PLSA appoints Emma Douglas as new chair

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has announced that Emma Douglas will become its new chair on 14 October at its annual general meeting.

Douglas was chosen by a sub-committee of the board following an “open and transparent” process.

She will succeed outgoing chair, Richard Butcher, whose four-year term ends on 14 October.

Douglas, who has chaired the PLSA Policy Board since 2018, will initially serve as chair for three years, with the option to extend for a further three years.

Recently, Douglas left her role as Legal & General Investment Management head of defined contribution and will soon join Aviva as its managing director, workplace savings.

With more than 20 years of experience in the pensions and investment management industry, she has also held senior roles at Mercer, BlackRock and Threadneedle Investments.

In her role as PLSA chair, Douglas will be tasked with helping ensure that the PLSA can meet its aim of assisting people in achieving a better income at retirement.

Commenting on her appointment, Douglas stated: “The PLSA is a leading voice within the pensions industry and I am extremely proud to be appointed as the PLSA chair.

“Having been involved with the PLSA for many years, most recently as the first chair of the Policy Board, I am looking forward to ensuring that members’ interests continue to be strongly represented by the association as we tackle the post-pandemic future for the pensions and savings industry. Richard and Julian have done a great job in leading the PLSA through the Covid crisis and I am very grateful for this as I take on the role of chair.

“With my new role, I am also stepping down from my role as PLSA Policy Board chair; a role that has proved both highly interesting and rewarding over the last three years. I’d encourage anyone who is attracted to the role to apply and will look forward to working with the successful candidate as they help to shape the PLSA’s policy output, working closely with the excellent PLSA policy team.”

Butcher described the announcement as “bittersweet”: “On the one hand, sad that it’s over but, on the other, tremendously happy that it happened.

“I will look back on my time as PLSA chair with great pride having been in the role through some of the industry’s most challenging times; perhaps none more challenging than that of the impact Covid-19 and having made significant steps forward in our governance and policy work. None of this would have been possible without the fantastic PLSA team and I am hugely grateful to them for their hard work and commitment.

“It does, however, give me great pleasure to hand the reins over to Emma, who I know will perform a sterling job given her experience and unquestionable passion for the industry. It was important for me that we found someone who could take the PLSA forward and with Emma I know we have just that. I wish her great luck and success for the future.”

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