Annual Members’ Conference


In our Autumn Conference five Business Leaders from the financial sector will share their thoughts and insight from their respective areas of operation and expertise. We will look at technology and the drivers of change that are revolutionizing the way we do business and lead our lives.We will also consider the implications of Pension Freedom and the likely outcomes for the UK consumer and provider businesses.

What are the challenges facing UK financial services over the next five years of a Conservative government? With technology and generational factors driving change, what kind of business market can we predict to 2020?


09.00 Registration and Coffee

09.30 Welcoming Remarks

Greg McClymont, Head of Retirement Saving, Aberdeen Asset Management

Clara Shih, CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social

11:00 Coffee

11.20 Tony Langham, CEO, Lansons

Paul Craven, Founder, Paul Craven Partners

Kevin Mathers, Country Sales Director, Google UK

13.20 Buffet Lunch

14.00 Event Close


Gregg McClymont, Head of Retirement Saving, Aberdeen Asset Management

Shaking the Kaleidoscope – the UK’s at-retirement policy revolution 

Revolution” is a noun often misapplied. But UK policymakers decision to end de facto compulsory annuitisation of Defined Contribution pensions justifies the designation.  By offering savers unrestricted access to their pots from the age of 55, subject only to marginal rates of income tax, the Government is (consciously or not) bringing the future of pensions themselves into question. Defined as the interplay between an employer contribution, especially advantaged tax treatment, (in return for) locking away the assets until retirement, pensions’ as a savings vehicle are in danger of redundancy. Thus the Treasury’s review of tax relief – a logical corollary of opening up pots to savers at age 55 is reducing pensions tax advantages. A process which, in turn, has implications for employers incentives to offer beyond de minimis provision. In this talk Gregg McClymont will review the state of pensions play as the new freedoms take shape, and, drawing on international evidence, suggest ways in which the UK pensions system might evolve in the short to medium term.

Gregg brings a consumer focused perspective to the rapidly changing world of pensions. Gregg served as Shadow Pensions Minister between 2011 and 2015; before entering Parliament in 2010 Gregg was a Fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Currently a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, as well as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland’s (ICAS) pension committee; he also sits on the Advisory Board of the University of Bristol’s AHRC funded study Thatcher’s Pensions Reform. Gregg has published widely on pension’s policy and British history.

Clara Shih, CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social

Clara is CEO and founder of Hearsay Social and a member of the Starbucks Board of Directors. A pioneer in the social media industry, Clara developed the first social business application in 2007 and is a New York Times-featured bestselling author. She has been named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Fast Company’s Most Influential People in Technology, and Businessweek’s Top Young Entrepreneurs. Based in Silicon Valley, Hearsay Social provides social business software for relationship managers to attract, retain, and grow customer relationships using popular social networks. Clara previously served in a variety of technical, product, and marketing roles at Google, Microsoft, and Clara graduated #1 in Computer Science at Stanford University, where she also received an MS in Computer Science – User Experience and Design. Clara also holds an MS in Internet Studies from Oxford University, where she studied as a U.S. Marshall Scholar.

Tony Langham, CEO, Lansons

Financial services and reputation: Does reputational decline matter and what’s next?

The reputation of financial services hasn’t recovered. Does it matter?  Tony Langham discusses the outlook for the next five years

Tony is Chief Executive of Lansons, the leading reputation management and PR consultancy he co-founded in 1989. He has advised Governments, organisations and companies for nearly 30 years and splits his work between building reputations and protecting them. His recent clients include Co-operative Bank, Eddie Stobart Group, Metro Bank and the Isle of Man Government. He is also Non-executive Chairman of Earlier this year he was named as one of UK's 500 most influential people by Debrett's, in conjunction with The Sunday Times. Lansons is currently the Financial Services Forum Agency of the Year.

Paul Craven, Founder, Paul Craven Partners

The Magic of Behavioural Economics

The human brain is hardwired for perfectly good evolutionary reasons to use ‘System 1’ thinking (fast, intuitive, unconscious) in preference to ‘System 2’ (slow, cognitive, conscious), sometimes leading to biases, mental short-cuts and irrationality.  Indeed, psychologists estimate there are over 150 biases and mental short cuts that pervade all aspects of our decision-making processes and memory.

With 28 years’ experience in finance, Paul Craven, formerly of Goldman Sachs and now a behavioural specialist, will provide an interactive talk on what can we do about our and our clients’ biases. In addition he will address how can we turn them, ethically, to our advantage in business, investment and our lives.

Paul is a member of the Magic Circle so knows more than most how the mind can play tricks.

Kevin Mathers, Country Sales Director, Google UK

Building a Better Future

Over the centuries technology has improved the lot of mankind. Exponential compute power, personalised devices, pervasive connectivity and massive real world data sets, have again radically changed what people see as normal and expect. These same changes now provide businesses with the tools to deliver on those ever increasing expectations

Kevin leads teams that help Google's UK advertising clients make the most of the web. During his nine years at Google, Kevin has also been the MD of YouTube UK, led Google UK's New Products team with responsibility for the introduction and growth of all their advertising products, led their technology sales team, and ran their UK Search Partnerships. Prior to Google, he worked at Deloitte, T-Mobile and one2one. He has an engineering undergraduate degree and a MBA from London Business School.

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