PMI elects Sara Cook as next president

The Pensions Management Institute (PMI) has announced the appointment of Sara Cook as its next president, effective immediately.

Cook will also chair the Advisory Council, and sit on the board as a non-executive director (NED).

Having begun her career in pensions administration, Cook has also worked in-house, as a pensions manager, and in consultancy.

She joined Barnett Waddingham in 2013, where she is now a principal, focused on providing governance, secretariat, and special projects to support trustee clients.

Lesley Alexander, who previously held the role of president for two one-year terms, is standing down from the role by rotation, having also served two consecutive terms on the advisory council, and been a board member since 2017.

Commenting on her appointment, Cook stated: “I’m delighted to have been appointed president but I am in no doubt I have large shoes to fill from my predecessor who leaves a strong legacy behind her.

"I’m so looking forward to the exciting new plans the PMI has to offer as part of our strategic journey and will continue working closely with Gareth Tancred and the board to continue to achieve our goals, moving pensions forward.”

Adding to this, PMI CEO, Gareth Tancred, stated: “As the PMI continues in its goal to encourage high standards across the UK pension industry, the role of president is crucial.

"That is why we are delighted that Sara Cook has been elected our president of the Institute. Sara’s wealth of experience and expertise has been invaluable over her many years of service on the Advisory Council and serving on various board committees.

"The president is the principal ambassador for the institute, and we very much look forward to continuing to work with her as we finalise and deliver our new strategic plan."

In addition to this, the PMI has announced that First Actuarial head of pensions administration, Robert Wakefield, has been elected as the new vice president, also joining the presidential team and the PMI board as a NED as part of this role.

Kier pensions manager, Rosie Lacey, has been reappointed to the role of vice-president for a further year, and will therefore remain on the PMI board as a NED.

Tesco pension manager, Eve Keith, has also been elected on the advisory council for her first term, after Tim Phillips and Emma Watkins decided not to stand for a second term.

Ruston Smith, meanwhile, will remain chair of the board for a further year as agreed in May 2021 as part of his three-year term.

Smith commented: "The pace of change continues to increase and the role of the PMI in supporting, informing, and equipping trustees and pension professionals to develop and grow has never been more important.

"I’m really looking forward to continuing to work with the board, our new NEDs and the team to implement our strategy and continuously improve all we do to meet the future needs of our members and the industry in the UK and internationally.”

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