PLSA AC 18: Getting to know the PLSA chair

What is your pensions career CV?

Admin – originally at L+G Kingswood, consultancy, sales and marketing and eight years self employed. I sold my business to PTL in 2008 and have been here since.

On average a UK worker will have 11 jobs over their career. I’m on my seventh and hopefully last.

What other areas have you worked in and what roles have you held prior to joining the pensions industry?

Apart from a paper-round, some babysitting and a Saturday job stacking vegetables at Waitrose when I was 16, I’ve only ever worked in the pensions industry. I’m not unhappy with that.

What is your greatest work achievement so far?

There are so many that I feel good about! Passing my APMI, joining the then, NAPF council, being elected a council officer, becoming association chair, completing the PTL MBO, launching the AMNT, becoming a PPI governor. I am, though, going to go for the thing that made me feel good most recently. I felt a huge surge of pride when we (the PLSA) launched our Hitting the Target report earlier this year. I genuinely believe the ideas in it can help millions of people achieve a better income in retirement.

What do you still wish to achieve?

We need to implement the ideas in Hitting the Target.

What is your biggest regret within your career?

It sounds corny but I try not to have regrets. What’s the point? Also, I’m really happy with my life and I’ve arrived here as a result of all I’ve done, good or bad, before now.

Excluding your current role, what would be your dream (in or out of pensions) job?

Cerebral author, classical pianist, philosopher. No none of those things. It’s not classy but I’d like to co-present both Top Gear (for the banter, cars and travel) and Ski Sunday (for the skiing). Whatever I do it has to have variety – that is, I think, the most important thing in any job.

What was your dream job as a child?

I had loads. For a while I wanted to be an architect, a pilot and to join the Navy. I ended up in pensions though and quite by accident. With hindsight, I’m really glad I did. It is a great industry. We pay millions of people billions of pounds every year. We give them security and peace of mind. What could be a better dream than that?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Adventure and activity. I’m a bit of an endorphin and adrenaline junky. Every year I set myself adventurous and or physical challenges. I’ve had so much fun and met so many great people. Earlier this year I rode a Royal Enfield motorbike around the Himalayas which was an assault on the senses and utterly amazing, last year I learnt to box and I had my first fight, I also ran a half marathon inside the Arctic Circle. The year before that I walked over the Pyrenees and completed four 50 mile legs of the Thames – on foot, in a canoe, on a bike and finally in my wetsuit swimming. I’m not sure what’s next but I’m looking forward to it.

Any particular skills or party tricks?

None what’s so ever – apart from dogged determination and persistence (although they don’t get many laughs at a party).

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests?

There are so many to choose from.

My dad died in 1983 and we never really saw eye to eye – we were too alike. I’d quite like to sit down with him now and tell him what’s going on in the world and where my siblings and I have got to see what he thinks. I think as adults we could be friends.

I’d also like to find out why he kicked John Redwood when he worked in the No 10 Press Office.

Do you have a particular phrase or quote that inspires you?

I often use the former racing driver Emmerson Fittipaldi quote “If you feel like you’re in control, you’re not driving fast enough”. Mentally and physically we can take far more than we think we can.

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