Speakers List - Scheme Funding Summit 2019

Keynote Speakers

Chris Clark

DB Policy Manager

The Pensions Regulator

Chris is the DB Policy Manager at the Pensions Regulator. Having joined in 2007, Chris has lead on a number of European and DB Policy issues as well as leading TPR's Analytics function. His current remit covers policy areas stemming from the DWP's White Paper on DB including Superfunds, TPR powers and a revised Code and regulatory approach for DB Funding.

Before joining TPR, Chris worked in pensions consultancy and for a major pension provider.

Sara Protheroe

Chief Customer Officer

Pension Protection Fund

Sara Protheroe has been the Chief Customer Officer at the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and a member of the PPF's Executive Committee since July 2014. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the PPF's Scheme and Member Services Directorate, which includes responsibility for supporting stakeholders, chiefly pension schemes, through the PPF assessment process, and providing services to PPF and Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) members. Her previous roles at the PPF saw her act as Director of Customer Experience (December 2011 - June 2014) and from 2006 to 2011, as Director of Strategy and Policy. As Director of Strategy and Policy she had responsibility for the development of strategy and policy in relation to all aspects of the Fund, including levy arrangements. Before joining the PPF as a founder member in 2005, Sara undertook a number of roles in the Department for Work and Pensions, including running the Pensions Minister's Private Office and developing the policy for the Pension Protection Fund.


Adrian Jones

Director, Infrastructure Debt

Allianz Global Investors

Adrian is Director of Infrastructure Debt at Allianz Global Investors. Before joining Allianz Global Investors, Adrian Jones was a Managing Director within MBIA UK Insurance Limited. He was primarily responsible for infrastructure debt, project finance, and public finance origination and execution. Adrian also provided senior support to the transaction monitoring teams, negotiating major variations and complex remediation. His main areas of focus were Public Private Partnerships/Private Finance Initiative financings, utility debt raising, and transportation financing. Prior to joining MBIA, Adrian worked for Schroders/Citigroup, Deloitte and ANZ Bank in advisory and debt arranging capacities. Adrian holds an MA from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University.

Paul Richmond

Head of Solution Design, Client Solutions Group

Insight Investment

Paul is Deputy Head of Solution Design in the Client Solutions Group. Paul helps lead the team in the design and delivery of investment solutions tailored to address the specific risk and return objectives of Insight's clients. Prior to joining Insight in September 2010, Paul spent five years at Hewitt Associates as an investment consultant and also four years at PwC. Paul graduated with an MA in Mathematical Sciences from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University in 2001. He holds the Investment Management Certificate from the CFA Society of the UK.

Hannah Simons

Head of Fiduciary Management


Hannah Simons is Head of Fiduciary Management at Schroders. She joined Schroders in 2015 and is based in London.

Hannah was previously a Fiduciary Partner at Russell Investments from 2013 to 2015, which involved providing total plan solutions to small and medium sized clients. She worked as an LDI product specialist at PIMCO from 2011 to 2013, which involved designing LDI solutions for UK and European pension funds. Prior to that, Hannah was a Solutions Specialist at BlackRock from 2004 to 2011, which involved designing LDI and broader solutions for pension funds across the globe. She was an Investment Consultant at Watson Wyatt from 1999 to 2004, which involved providing investment strategy advice to UK pension funds.

Hannah is a student member of the Institute of Actuaries.

Qualifications: BSc in Actuarial Science from the London School of Economics.

Valérie Stephan

Managing Director - Institutional Strategy & Analytics

J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Valérie Stephan IAF, managing director, is a senior member of the Institutional Strategy and Analytics team, based in London. She joined in September 2016. In this role, Valérie leverages her experience in asset liability management (ALM) and economic capital to provide innovative asset strategy solutions for European insurance companies and pension schemes. Prior to joining the firm, Valérie gained extensive experience in Insurance and Pensions LDI at Goldman Sachs Asset Management where she was an executive director on the Insurance Strategy team. Before GSAM, Valérie worked at Towers Watson as a senior consultant, advising insurance clients on business issues such as ALM, economic capital and financial modelling. In particular, she was responsible for building an Economic Scenario Generator widely used in the insurance industry for Solvency II capital modelling. Valérie began her career at Swiss Re as a quantitative analyst on their capital market insurance solution pricing desk. She earned an MSc from Imperial College London and from the French Grande Ecole ENSIMAG. Valérie is a qualified actuary.

Eszter Vitorino

Senior Responsible Investment Advisor


Eszter joined Kempen in early 2019 as a Senior Responsible Investment Advisor, with a focus on corporate governance issues. Prior to working at Kempen, Eszter worked for nine years at the Global Reporting Initiative, the global standard setter for corporate sustainability reporting as Head of Capital Markets Engagement. In this role she worked with stock exchanges and market regulators individually and through tie umbrella organisations, such as the World Federation of Exchanges or the International Organisation of Securities Commissions to advance sustainability reporting worldwide. She was part of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, focusing on corporate disclosure recommendations. Eszter has a Master in Economics from the University of Economics in Prague and a Master in Political Science from the Free University of Amsterdam.

Mark Williams

Chair of the Pensions Board

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

Mark is Principle and London Practice leader at Buck, and is chair of the Pensions Board at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Mark is a Scheme Actuary and corporate adviser, specialising in advising on funding strategy and risk management.

Mark created and leads Buck's "Square" solution to GMP equalisation and represents the actuarial profession on the industry GMP Equalisation Working Group. He has also been actively involved in the response to the Government's white paper on protecting DB schemes, participating in workshop meetings with The Pensions Regulator and DWP.

Mark has authored articles and been quoted in a range of publications including Professional Pensions, Pensions Age, The Actuary and Corporate Pensions Adviser. Mark is a regular speaker at industry events, including the Pensions Conference, the ACA conference and the Conservative Party Conference 2019.

Duncan Willsher

Trustee Director

20-20 Trustees

As a professional trustee at 20-20 Trustees, Duncan combines his investment background with his passion for improving governance, translating complexity in to simple explanations and driving better outcomes through innovation, efficiency and pragmatism. Recognising the benefit of a thriving and healthy sponsor in order to secure great member outcomes, Duncan never loses sight of the need to work collaboratively with all stakeholders. Duncan sits on 7 Trustee Boards including sole Trustee and Chair appointments.

Before joining 20-20 Trustees, Duncan spent 14 years in senior investment consultancy positions at Willis Towers Watson. There he built a wealth of experience as lead adviser to a number of large institutional investors, advising DB and DC pension scheme Trustees, companies, multinationals, and charities. His clients ranged in size from £25m to £5bn, and his advice therefore spanned the breadth of simple, cost effective implementation to complex and innovative solutions. Additionally, Duncan led a global team of experienced professionals to help investors improve their governance and operational efficiency, as well as managing asset safety and negotiating costs out of investment portfolios.

Of particular note, Duncan has helped trustee boards and companies structure robust fiduciary management mandates, develop more robust risk and governance frameworks with practical and realised benefits, implemented complex funding solutions such as asset-backed contributions, and navigated schemes through scheme mergers, buy-ins / buy-outs, defining end game strategies and implementing downside protection strategies. Duncan has also worked to drive better member communications, integrate ESG in portfolios in practical ways, and believes strongly in the benefits of Trustee Board diversity.

Outside of work, Duncan can be found spending time with his family, travelling the world or training for endurance sports; in particular, long distance triathlon.


James Phillips

Deputy Editor

Professional Pensions

James Phillips is Deputy Editor at Professional Pensions. He joined the magazine in 2016 as a Correspondent, before being promoted to Senior Correspondent in 2018, to News Editor in January 2019, and then to Deputy Editor in August 2019.

James has a focus on the law and regulation of occupational pension schemes in the UK. He is also interested in pension scheme investing in an ESG-conscious way, as well as the de-risking process for defined benefit schemes.

In 2019, James received the Trade Pensions Journalist of the Year award from Willis Towers Watson. In 2018, he was named the Society of Pension Professionals' Trade Pensions Journalist of the Year, as well as a gold winner at the MHP 30 to Watch awards. He was also shortlisted for the Headline Money Pensions Journalist of the Year Award (B2B) in both 2018 and 2019.

James gradated from City, University of London in 2016 with an MA in Newspaper Journalism, and from the University of Birmingham in 2015 with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy.

He has previously been published by The Guardian, The Independent, The i Paper, The Times, and BusinessGreen.