The UK is unusual in having such a large number of defined benefit (DB) schemes – with around 5,450 funds in existence today – and there is an increasing focus among policymakers and regulators for some of these schemes to consolidate into larger entities in a bid to improve governance, reduce costs and improve the chances that pensions will be paid.

Some schemes will be able to take advantage of improved funding levels to consider an insurance-based approach to consolidation, entering into buyout contracts to settle liabilities.

There are, however, many other schemes where funding is less strong and there is no realistic chance of buyout in the near future. For these schemes, one option could be to consider merging into a specialist ‘superfund’ consolidator in a bid to improve outcomes for members – and a number of such businesses have entered the market.

This webinar will look at this new form of DB consolidation; ask what it is trying to achieve; assess the sort of schemes it may be suitable for and look at what funds need to look at when assessing these models.

In particular, it will answer the following:

  • What are DB consolidators and what are they aiming to achieve?
  • How does the advisory market view this sort of consolidation option?
  • What type of schemes could such a model be suitable for? Conversely, what schemes isn’t it suitable for?
  • What should schemes looking to go down this route expect? What is involved in consolidation of this type?
  • What’s the market demand for such a solution – is this deliverable today and when are we likely to see the first deals completed?



Jonathan Stapleton

Editor-in-chief, Professional Pensions

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Jonathan is editor-in-chief of Professional Pensions and has been reporting on UK occupational pensions since 2001.

He was named IA Pensions Journalist of the Year in 2015, SPP Journalist of the Year in 2014 and 2011 and is holder of the PMI's Retirement Provision Certificate.


Stewart Hastie

partner and head of pensions services for large Corporates, KPMG

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Stewart leads the KPMG pensions team advising large corporate clients on the design and financial management of UK and Irish pension arrangements. A qualified actuary with over 20 years of experience, he has advised a wide range of FTSE100 and equivalent organisations on the financing and risk management of over £250 billion of private sector pension liabilities. Stewart has led a number of KPMG pensions initiatives including Reshaping Retirement in response to the new pensions freedoms introduced by the Government in 2015 and the development of services to support schemes and companies considering the new Superfund and DB consolidation options. Stewart is a regular speaker at industry events and press commentator. He is a member of the Main Committee of Association of Consulting Actuaries helping to provide input to Government and the Pensions Regulator on the UK legal and regulatory framework for pensions.


Adam Saron

Founder and chief executive, Clara Pensions

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Adam is motivated by clarity, teamwork and a strong desire to effect change.  Adam believes that placing members first is the key to delivering a new solution for defined benefit pension schemes that will have a positive effect on members, sponsors and the broader UK economy.   Adam has worked in financial services for over 20 years.  He began his career in Equity Capital Markets at Goldman Sachs, where he advised European and global clients on the structuring and execution of equity and equity-linked financing.  After spending a year in the insurance industry he returned to the capital markets and was a founding partner at Black Ant Investment Management – a global value investor, investing across the capital structure.  Adam was a portfolio manager for 11 years on both the Black Ant Value and Credit funds.


Luke Webster

Co-founder and chief executive, The Pension SuperFund

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Luke is one of the founders of the Pension SuperFund and a passionate advocate of consolidation within the pensions sector. He brings extensive experience of asset and liability management, finance and public policy leading to change. He formerly served as Chief Finance and Risk Officer for the London Pensions Fund Authority from 2013-2015. Working with Edi Truell, then Chairman of the LPFA and now founding investor of the Pension SuperFund, Luke led transformational change of investment and liability management and the policy and business framework behind the formation of the £11bn Local Pensions Partnership, the first LGPS pool and pre-cursor to widespread consolidation. Luke currently balances his role with that of Chief Investment Officer at the Greater London Authority, where he has served in various capacities for the past 10 years, co-ordinating and structuring investment into major infrastructure projects such as Crossrail, the Northern Line Extension and housing in London. He also leads on corporate treasury, creating and overseeing collective investment vehicles for London local authorities' cash and offering wider shared services across London.

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