Tuesday 23rd June, 9am – 12pm

ABOUT THIS EVENT:

Trustees are dealing with a myriad of complex decisions at a time when investments, funding and administration are all facing challenges in what is a perfect storm for pension funds. 

This event will look at how each crisis strengthens the argument for strong investment governance. Well-designed portfolios in expert and responsive hands enables investors to be ready to seize opportunities whenever they arise. An enhanced governance framework is valuable even in calm markets, but can be the difference between success and failure when volatility hits.  

Join us for our first Deskflix series in partnership with Mercer. A live event with the chance to interact with our expert speakers, your peers, and visit the Mercer booth 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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Speakers

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Helen Hope

Head of UK Fiduciary Client Team

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Helen is a Partner and senior member of Mercer’s Fiduciary Management (FM) team. She is Head of UK Clients and is responsible for all of Mercer’s UK FM clients. This involves over 200 clients and leading a team of ten senior consultants who lead these clients. Alongside her leadership responsibilities Helen has a select portfolio of her own client relationships both within the UK and Europe. These are Mercer’s larger clients. Helen also contributes to Mercer’s European Asset Allocation Committee.

In recent years she has been involved in Mercer's responses to the CMA's review of the UK fiduciary and investment consulting industries as well as ensuring the UK Delegated Solutions business was ready for the launch of MiFID II in January 2018.

Helen has been with Mercer for over fifteen years. Helen graduated from the University of Nottingham with an honours degree in Management Studies and is a CFA charterholder.

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Blair Jacobson

Partner, Co-Head of European Credit
Ares Management

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Mr. Jacobson is a Partner and Co-Head of European Credit in the Ares Credit Group and a member of the Management Committee of Ares Management. He also serves on the boards of Ares Management Limited and Ares Management UK Limited. Additionally, Blair serves on the Ares Credit Group's European Direct Lending and European Liquid Credit Investment Committees. Prior to joining Ares in 2012, Blair was a Partner at The StepStone Group, where he focused on building and running European operations, including oversight of private debt and equity investments. Previously, Blair was a Partner at Citigroup Private Equity and Mezzanine Partners in London and New York. In addition, he has held a variety of roles in investment banking and mergers and acquisitions in a broad range of industries, most recently at Lehman Brothers. Blair holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Williams College in Political Economy and an M.B.A., with honors, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Finance.

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Carmel Jordan

European Chief Operating Officer

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Carmel Jordan is COO for Mercer’s Delegated Solutions business where she is responsible for leading the Operations & Technology team which supports Mercer’s investment activities across Europe. Carmel’s team is charged with the delivery of operational excellence across the range of Mercer solutions offered to our clients, including our large multi-national clients. Carmel also leads the Mercer Ireland Diversity & Inclusion agenda.

Carmel began her career with Price Waterhouse and continued to progress through a series of senior roles in a number of Professional and Financial services organisations and now has over 20 years’ experience across a broad range of disciplines including operations, client servicing, finance, IT, insurance and compliance. Carmel holds a B.A. in Finance from Dublin City University and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ireland. She also holds a Msc. in Business Administration from Trinity College Dublin.

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André Kerr

Partner – Investment

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André is a Partner at XPS based in Leeds, he is head of the national XPS Investment FM Oversight team. In this role he uses his extensive FM experience to help clients with both FM selection exercises and oversight of existing FM appointments.

Prior to joining XPS, André worked at WTW providing FM advice to schemes and was involved in the day-to-day management of several “in-house” funds, including alternative credit and secure income funds. André sits on the committee shaping the industry standard for evaluating the performance of fiduciary management.

André previously spent 14 years in the RAF as a fast jet pilot and flying instructor.

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James Lewis

Head of UK Fiduciary Strategy

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James is Head of Investment Strategy for Mercer’s UK Delegated Solutions business. As well as leading the strategy team James is the lead Strategist for a number of clients where the scope of work ranges from detailed modelling of the financial risks his clients face to planning and implementing sophisticated journey plans. He has a particular focus on investment strategy and its evolution overtime to reflect the changing dynamics of the pension scheme.

James has over 14 years industry experience and joined Mercer in 2010 having previously worked for Buck Consultants. At Buck James was a Senior Consulting Actuary advising clients on a wide range of funding, investment and accounting issues. James’ prior experience provide him with a detailed knowledge of pension benefits, liability structures and an understanding of the importance of a joined up approach when it comes to funding and investment enabling James to provide integrated advice to clients.

James read Economics at the University of Warwick graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2001. He qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (FIA) in 2007 and holds the Investment Management Certificate (IMC).

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Andrew McDougall

Head of Portfolio Management, Mercer

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Andrew is a Head of Active Portfolio Management within the fiduciary management team at Mercer. He specialises in investment manager selection, portfolio construction and asset allocation within fixed income asset classes and has over 11 years investment experience. Prior to joining the fiduciary management team, Andrew was a consultant in the fixed income manager research team. Before that, he was part of the Quantitative Research Group undertaking analysis on dynamic asset allocation (DAA) and intellectual capital projects. He has also worked at Lehman Brothers as a fixed income business analyst and Motorola Inc. within the treasury department. Andrew is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and holds the investment management certificate (IMC). He graduated with a first class honours degree in Business Administration from University of Bath.

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Daniel Melley

Head of UK Fiduciary Management
Mercer

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Dan is a Partner is Mercer’s Investment Solutions team. He is responsible for bespoke investment solutions for clients, developing commercial relationships and overseeing the execution of Mercer’s investment solutions, distribution and growth strategy. Dan sits on Mercer’s UK Growth Leadership Committee as well as the Investment Solutions European Leadership Committee. Dan has 25 years’ experience in investment consulting, institutional asset management and business development, including 17 years at Mercer. He started his career with Mercer in New York in 1997 before transferring to London in 2000. During this time, he led the launch and development of Mercer’s UK Delegated Solutions business from inception to a c$20 billion AUM business. For the last 3 years, Dan was Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Putnam Investments leading its institutional client base. Prior to this, he was Global Head of Consultant Relations at Winton Capital Management.

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James Phillips

Deputy Editor
Professional Pensions

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Nigel is an accomplished legal practitioner, with a wealth of knowledge in pensions, trustee and governance fields. Having retired as head of pensions practice at a major City law firm in April 2017, Nigel joined Ross Trustees as a Senior Trustee Director in September 2017. During his legal career, Nigel specialised in advising trustee boards and employers on strategic pensions issues. This experience included advising numerous bodies of trustees and employers on proposals to close schemes to new entrants, amend benefits and/or terminate defined benefit accrual. Nigel also advised both providers and trustees on longevity and buy in and buy out projects. Since joining Ross Trustees, Nigel has been appointed as a trustee by a number of pension schemes. He has recently become chairman of trustees of the defined benefits scheme operated by a FT-SE 250 company. The scheme is now undertaking a review of its investment strategy, to ensure it meets the needs of both the trustees and the employer. Nigel headed up the pensions practice at the City law firm CMS for 20 years. During that time the pensions team developed from being a small single partner practice to become the top ranked practice for pensions and pensions litigation in both legal directories. Nigel is also the chairman of trustees of the Cameron McKenna final salary pension scheme and chairs the governance committee of the CMS defined contribution plan.

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Rekha Owen

Private Markets Specialist

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Rekha is a private markets specialist within Mercer's delegated solutions business. She is responsible for supporting UK clients who have delegated the construction of their private markets portfolio to Mercer. Rekha has held a number of previous roles at Mercer, having joined the firm in 1999. Most recently, Rekha was a senior business development consultant within the delegated solutions team. Prior to this, she was a senior investment consultant and team leader within Mercer's Leeds practice, providing advice to a range of defined benefit and defined contribution clients on all aspects relating to the investment of their assets.

Rekha has a degree in Accountancy and Financial Management from the University of Sheffield and qualified as a Chartered Financial Analyst in 2002.

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Niall O’Sullivan

EMEA & Asia Chief Investment Officer

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Niall is the European CIO for Mercer’s Delegated Investment Solutions business. Niall’s team is responsible for the portfolio construction, manager selection and ongoing management and monitoring of Mercer’s range of Investment solutions in Europe. Niall joined Mercer from QED in Dublin where he was a Principal focusing on solution-driven investment opportunities with banks and insurance companies. Prior to this, he spent four years on the structured business desk at Bank of Ireland Global Markets, focusing on the delivery of derivative-based solutions. In this position, he developed and implemented the bank’s LDI product range, as well as managing its suite of inflation-linked solutions. Niall has also worked with AIB Investment Managers and J Henry Schroder in the risk budgeting and structured derivatives areas, respectively. Niall graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1997 with a Gold Medal & First Class Honours in Mathematics. He was also a Scholar of the College. In 2002 he completed an Honours MSc from Dublin City University in Investments and Treasury Management in which he finished in first place. He has lectured part-time on the Masters programme in the Institute of Bankers in Dublin.

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Chris Sheldon

Head of Leveraged Credit

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Chris Sheldon (San Francisco) joined KKR in 2004 and is a Partner of KKR. Mr. Sheldon serves as the Head of Leveraged Credit. Mr. Sheldon is a portfolio manager for KKR's leveraged credit and private credit funds and portfolios and a member of the US Leveraged Credit Investment Committee, Global Private Credit Investment Committee and KKR Credit Portfolio Management Committee. Prior to joining KKR, Mr. Sheldon was a vice president and senior investment analyst with Wells Fargo's high yield securities group. Previously, Mr. Sheldon worked at Young & Rubicam Advertising and SFM Media Corporation in their media-planning departments. Mr. Sheldon holds a B.A. from Denison University. Mr. Sheldon serves as a member of the board of directors of SquashDrive, a member of the National Urban Squash and Education Association. Mr. Sheldon also serves as a member of the board of directors of the LSTA.

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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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Eimear Walsh

Bespoke Client Portfolio Manager
Mercer

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Eimear Walsh is a Bespoke Client Portfolio Manager within Mercer's European Delegated Solutions business.  She is responsible for designing and implementing bespoke solutions for Mercer’s largest clients. Located in London, she has over fifteen years’ experience working within the investment industry, in both investment consulting and asset management. Prior to joining the Delegated Solutions team, Eimear advised clients on a range of investment areas such as investment strategy, manager selection and governance. Before joining Mercer in 2012, Eimear worked for Zurich Insurance’s in-house investment team managing the European investment portfolio, and also spent time working as a fund researcher in Pioneer Investments in Dublin. Eimear holds the CFA and IMC qualifications, and regularly contributes to initiatives run by the CFA UK Society. Eimear graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2005 with an honours degree in Management Science and Information Systems studies.

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Rupert Watson

Head of Asset Allocation

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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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Susan Andrews

Senior Trustee Director at Ross Trustees

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A highly experienced professional trustee and a pensions all-rounder, Susan acts as trustee for a wide range of pension schemes. She works with trustees on a wide range of matters, including setting investment strategies, acquisitions and disposals and actuarial valuation negotiations.

Susan is a past President of the Pensions Management Institute, and in 2015 qualified for an MBA that included electives focusing on pension trusteeship issues, such as Investment and Risk; Corporate Finance and Management Accounting. Susan is an Accredited Professional Pension Trustee, having been one of the first to achieve full accreditation earlier this year.

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