Meet the Team

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Zoe Adlam

Partner - General Counsel

Zoe is General Counsel at XPS Pensions Group. She is responsible for ensuring that the legal and compliance needs of the group are met. Zoe has significant in-house experience as trusted corporate advisor and company secretary, and whilst in private practice advised on corporate and financial transactions.

In her spare time, Zoe loves travelling and attempts to compete in triathlons. Before deciding on a career in law Zoe was going to be a wedding planner!

Mark Barlow

Partner

Mark is an actuary based in our Leeds office and advises a range of Trustees and sponsors of defined benefit pension schemes. He is passionate about improving member outcomes and has spent the last 15 years helping schemes to introduce valuable options alongside appropriate support for members. Mark also specialises in advising financial services clients, with a focus on how pensions interact with their capital resources and requirements.

Mark lives in Harrogate and, when not working, will often be found either on the terraces at Wetherby Road (where Harrogate's Town play), playing a round on one of the local golf courses or jogging through one of the nearby parks.

John Batting

Partner - Executive Director

John Batting was CEO of Punter Southall Ltd between 2004 and 2018. He was one of the four founders of BGJ & Co Limited; an actuarial consulting business which was established in 1993 and subsequently merged with the Punter Southall businesses in 2002. John is a Scheme Actuary with over 38 years of experience in the actuarial profession; providing pensions and investment advice to both trustees and sponsoring companies, and has acted as an expert witness on pension matters.

Jonathan Bernstein

Partner - Chief Operating Officer

Jonathan is Chief Operating Officer, he is responsible for the central functions of XPS including HR, IT, Marketing and Risk, as well as more general operational matters across the firm. A key aspect is ensuring that XPS operates consistently, effectively and efficiently in a coordinated manner across key business lines including Pensions and Administration. As well as business leadership, he is also involved with major client relationships and holds Scheme Actuary appointments.

Peter Black

Partner

Peter joined the business straight from university and has been working in it for over twenty years. He advises a range of trustee and corporate clients, and is head of actuarial graduate recruitment.

On the Scheme Actuary side, his recent experience includes advising trustees on a Pensions Regulator moral hazard case. He is responsible for running the accounting exercises under UK, international and US GAAP for our larger corporate clients; and in recent years has also been involved in some large expert witness cases

He is a keen sports fan and still turns out for the office cricket team.

Andy Bowsher

Partner - Director - SIP

Andy runs the SIPP and SSAS business here at XPS Pensions Group and is the FCA Authorised Person at CF1 Director level. He is responsible for all aspects of performance of this business from strategy, through product, marketing, sales, systems, and customer service. Andy’s been in and around the pensions industry for some 30 years, working across individual and corporate pensions and as far afield as Asia. A passion for providing the very best, personally delivered, service to both clients and regulated financial advisers is at his core – and doing this well has grown our specialist SIPP and SSAS team to over 70 "clever and talented" people.

Andy’s run a marathon or two in his time, and plays a bit of golf, but his sporting passion has remained tennis. He still competes in the county (old timers!) league, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than years past; and with a growing fondness of the after match refreshment.

Ben Bramhall

Chief Executive Officer

Ben is a senior actuary with around 20 years’ experience in the pensions industry and advises a wide range of trustees and corporate sponsors on all matters relating to pension provision. Ben joined XPS in April 2014, and is primarily responsible for the day to day operations of the business. This covers the provision of services to XPS’s existing clients, revenue generation and the Group’s people agenda.

Since joining XPS in April 2014, he has played a key role in the development and implementation of the strategy for XPS as well as the hiring of key staff and development of new services and infrastructure.

Ben joined XPS from KPMG in London where he played a key role in its development from a small team to one of the leading providers of corporate pensions advisory services.

John Burns

Partner

John is an experienced Scheme Actuary and has been advising both trustees and employers on all aspects of pensions for around 35 years. He has seen dramatic changes to the UK pensions over this period and sees his role as assisting and advising clients on how they can navigate their way through issues to achieve their aims, for their pension schemes and their businesses.

John currently divides his time between leading a number of XPS client teams and leading the wider office in building the XPS business in Leeds. He has learnt over the course of his career that the feature which will enable XPS to differentiate itself, is a focus on providing excellent client service. Consequently, excellent client service is what he strives to achieve for his personal clients and also for the wider office clients.

Aside from work, John is married with two grown up daughters, who he claims he can still embarrass! In his younger days he was a keen sportsman but now spends more time watching than playing.

Geoff Clarke

Partner - Head of Pensions

Geoff is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group with responsibility for the management and growth of the Belfast office.  A Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, he has wide experience of pensions, having worked for two FTSE 100 pension providers, then as Managing Director of a wealth management business, before joining XPS. In addition to promoting services to new clients and other pension professionals, Geoff advises clients across a number of the offices in respect of their Defined Contribution pension schemes and sits on the national DC Growth Group. He is a regular contributor to local media on pension related matters, a council member of the Insurance Institute of Northern Ireland and past Chairman of the Personal Finance Society in Northern Ireland.

In his spare him, Geoff is a keen cyclist, golfer, follower of Ulster and Ireland rugby and Liverpool FC. Geoff claims that had he not pursued a career in pensions, he would have won Olympic Hockey Gold, the US Masters Golf and the Tour de France, but not necessarily in that order.

Paul Cuff

Chief Executive Officer

Paul, who is a qualified actuary with over 20 years’ experience in the pensions industry, is Co-Chief Executive Officer alongside Ben Bramhall. Paul was a partner at KPMG for 8 years, and joined XPS in October 2016. Immediately prior to joining XPS, Paul was head of the KPMG London pensions team, where he was instrumental in growing the London pensions business.

Paul is primarily responsible for raising the profile of XPS in the market and generating new business. This covers both growing the client base in the Group’s traditional service areas, and the development of new service offerings to help clients meet the challenges they face as the market evolves.

Paul is also responsible for the Group’s strategy with regard to acquisitions and investment, including, for example, the development of technology.

Richard Darnell

Partner

Richard is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. He has an actuarial background with over 25 years’ experience working in the pensions industry. He is responsible for managing the actuarial work for some of our larger clients as both a consultant and trustee secretary. Richard has significant experience of helping companies and trustees understand and manage their DB pension arrangements; including those entering the Pension Protection Fund, and works as a both a trustee and corporate advisor.

In his spare time, Richard enjoys all things car related and still dreams of becoming a racing driver!

Gary Davies

Partner - Director - Administration

Gary is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group.  He is responsible for leading the operational side of our administration business and chairs our admin Operations Committee, helping to maintain the highest standards of governance and service levels across the business. He also retains several client facing roles, and is involved in marketing and business development. Gary has particular experience of large first time outsourcing contracts, having spent time on secondment with in-house schemes in management support roles to aid transition. He also has considerable experience in dispute resolution, having been a Fellow of TPAS for over a decade.

In his spare time he amuses himself with the various items of coin-operated machinery he has acquired during late night ebay sessions.

Adrian Davison

Partner - Head of Risk

Adrian is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. He is responsible for ensuring that the Groups Risk Management framework is effective and continues to be agile so it can adapt to the changing risk profiles of the Group and its clients. He has held a number of similar roles in businesses ranging from large financial services firms to charities. He regards himself as very fortunate to work in an area where he can feed his insatiable curiosity and can often be heard asking the question “why?”

In his spare time, Adrian enjoys anything that involves two wheels be it road cycling, mountain biking or motorcycling. He would love to be able to play the bodhrán.

Gerry Devenney

Partner - Head of Pensions

Gerry is a consulting actuary with over 30 years' experience in corporate pensions, specialising in actuarial and investment advice to trustee and corporate clients. As office head, he is responsible for all aspects of the Edinburgh office including client management, staff resourcing, finances, client growth and retention. 
Gerry's excellent Edinburgh team take pride in delivering a professional, pragmatic and personal service to clients, that cuts through the jungle of industry jargon. This approach has helped to grow revenue by over 20% per annum over the last decade.

Away from work, he is a long term survivor of a very feminist household. To escape, he spends a lot of time hiding in the garage on DIY projects, playing chess online or raking bunkers in golf courses. 

Ben Fenning

Partner - Financial Controller

Ben is responsible for all aspects of the Finance function at XPS Pensions Group. From raising invoices and paying bills; to management reporting, financial accounting and tax. He is committed to the successful integration of Xafinity and Punter Southall to ensure our business meets its strategic goals. In his time at the firm, Ben has seen lots of changes and has significant experience in managing those changes from a finance perspective, including during mergers, acquisitions, and system implementations. 

In his spare time, when he’s not ferrying his children to and from activities, Ben enjoys sports and still plays football regularly, although he doesn’t get around the pitch as quickly as he used to.

Ben Fisher

Partner

Ben joined XPS as a graduate trainee some 15 years ago and has been with the company ever since. The majority of Ben’s client work is on the Trustee side, being Scheme Actuary to six schemes, however he also advises many scheme sponsors.

In addition to working with clients, Ben helped XPS develop its industry leading Pension Scam Identification Service, providing an extra layer of protection to members from the ever growing threat of pension scams. Ben is a regular speaker at conferences on the topic and often in the press.

Away from work Ben can found out riding his bike or visiting local pubs.  He also plays cricket for his local village side and enjoys travelling to far-flung fields.

Chris Fletcher

Partner

Chris is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. As well as looking after a selection of Scheme Actuary and corporate clients, Chris has responsibility for growing the XPS business in the North of England and ensuring that existing and prospective clients hear about our best ideas. Recently Chris has been working with schemes to address the issues arising from the introduction of Freedom & Choice. In particular engaging with members appropriately, whilst controlling the risk of poor outcomes.

When not working Chris enjoys walking his dogs, especially to places that allow him to combine this with his love for eating and drinking out.

Alasdair Gill

Partner - Head of Investment

Alasdair joined XPS Investments in June 2019 to lead the investment team in Scotland.  He has 22 years of investment experience, providing advice on all aspects of investment strategy, structure and manager selection advice to a range of clients, including detailed liability driven investment advice and cash flow driven investment strategies. Alasdair also has a successful record of advising charities and endowments on investment matters, and he is currently a Trustee of 2 registered UK Scottish charities.

In his spare time, when he is not a taxi service for his three children, Alasdair enjoys cycling and golf – as the cycling miles have increased, so has the golf handicap!

Adam Gillespie

Partner - Head of Investment

Adam heads up the investment team in Guildford, where he qualified as an actuary and has worked since 1999. The team prides itself on providing independent advice helping trustee and company clients focus their time and resources on the investment areas that really matter. And once decisions are made, the team ensures that any changes are implemented as cost effectively and quickly as possible through our sharp execution process.

Within the wider industry, Adam is a member of the investment committee for both the Association of Consulting Actuaries and the Society of Pensions Professionals; and a former marker for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ investment and pension examinations.
 

Outside of work, Adam enjoys travelling to hot climates and watching cricket (ideally at the same time!).

Rachel Gillion

Partner - HR Director

Rachel is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. She is responsible for the HR function encompassing a headcount of 900 across 15 UK sites.Rachel has significant experience of developing and implementing HR and People strategies whilst delivering effective HR team management. Rachel is solutions focused and has a proven track record of managing multiple projects for example, TUPE, M&A and Reward programmes competently. Rachel has excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills.

If Rachel wasn’t a HR professional she would have been a long distance lorry driver, she once drove a 50ft truck around a race track! In her spare time, Rachel enjoys running (although nothing too serious) and long walks in the countryside. 

Ben Gold

Partner - Head of Investment

Ben is head of XPS Investment comprising around 65 investment consultants. He helps companies and trustees manage risk through; integrated investment and funding solutions, through setting clear long term objectives and agreeing and implementing an investment and funding strategy to achieve them. He has also advised on wider risk management tools such as buy-ins, liability management and special purpose funding vehicles. Ben is a recognised public speaker on CDI investment strategies and aligning funding and investment approaches. Ben has been advising pension schemes for around 22 years.

In his spare time Ben loves playing tennis, cooking Indian food and watching quiz shows with his 10 year old daughter – he’s not yet found a way to combine all three!

 

 

John Gordon

Partner

John is an experienced actuary with a pragmatic approach to solving issues for clients. With over 15 years' experience, John provides actuarial investment and risk advice to trustee and corporate clients.

As a Scheme Actuary and an FCA regulated investment adviser, John is well placed to advise on a wide range of asset and liability issues. No situation is ever the same and John always looks to bring a fresh perspective to each client.

Within XPS, John is responsible for clients across Scotland and the North East of England and he is a regular speaker at our seminars. His client interests also include Charity and Housing sectors as well as providing Company accounting advice.

John likes to spend his spare time with his young family, particularly getting them involved in sport and exercise. John plays badminton and table tennis (all new but fun!).

Sarah Gwinnett

Partner - Regional Operations Manager

Sarah is a Partner at XPS Administration. She is responsible for ensuring the administration service from both the London and Chelmsford offices is delivered to the highest standard and is directly involved with a number of our key administration clients.
 
Sarah has over 30 years' industry experience and is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute.  She also chairs our Administration Services Group which is responsible for the maintenance and delivery of our central technical framework.

In her spare time (and in an attempt to keep fit) Sarah’s passion is mountain and road biking. She loves travelling, spending time with friends and family and enjoys regular trips to both the cinema and theatre. 

Harry Harper

Partner – Head of Risk Transfer

Harry joined XPS in 2019 to head up our bulk annuity risk transfer team. With 15 years’ experience as a Scheme Actuary and as a leading buyout specialist, Harry has been responsible for many £billion plus bulk annuity transactions, was responsible for the UK’s first “all risks” bulk annuity transaction, the first UK buyout from PPF assessment and the first online bulk annuity e-auction.

In his spare time Harry is a keen cyclist and likes to read about pensions.

Nick Harvey

Partner

Nick is a Partner at XPS Investment and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. Nick is known for providing clear and pragmatic advice around the full range of investment issues which pension schemes face. Nick is a member of XPS Pensions Group's Investment Committee, where he leads liability driven investment.
 
Outside the office, Nick keeps fit by running around after his two small children and is also a keen musician, peaking in the early nineties, when he sang on the backing vocals of a number one single.

Julian Hough

Partner

Julian has been providing pensions advice to both trustees and sponsoring employers for over 30 years, covering a wide range of defined benefit pension schemes from £5m to £2.5bn.

Julian's clients value him for being able to get to the heart of their issues quickly and to communicate with minimum jargon.

Away from the world of pensions, he spends his spare time running, cycling, playing the piano, and spoiling his many cats.

Robert Hunt

Partner

Rob has over 30 years’ experience in the pensions industry - 24 of those working for XPS (or one of its former companies).

He is Scheme Actuary to some of XPS’s largest clients as well as being responsible for the roll out of Radar across all clients. 

Rob and his son are season ticket holders at Reading FC. Because of this, his favorite quotation is: "Don’t take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive".

Martin Hunter

Partner

Martin is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. He helps employers manage Defined Benefit pension schemes and advises on the pension implications of corporate transactions, including pensions due diligence and corporate pensions strategy.

Martin has specialist experience of the Railways Pension Scheme and its unique characteristics, currently advising around 20 employers with a shared cost section. In addition, Martin provides national media comment on various topical pension issues, like BHS and Tata Steel, including recent appearances on Radio 4, 5Live and Sky News.

In his spare time, Martin apparently enjoys subjecting himself to abject misery, being an avid follower of Dunfermline Athletic and the Scottish football team.

Wes Jones

Partner - Head of Pensions

Wes is the Office Head for XPS Pensions Group’s Manchester office.  He acts as a Scheme Actuary advising trustees and employers on a wide range of pensions issues including; funding; risk management; liability management exercises; scheme changes; consultations and member engagement; participation in multi-employer schemes and buying-out liabilities. Wes brings a pragmatic approach, and is able to explain complex issues in a simple and engaging manner. He is part of our Social Housing team and our Governance team, drawing on his previous experience as UK Pension Manager for Tesco.

In his spare time, Wes enjoys playing with his two small children. Whilst talking to a careers adviser at secondary school, he stated he was either going to be a rock star or an actuary.

André Kerr

Partner - Head of Fiduciary management

André is a Partner in our Leeds office and head of the national XPS Investment FM Oversight team. In this role he uses his experience of being part of a FM team as well as having helped clients with both FM selection exercises and oversight of existing 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.

Neil Lalley

Partner - Head of Corporate

Neil joined the Company as a university graduate over twenty years ago. He has significant experience as both a trustee and corporate adviser, and currently looks after some of the firm’s largest clients.

As a Scheme Actuary, Neil has significant experience of helping his clients’ plan their long-term objectives, advising on sophisticated investment and funding strategies, running member option programs and implementing phased buy-ins along the way to eventual buyout.

As a corporate adviser, Neil has significant experience of advising a number of large sponsors of pension schemes with many billions of assets under management on benefit re-design, valuation and accounting matters, closure and liability management.

Outside of work, Neil is a doting father with two young children. As a keen rugby fan, he also enjoys following Bath and England, and playing touch rugby for his local club in Guildford.

James Leeming

Partner - Head of Investment

James is the Head of Investment for XPS Pensions Group’s Manchester office. James builds strong working relationships with all stakeholders, delivering value add advice and consulting to his Trustee and Employer clients. With over 17 years of pensions and investment consulting experience, he has helped clients with a wide range of issues including; long term strategic planning, de-risking & flight paths, tactical asset allocation, LDI strategies, risk transfer options, manager research including ESG, performance monitoring and Defined Contribution plans. James is a qualified actuary and holds the Investment Management Certificate.

When not delivering first rate investment advice James loves being outdoors and is a keen road cyclist. He “probably” would have been world champion if not for the demands of renovating houses and having three children to entertain!

Neil Macbeth

Partner - Head of Pensions

Neil is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group and has two main roles.

The first is as a consultant providing advice and guidance to trustees and sponsoring employers, as well as support to members in navigating their way through the ever changing world of pensions.

The other is as the head of the Reading pensions team. He describes it as a busy and vibrant office with a great team of people.

Neil’s career (in his eyes) could have gone one of two ways; the exciting world of pensions or the lead singer in a boy-band – thankfully for us all pensions won!

Craig Malenga

Partner - Head of Investment

Craig has over 20 years' of actuarial and investment consulting experience, and is experienced at helping schemes manage risk through integrated investment and funding solutions. Craig also heads up the investment team in our Reading office and is lead advisor to a selected number of clients. 

One of his favourite quotes is from the Simpsons: “I think Smithers picked me because of my motivational skills. Everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I’m around.”

Patrick McCoy

Partner - Head of Advisory

Patrick leads the Advisory business at XPS which comprises, pensions (actuarial), investment and covenant. Prior to this he led XPS Investment. He joined XPS in January 2018 having previously led and built the Investment Advisory practice at KPMG. Patrick advises clients on the full range of investment issues. His clients range from £100m to £5bn. He explains complex issues clearly, helping clients make effective investment decisions.  Patrick also advises clients selecting or reviewing full and partial fiduciary management. 

When not working, Patrick spends time at home with his family or if they don’t notice he nips across the road and plays a few holes of golf.

 

 

 

Mary McGrath

Partner - Head of Marketing and Business Development

Mary joined XPS Pensions Group in January 2008 as Partner and Head of Marketing and Business Development.
As a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Mary has over 25 years experience in the pensions industry with most of that time spent promoting and communicating specialist pension services.

Mary Mcleod

Partner - Regional Operations Manager

Mary has worked in pensions administration for over 20 years. Mary is a Regional Operations Manager in XPS Administration covering our Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds offices. She is part of the Senior Management Group for the administration business and contributes towards strategy, particularly in the area of learning and development.

Mary’s experience includes day-to-day pensions administration for both DB and DC arrangements, the provision of secretarial services, advising clients regarding administration matters and staff management.

Susan Middleton

Partner - Head of Asset Transitions

Colin Miller

Partner - Director - Centre of Excellence

Colin is an experienced operations professional who specialises in tracing, identity verification and large scale communication projects. He believes in plain English and putting members first. He is responsible for creating, and leading the team who have completed the largest number of Trivial Commutation projects in our industry. Colin puts technological innovation at the forefront of these services, ensuring the best possible member experience.

He has spent 11 years in the pensions industry and a further 13 previously tracing missing heirs to estates and setting up findmypast.com, a leading genealogical website. His experience in tracing is second to none and clients can lose hours with him discussing their member tracing requirements – you could say it’s a passion!

Surprisingly, you can sometimes find Colin cycling around Kentish villages, and if you like alternative music, ask Colin about his missing years as a band Tour Manager prior to getting “a proper job”. He does have some interesting tales to tell.

James Peel

Partner - Head of Client Management (Administration)

James is a Partner for XPS Administration; his day to day role being Head of Client Management for our larger schemes, Projects and Communications. He is personally responsible for a number of high profile administration clients and ensures that promises made to clients in terms of service delivery are met.  With over 20 years industry experience, he has been instrumental in the development of the firm since joining in 2016.

In his spare time he enjoys fitness, motorsport (both watching and participating), and has a keen interest in wine. He always wanted to be a fireman but is very happy with his career choice in pensions.

Guy Plater

Partner - Investment Consultant

Guy has over 20 years’ experience in pensions, both as an investment adviser and, previously, as a scheme actuary. He enjoys building relationships with his clients in order to help ensure their goals are achieved. Guy serves on XPS’s Risk Working Party and Investment Committee, the latter of which reviews all aspects of the Company’s investment policy and provides consulting direction to the client teams. He is a regular speaker at seminars.

Outside of work, Guy likes to fuel his ambition of one day managing a premier league football team by coaching his 14 year old son’s Sunday league side.

Lorant Porkolab

Partner - Head of Covenant Advisory Services

Lorant is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. He is responsible for leading the firm’s employer covenant advisory services. 

Lorant has been advising both trustee and corporate clients on funding defined benefit pension schemes for over twelve years, focusing on covenant assessments, corporate transactions, pension strategy, and negotiation support. He has assisted trustees with assessing the implications of corporate transactions on their pension schemes including large international acquisitions, demergers and corporate restructurings, reviewing the strength of the covenant in the context of actuarial valuations, monitoring relevant covenant risk indicators, negotiating contingent assets and implementing asset backed funding solutions.

Prior to moving to the pension advisory world, Lorant worked in corporate finance at one of the big four accountancy firms. By background, he is a Chartered Financial Analyst with a PhD in a numerical discipline and several years of corporate finance experience.

Joanne Powell

Partner - Head of Pensions

Joanne is responsible for the delivery of actuarial and consulting services from our London office. She advises a number of trustee boards, as well as working with clients undertaking design changes including; introducing salary sacrifice arrangements, scheme closures and changing contribution structures. Prior to working in the pensions industry she held a number of senior HR roles, including HR Director for a multi-national IT organisation where she also served as a trustee on three pension schemes. Joanne is now a Trustee of the National Pension Trust and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

In her spare time she is an avid sports fan and is attempting to visit every racecourse in the UK.

Mark Poyner

Partner

Whilst Mark’s main role is as a Scheme Actuary, he also has experience as an investment consultant and a corporate advisor, so is well suited to considering integrated approaches to pension schemes’ objectives. Mark speaks regularly at seminars and trustee training days, and heads up XPS Pensions Group’s company accounting committee.

A husband and a dad, Mark enjoys most sports and spend many pointless hours (at least according to his wife) following Tottenham Hotspur. Although he lives in the delightful city of Birmingham, Mark feels most at home in the countryside having grown up in North Devon by the sea.

Douglas Primrose

Partner

Douglas has been providing advice to trustees and sponsors of pension schemes for over 20 years. He strongly believes that actuarial advice can be delivered in a clear, understandable way to help clients through complicated issues. He is a member of XPS’s longevity services group and is heavily involved in business development.

Douglas played rugby for London Scottish and likes to take his children to watch the games, so he can pretend that he was better than he was!

John Prior

Partner

John is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. He is a Scheme Actuary with c. 30 years' experience and advises Trustee and Corporate clients, including a number in the not-for-profit sector. John also specialises in providing advice in relation to the pension issues that arise when public sector staff are transferred out to the private sector as a result of an outsourcing or similar exercise. He therefore has extensive knowledge of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) and the NHS Pension Scheme (NHSPS).

John co-chairs the XPS Professionalism Committee which has responsibility for setting, monitoring and maintaining professional standards across the Group.

Outside of work, John is a keen sailor and can often be found capsizing on the Thames at weekends!

Don Robson

Partner - Head of Admin Consulting and Secretarial

Don is a Partner of our Newcastle Office and has worked in the pension industry for over 40 years.

He is Head of our Client Management Team for smaller schemes and is an experienced Relationship Manager, having looked after a variety of both DB and DC schemes. He managed both schemes whilst in Scotland when working for 18 years with Standard Life and also in the North East of England, where he worked for Brewin Dolphin for a further 18 years before acquisition by Punter Southall in 2011 and more recently XPS Group.

Don has also worked as an Independent Trustee for a number of schemes for over 20 years, and fully recognises the complex issues that Trustees need to deal with. From this insight as an Independent Trustee in the past, he can often anticipate and assist Trustees in the decision making process. 

Once a keen footballer he is now just a staunch supporter of Newcastle United as well as a regular visitor to the Cheltenham Festival so needs to keep working to finance this! Married with three grown up daughters is also a factor.

Chris Sanders

Partner - IT Director

Chris Leads our IT Function and is responsible for developing and delivering XPS Group’s IT strategy which supports the overall growth strategy. Chris is also responsible for development of system developments that support our client solutions. Information Security is a further key area of responsibility and he continually monitors the threat landscape and ensures best practice across the group’s Information security approach.

Chris is a Prince2 Practitioner, a Certified SCRUM Product Owner, a Certified SCRUM Master and also has ITIL certification.

Chris is a keen skier and golfer and follower of Bath Rugby in the winter and Somerset Cricket in the Summer.

James Saunders

Partner

James is an actuary based in our London office. He sits within our specialist Transactions team, advising both listed corporates and private equity clients in relation to pension issues within corporate deals. James has a wealth of experience advising corporates on a range of pension’s issues, such as; negotiating actuarial valuations; assisting with investment strategy and employer covenant issues; and working to manage and reduce financial risk arising from defined benefit pension obligations.

In his spare time, James is currently attempting to learn the guitar.

Jonathan Seed

Partner - Head of Pensions

Jonathan is a qualified actuary with extensive experience of advising both companies and trustees on funding, risk management and pension strategies.

He enjoys working collaboratively with other advisors to provide pragmatic, outcome-focussed advice. He also enjoys the challenge of communicating complex pensions’ issues clearly and concisely. Having previously been authorised to provide investment advice, Jonathan has a very good understanding of investment issues, and always ensures his clients receive joint advice across funding and investment.

In Jonathan's spare time he enjoys a bit of gardening and visiting the many architectural gems in Scotland and beyond. Having retired as coach to a local youth football team, he attempts to keep fit by playing tennis when the weather permits.

Wayne Segers

Partner - Head of Pensions Solutions

Wayne heads up our transactions team and is committed to helping our clients reach fair, good value pension outcomes in deals or restructuring situations.

Wayne also provides ongoing advice to companies, helping them manage cost and risk in their pension schemes. Having helped companies and trustees work together to set strategy - and seen the consequences when this breaks down - he is passionate about finding ways for parties to work collaboratively to achieve good outcomes. 

Wayne has commented extensively in the press on the changing nature of how people are accessing their pensions and has led our research in this area.

Wayne has lived in London for 20 years but tries to escape back to South Africa when he can. Along with seeing family there, it is to spend a little more time hiking or on safari.

Snehal Shah

Partner - Chief Financial Officer

Snehal Shah is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of experience in finance, investor relations, M&A execution and post deal integration. Snehal spent 10 years in the early part of his career with PwC, specialising in complex audits of US and UK listed technology businesses. He joined Ladbrokes plc in 2009 where he held a number of senior finance roles including Group Financial Controller, Head of Investor Relations and Finance Director for Integration following the £2bn merger with Coral Group in 2016. Since leaving Ladbrokes Coral plc in 2017, Snehal has held senior interim finance roles at Parkdean Resorts Ltd and Countrywide plc.

Sophia Singleton

Partner - Head of DC

Sophia leads the DC business at XPS, helping clients deliver the highest quality DC services to their members either through their own scheme or through XPS’ market leading mastertrust, the National Pension Trust.  Sophia has over 20 years’ experience in the UK pensions industry and advises corporates and trustees on a range of DC pension issues including investment strategy, benefit design, member engagement, scheme governance and mergers. She is a well-known industry and media commentator on DC market developments and feels passionately that we must enable today’s workforce to retire with the security and lifestyle they want; she is regularly quoted in the press and presents on DC issues at industry events

Outside of work Sophia runs a Girlguiding group and spends the remainder of her spare time playing tennis and walking her 2 very energetic dogs.

Adam Stanley

Partner

Adam has been providing pensions advice to both trustees and sponsoring employers for over 20 years. His main client role is as a Scheme Actuary to a wide range of trustee clients. 

Adam is currently appointed as Scheme Actuary to 10 clients whose schemes range in size from around £50m to in excess of £1bn. They include UK schemes of 2 significant US organisations, a major provider in UK private health sector, a plc in the construction sector and the major UK union organisation.

Adam's reputation has been built on clear, jargon-free ‘to the point’ advice which he delivers in a way that makes him easy to work with.

Aside from work, Adam is married with two children, is also a keen golfer, an ultra-marathon walker and has recently completed professional qualifications in wine.

Catherine Sutcliffe

Partner - Head of Risk and Assurance (Administration)

Catherine is a Partner at XPS Administration. She is responsible for ensuring that business level risks are identified, escalated and monitored through to resolution and for ensuring that the administration business is compliant with legislative and regulatory requirements. Catherine started her working life as a Pensions Administrator and is now a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute, giving her a deep understanding of the challenges and complexities that pension administrators face in their daily working life.Her specialist chosen subject is the world of data protection and she has been actively involved in training both employees and clients on the changes following the introduction of GDPR.

In her spare time Catherine enjoys the thrill of the open road, on her bicycle. Her favourite quote is “If you think compliance is expensive – try non-compliance.” Apparently her dream job would be selling ice-creams in a park on a sunny day!

Danny Vassiliades

Partner

Danny is an experienced Scheme Actuary and a Partner at XPS. He is responsible for providing advice to a variety of clients ranging in size from less than £30m to over £1bn in assets. Danny is especially passionate about ensuring consistency between investment and funding approaches adopted by schemes, especially those entering the final stages of the scheme’s life. Danny has also been Head of the London Office, Head of Investment Consulting and advising corporates during his career, bringing enormous experience to the challenge of making sense of pensions.

In his spare time, Danny loves a sociable game of poker, but don’t try to bluff him!

Nick Vine

Partner

Nick is a Scheme Actuary and corporate pension’s adviser with clients ranging in size from £10m to over £1bn. In addition to supporting on the day to day running of schemes, Nick focuses on the longer term; ensuring risks are understood and managed so that objectives can be achieved. He is passionate about building strong relationships and providing a service that focuses on the best outcomes for clients and their members.

Nick regularly speaks at our seminars and in any spare time his two children give him, he enjoys playing golf and walking in the country.

Robert Wallace

Partner

Rob is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. He is Scheme Actuary to a number of schemes with assets ranging from £5m to £1bn. Rob also acts as corporate adviser and investment adviser for a range of clients. He heads up the XPS research committees on integrated risk management and pension scheme governance, with a focus on helping companies and trustees understand and manage their pension risks.

In his spare time Rob plays in a local squash league, with a playing style best described as ‘headless chicken’.

David Watkins

Partner - Managing Director of Administration

David is a Managing Director of XPS Administration and has over 20 years' experience within the pensions administration sector, with notable successes in the delivery of services and the introduction of pension's administration systems. David has played a key role in developing the business, which now administers pensions for over 800,000 pension scheme members from offices across the UK.

Charlotte West

Partner - Head of Corporate Communications

Charlotte is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. She is responsible for all Corporate Communications, this includes Investor relations and the production of the Annual Report and the interim results. She also leads on press coverage at times of corporate reporting and wider corporate activity. Additionally she is developing the Corporate and Social Responsibility strategy and the communication of the firm’s activities in these areas.

Charlotte is also responsible for all aspects of internal communications providing staff with regular, meaningful and consistent information, maintaining high employee engagement and a workforce that is proud of XPS and what the business stands for.

In her spare time she plays tennis and is planning her next escape – this time she wants to travel in luxury on the Blue Train in South Africa.

 

 

Lisa Whitby

Partner - Head of Pensions

Lisa is a Partner and Scheme Actuary at XPS Group. She provides advice on all types of pension matters for Trustees and Corporates; and prides herself on her ‘no jargon’ and direct approach to helping stakeholders through the minefield of pensions legislation. She also speaks at client seminars and industry events. In her spare time, she stills tries to do a bit of ice skating and wanted to be a professional ice dancer before deciding actuarial was more interesting.

Emma Whitehouse

Partner - Head of Pensions

Emma is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group and heads up the Guildford office. She has over 30 years’ experience of advising trustees of schemes ranging in asset size from around £25m to over £500m, with sponsors including family-owned businesses, private equity backed and quoted companies. Emma believes there is no such thing as a stupid question and is particularly skilled at explaining complex material clearly and comprehensively. She builds strong links with all the scheme’s stakeholders, believing a collaborative approach ultimately delivers the best outcome for members.

In her spare time she is a dog whisperer and gardener.

Alan Wilkes

Partner - Head of Pensions

Alan provides pensions advice to a range of XPS clients from the Wokingham office where he leads the actuarial team. He advises both trustees and employers on all matters relating to pension schemes including design, funding and investment strategy. Alan has a wide range of clients, including small arrangements to schemes with many thousands of members.

Alan has built strong relationships with his clients, bringing scheme trustees and employers together to help maximise the chance of successfully reaching their agreed funding aim. He has specialist knowledge of the bulk annuity market having led Punter Southall’s bulk annuity team during 2016 and has worked very closely with the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), advising it on changes to improve its processes and introducing efficiencies through the PPF’s Assess & Pay programme. He is also very familiar with the requirements of scheme transfer and wind-up.

Alan also has a number of clients in the charity and non-profit sector, and jointly head our Charity and Non-Profit team.

When he's not at work he provides a taxi service to his three children, enjoys playing the guitar, listening to live music and fly fishing for trout.

Simeon Willis

Partner - Chief Investment Officer

Simeon leads our thinking on journey planning and asset allocation, along with being responsible for research across the investment team.

Simeon is an experienced investment specialist with 17 years’ experience, advising trustee and corporate clients on a full range of investment related matters, with a particular emphasis towards strategy and risk management.

Simeon is frequently quoted in the press on matters relating to investment opportunities and topical debate; and is well known for his inventive analogies and love of flip charts.

Nigel Wilmin

Partner - Head of Pensions

Nigel has been providing pensions advice to both trustees and sponsoring employers for over 30 years having led the regional practices for two actuarial, investment and administration consultancies over the last 20 years.

His experience covers a wide range of pensions and investment consulting work for Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution schemes, trustees and sponsors. This includes; benefit; funding; investment strategy and scheme closure projects; pension aspects of corporate transactions; liability management exercises; scheme wind-ups; buy in and buy out projects and member communications.

Nigel has a reputation amongst his clients of having the ability to communicate complex scenarios in a simple, jargon-free, and understandable way.

As well as leading the Birmingham Office, he is also heavily involved in marketing and business development, while also being a regular speaker or Chair at XPS events.

Nigel is a husband, father to 3 boys, occasional (good) golfer, gym goer, email addict, lover of all things Birmingham.

William Wolfenden

Partner - Head of Radar

William is a pragmatic and collaborative pension’s actuary with over 17 years' experience, who looks to build strong open relationships with clients. He recognises that no one answer fits all, and always seeks to give the advice that will best suit each client.

William has a wide range of specialist skills, advising both trustees and corporates, as well working with the PPF to deliver schemes into the Financial Assistance Scheme. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and a Scheme Actuary to eight defined benefit (some with defined contribution elements) pension schemes.

William has always taken an interest in investment matters and supported colleagues on linking assets and liabilities as well as providing investment advice. Since 2012 he has been registered as an FCA Approved Person and now provides investment advice to seven clients through the FCA regulated advisory firm.

In his spare time, William tries to spend as much time as possible with his  family, which these days generally turns into a weekend of following his children around different sporting venues. This has resulted in him joining the executive team of his local scout group as treasurer, although the overnight stay at Beaver camp was not what he was expecting!

Craig Wootton

Partner

Craig is a Partner at XPS Pensions Group and has over 20 years' experience within the pensions industry. Craig advises trustee and corporate clients ranging from £10m in asset size to over £500m; across various industries and business sectors (including several within the charity and not for profit sector).

As well as being an experienced Scheme Actuary, Craig also has extensive experience of helping sponsors to determine and manage the right level of risk for their funding, investment and member option strategies. He has been a regular presenter at seminars on this topic.

Craig is a keen sports fan and is a regular attendee at Wolves games (along with his 3 boys – youngest daughter to follow when old enough!). At university, the choice of career was between PE teacher and actuary – the latter just won out!

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