer

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Charles originally joined Mercer’s Liverpool office in 1984 and subsequently became a Worldwide Partner before leaving Mercer to join JLT Benefit Solutions in 2007, where he became their Chief Actuary. He subsequently re-joined Mercer last year, when they acquired JLT, and is now Mercer Chief Actuary. Charles has acted as principal actuarial adviser to several multinational companies and their pension schemes and has advised on global de-risking projects.

Charles has pioneered the use of modern corporate finance techniques in actuarial work and advised the trustees of the Boots pension scheme on their ground-breaking switch into a 100% bond investment strategy. He is a member of the Council of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and has chaired their Pensions Board and their International Board. Charles is the author of a number of research papers and was also Chairman of the UK Actuarial Profession's Discount Rate Steering Committee which led the Actuarial Profession's research into the use of discount rates. Charles is the UK’s pension representative at the Actuarial Association of Europe and the International Actuarial Association where he chairs the Pensions and Employee Benefits Committee.

Charles is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. He has a BSc from Durham University and he is also a Chartered Mathematician, a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

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Lucy Tusa

Senior Investment Consultant, Mercer

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: Lucy Tusa CFA joined Mercer in April 2007 and is a Partner in the Investment Consulting department. She was awarded the CFA charter in 2006 and has been an Associate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals (ASIP) since 1986.

At Mercer, Lucy provides investment consultancy services to a range of pension fund, foundation and endowment clients. She advises clients on strategy setting, asset allocation, liability- management and manager selection. She is a member of Mercer’s Global Dynamic Asset Allocation (DAA) Committee. Lucy is a contributor to the firm’s intellectual capital, particularly in relation to equity markets and responsible investment. Lucy manages Mercer’s responsible investment team in Europe. She speaks regularly at industry events.

Lucy has an MA (Hons) in History from Trinity College, Cambridge.

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Rupert Watson

Head of Asset Allocation, Mercer

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Rupert is Head of Asset Allocation. He joined Mercer in May 2013 and is responsible for the asset allocation strategy of our discretionary mandates, both in terms of dynamic and strategic asset allocation. He manages clients’ Growth Portfolios as well as the Mercer Diversified Growth Fund

Prior to joining Mercer, Rupert was Head of Asset Allocation at Skandia Investment Group and previously worked as a fund manager at Black River Asset Management, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Investec Asset Management and Merrill Lynch Investment Management. Rupert began his career at the Bank of England.

Rupert has a first class economics degree from Edinburgh University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

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Laura McKim

Partner & UK Career Business Leader, Mercer

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I lead the Career business in the UK to partner with our clients in transforming their workforce in line with their business strategy, offering deep technical expertise and data across core reward and talent challenges, and supporting change through technology, leaders and the workforce.

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Nick McClelland

Partner, Mercer Marsh Benefits

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Nick is an industry leader within the wellbeing, employee benefits and HR technology industry. He has spent 15 years delivering employee benefits and engagement strategies for some of the world’s leading organisations. Nick is a Partner at Mercer Marsh Benefits and is passionate about re-shaping organisational wellbeing for authentic and sustainable change.

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Jim Doran

UK Governance Leader, Mercer

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Jim is the UK Governance Leader for Mercer's Defined Contribution and Financial Wellness business in the UK.

In that role, Jim also has responsibility for developing Mercer’s ideas and consulting resources on DC governance, including board effectiveness, value for member’s assessments and legislation briefings.

He sits on the Policy Board for Mercer’s Wealth Business.

Jim is also a senior consultant to several medium and large defined contribution arrangements, both trust and contract-based, as well as three hybrid DB/DC arrangements.

He joined Mercer in 1990, having worked for Noble Lowndes & Partners Ltd in Dublin. He is based in our Glasgow and Edinburgh offices.

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Paige Reeves

Conference Manager, Professional Pensions


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