How to enter

The awards will open for entries on the 02/12/2019. To receive a notification when the awards are open please register your interest here.

Entry period: 02/12/2019 - 31/01/2020

Each category will be independently judged by a panel of experts. Categories need to receive a minimum of three entries to run.

Entry criteria:

Scheme and Investment categories:


Maximum of 400 words plus brief tables. For investment categories: Performance must be shown as one, three and five-year annualised returns, net of fees, to end-2018 and results since inception. A benchmark must also be provided for the judges and all results should be presented in the base currency for the strategy, stating whether it is hedged or unhedged. All figures should also clearly show if they are from composite data (and if so, what the data are) or individual fund performance. For the “passive global equities” category, entrants should include the total expense ratio of the chosen fund, the tracking error, and the range of strategies available. You should include a few words about retention/key people running the strategy. Entrants of all categories are encouraged to demonstrate sustainability of investments/strategies. For services categories: Performance can be indicated through client wins, the solving of problems and performance delivery for your clients.


Maximum of 400 words. How have you innovated over the past year? What new services or options have you introduced to improve the performance of your clients’ pension schemes, to save them money or to reduce their risk? For investment categories: Entrants should state where they believe their product stands out, e.g. at the idea generation or the trading/implementation stage.


Maximum of 400 words. How does your service to clients differ from your competitors - what makes it unique? Case studies and client feedback can be used to illustrate improved service standards. For investment categories: This section can include references to transparency for investors and stewardship.

Individual award for Industry Champion:

Pensions Expert will be giving an individual award to someone who made a special contribution to the industry in the past year, championed the cause of schemes and their members, or pushed forward the public discourse. The judges will each nominate someone, giving examples and arguments as to why they deserve the award. The panel of judges, led by the editorial team, will determine the winner.


Format: A panel of judges are picked by the editorial team based on their expertise within the industry, reflecting a spread of companies and groups.

There is a minimum of 10 judges including at least one from the editorial staff.

Conflicts: Any judge that either comes from a company/organisation that has entered, or has competitors that have entered, a particular category must exclude themselves from the judging of that category.

All judging is done on the basis of criteria outlined in the entry requirements, but judges are allowed to take into account their own experience of entrants’ products and services.

For the Industry Champion award, each judge will nominate someone who made a special contribution to the industry. The winner will be decided collectively by the judges, led by the Pensions Expert editorial team.

This debate will focus on the work done in the interest of savers, schemes or providers by the individual concerned.


  • François Barker
    Head of Pensions
    Eversheds Sutherland

  • François Barker acts as legal adviser to corporate sponsors, trustee boards and pension providers on the full range of pensions issues including international arrangements, defined benefit plan funding and de-risking, and defined contribution plan governance. He is actively involved in the development of pensions law and policy, and has helped to shape aspects of both UK and EU pensions legislation. He is an elected member of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association DC Council, and also sits on the CBI Pensions Panel, the Hundred Group Pensions Committee and the DC Standing Committee of Pensions Europe.

  • Kirsty Bartlett
    Squire Patton Boggs

  • Kirsty Bartlett is a partner at Squire Patton Boggs with more than 15 years of experience in pensions law. She works with trustees and sponsoring employers on matters ranging from significant projects such as mergers, benefit changes and buy-ins, to the impact of new legislation, day-to-day compliance and member complaints. Kirsty has a particular interest and specialism in schemes with a public sector element and leads the Squire Patton Boggs Public Sector Pensions Group. She is also a founding member of the Association of Pension Lawyers’ public sector sub-committee. Kirsty is recommended in both the Legal 500 and Chambers directories.

  • Karen Bolan
    Head of Engagement

  • As head of engagement and member of AHC’s senior management team, Karen has responsibility for the delivery of multi-faceted communication projects for some of AHC’s biggest clients. She has over 25 years’ commercial experience in large corporate organisations including 15 years in senior strategic and operational communication roles. Her corporate experience is combined with excellent pensions knowledge and a proven track record in developing engaging communications strategies for clients. Karen is an accredited member and examiner for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and has received several international communication awards. Away from work, Karen is an accomplished chef and opera singer.

  • Steve Delo
    Managing Director
    PAN Governance

  • Steve Delo is managing director of independent trustee firm PAN Governance. He is also a former president of the Pensions Management Institute (2007-2009). His experience includes senior roles in scheme management, consulting and asset management. Steve is now a leading independent trustee, having sat on major pension scheme trustee boards for the last decade, chairing most of them. His appointments also cover mastertrusts, including The People's Pension (of which he is chair of trustees) and the Atlas Master Trust. Steve has twice been named Independent Trustee of the Year by Engaged Investor and been listed as one of the Top 50 people in pensions by Pensions Insight.

  • Jeanette Holland
    Partner and Head of the Pensions Department, Baker McKenzie

  • Jeanette is Head of the Baker McKenzie Pensions Department and has well over two decades of experience as a pensions lawyer. Jeanette is co-secretary of the Association of Pension Lawyers Legislative and Parliamentary Committee and a former member of the Association's International Committee. Jeanette advises both companies and trustees on all aspects of pension law and manages strategic large scale projects involving the mitigation of pensions risks, for example, pensions restructuring, buy-ins and buyouts and contingent funding arrangements. She also handles transactions and clearance issues. Jeanette speaks regularly on industry developments and issues.

  • Simon Kew
    Director of Financial Advisory - Pensions

  • Simon leads on national strategy for Deloitte’s ‘Financial Advisory – Pensions’ practice, encompassing London and the regional teams, with a focus on pensions related advisory services. This includes the provision of advice to trustees and corporates as part of the scheme funding process by way of a covenant assessment, through regular monitoring, finding innovative solutions to funding issues or by supporting relevant parties in mergers and acquisitions. A former ‘Pensions Regulator’, Simon is frequently asked to judge industry awards, speak at events or quote for the press as a leading expert on employer covenant and wider pensions regulation.

  • Neil McPherson
    Managing Director
    Capital Cranfield

  • Neil joined Capital Cranfield in August 2014 as Managing Director and a member of the company's board. He has extensive commercial and fiduciary experience working with pension funds over a 30-year career. At Citigroup, he established Citigroup Asset Management's European Retirement Services business and was a trustee of the UK pension scheme, where he chaired the investment committee. At Standard Life plc, he set up Standard Life Investments' European client business and was Director of Group Relationship Management. Neil acted as independent chairman of the Kosovo Pension Savings Trust for seven years from its inception and was a member of the Expert Group on Russian Pension Reform. He also acts as the Council Director for the Conference Board's European Pension Council, a pan-European group of multinational corporate pension funds.

  • Ian McQuade
    Muse Advisory

  • Ian is a Director at Muse Advisory and has 30 years’ expertise covering pension scheme management, administration and governance for both DB & DC schemes. He advises trustees and companies on a wide range of strategic, operational and governance related issues. This includes advising, facilitating and challenging trustees on strategy and business plan development, as well as advising on operational and administration effectiveness. Ian also leads clients through the review, selection and implementation of advisers and suppliers to their scheme. He supports trustees when reviewing and enhancing governance of their DB and DC schemes, and he leads and supports the implementation of major pension change projects.

  • Darren Philp
    Head of Policy
    Smart Pension

  • Darren is active in the industry lobbying for change in pensions and financial services for the benefit of members and uses his experience of previous roles at the The People's Pension, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and HM Treasury – where he was closely involved in the design of the UK’s flagship auto-enrolment programme. Darren is active within the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association through contributing to thought leadership and policy development work, and is currently vice chair of its master trust committee. He also recently chaired the pensions dashboard ABI-sponsored consumer research group. Darren sits on the PMI External Affairs Committee and is a governor of the independent Pensions Policy Institute.

  • Daniel Taylor
    Client Director
    Trafalgar House

  • Daniel is client director at Trafalgar House, a specialist pensions administrator based in the City of London. As client director, he is responsible for maintaining focus on delivering exceptional client service while supporting growth and innovation across the business. Daniel has run third-party administration operations and helped to develop and implement new technology and communication solutions, all aimed at providing truly exceptional member and client experiences. Before joining Trafalgar House in 2016, Daniel held senior leadership roles covering operations, implementations, quality assurance and business development. Daniel also spent ten years as head of administration services a successful start-up third-party administrator.

  • Anne-Marie Winton
    Arc Pensions Law

  • Anne-Marie is on the main committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers (having chaired its education & seminars committee for a number of years) and is also a member of the audit & risk committee of the Pensions Management Institute. She has advised trustee and employer clients for over 20 years and last year acted for Hoover on its entry into a regulated apportionment arrangement (one of only two agreed in 2017). She co-founded boutique law firm, ARC Pensions Law in 2015.

  • David Clare
    Barnett Waddingham

  • David advises defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) clients on our investment consultancy services from strategy setting through to manager selection and effective monitoring. David leads our vision on the full range of our Fiduciary Oversight services. David has been a key consulting figure since the early days of the investment consulting industry. He has a vast knowledge of the investment consulting sector and is an expert across our range of investment services. He has the flexibility and experience to adapt his advice accordingly and believes very strongly in client led solutions. David also undertakes expert witness work and has recently been the lead expert witness for a high profile pension case in the high court.

  • Simon Cohen
    Chief Investment Officer

  • Simon Cohen is an experienced pension investment actuary and is the Chief Investment Officer at Dalriada. Simon deals with a range of pension scheme clients with assets of up to around £300m on investment matters, including asset strategy and manager selection. Simon joined Dalriada in 2015. He entered the pensions industry in 1994 and became a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in 2000. He is chairman of the investment committee of the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA). He has worked for three major investment consultancies holding senior roles in both investment consulting and management positions.

  • Joe Dabrowski
    Head of Governance and Investment PLSA

  • Joe joined the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association in February 2016. Joe leads the Governance and Investment team with responsibility for policy areas including defined benefit provision, pension scheme governance and institutional investment issues. Before joining the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, Joe spent nine years at the Pension Protection Fund, where his last role was Head of Chief Executive’s Office. Earlier in his career he worked in policy and operational roles within central Government, including the Home Office and Defra. Joe has a BA in English and American Literature from Warwick University.

  • Anthony Ellis
    Head of Investment Consultancy
    Hymans Robertson

  • Anthony is the Head of Investment Consultancy and a partner. He has overall responsibility for delivery of our investment advice to clients across all of the markets that we operate within. He is lead consultant for a number of our largest clients. Anthony advises trustees on the full range of investment services, including asset allocation strategies, DC Default strategies, portfolio structure and manager selection. Anthony also leads the investment practice quality assurance and professionalism group and is the Designated Actuary for the investment practice in respect of this role. Anthony is also a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

  • Celene Lee
    Principal & Senior Investment Consultant
    Buck HR Services

  • Celene is a Principal and Senior Investment Consultant at Buck HR Services. She has been advising trustees and companies on pension scheme investment and financing matters for almost two decades. Celene currently advises a portfolio of DB and DC clients ranging from £100m to over £1 billion on investment strategy, manager selection, liability hedging, dynamic de-risking strategies and DC default design. Celene also advises trustees on the selection and monitoring of fiduciary management arrangements. She is the former Chair of the National Association of Pension Funds North London Group and a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

  • Naomi L’Estrange
    2020 Trustees

  • Naomi L’Estrange, has nearly twenty years’ experience in pensions and a formidable reputation in the field. After ten years as a pension lawyer, she was seconded to design the moral hazard provisions of the Pensions Act 2004. She then became Director of Legal at the PPF, and later its Director of Strategy and Policy. She joined 2020 in 2014 to lead its newly acquired Nottingham office. Naomi is a trained executive coach. She sits on schemes with assets from £2bn to £2m, and was awarded Trustee of the Year in the inaugural Women in Pensions Awards 2018.

  • Alexandra Martinez
    AM Varde Consulting

  • Alexandra Martinez is an experienced financial services professional, trustee and board member, with practical understanding of both private and public sectors pension funds, insurance and family offices. She has a strong commercial background in financial services and technology with over 20 years’ experience in asset raising, product development, project management and business development.

  • Laura Myers
    Partner and Head of DC

  • As Head of LCP's defined contribution team, I see it vital to remain at the forefront of understanding the market and spotting new opportunities and solutions for my clients. With expertise in DC investment, I provide my clients with clear advice on a wide range of DC areas, including identifying appropriate investment strategies and managers and the efficient implementation of any investment changes. I also lead LCP's research on DC investment pension providers and solutions, which means I can give my clients in depth knowledge of the issues facing pension providers and the new solutions available in the DC market such as target date funds and post-retirement solutions.

  • Maria Nazarova-Doyle
    Head of Defined Contribution Investment Consulting
    JLT Employee Benefits

  • Maria is a Senior Investment Consultant and also head of JLT’s DC Investment Consulting, where she is tasked with enhancing our DC proposition through market leading research and development for the wide variety of DC pension arrangements. She has also been spearheading the investment research and client services for our multiple-award winning Group Personal Pension proposition. Maria combines her research role with her client facing role, advising a diverse portfolio of DC trust and corporate clients. Maria holds an IMC qualification and is a CFA charterholder since November 2018.

  • Karen Shackleton
    Senior Adviser
    MJ Hudson Allenbridge

  • Karen has worked in the finance sector for over 30 years. In 2017, she set up Pensions for Purpose, a collaborative information-sharing platform which aims to raise awareness of impact investment. She is also Chair of the Board of Resonance Ltd, a firm investing in social impact opportunities, and Deputy Chair of the Strategic Investment Board for the Ministry of Justice. Karen provides independent investment advice, through MJ Hudson Allenbridge, to the London boroughs of Islington, Camden and Hounslow, and Warwickshire County Council pension funds.

  • Simeon Willis
    Chief Investment Officer
    XPS Pensions Group

  • Simeon leads XPS Investment’s thinking on journey planning and asset allocation, along with being responsible for research across the team. He 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.


Angus Peters

Associate editor
Angus joined Pensions Expert as a reporter in June 2016, before being promoted to associate editor.
He has previously worked as a reporter at The Sun Online, and has also had experience at Pensions Expert and MandateWire.

020 7873 4953

Sophia Imeson

Associate editor
Sophia joined Pensions Expert as a reporter in August 2016, before being promoted to associate editor. Previously, she worked as a reporter for MandateWire, where she covered institutional investment activity across the UK. During this time, Sophia also contributed to Pensions Expert and FT Money.

020 7775 6054