How to Connect with Pension Customers


Marketing efforts to acquire and retain customers at retirement are set to increase with new pension freedoms. But are we engaging sufficiently with pension clients on an on-going basis? Can providers make more of the annual Statutory Money Purchase Illustration? What are the digital solutions that can support engagement? Our panel of experts debate good practice in pension communication.


Speakers Include:

Matt Ward, Head of Communications, AKG Actuaries & Consultants Ltd (Chair)

Matt attended the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe before joining AXA Equity & Law in 1993 where he spent five years working in the Executive Pension department. In 1998 Matt joined independent product research company, The Research Department Ltd, which subsequently became Defaqto Ltd. Matt worked at Defaqto for over 15 years in a range of research roles, including Head of Pensions, and his final position was in the role of Wealth Management Consultant. Through these roles Matt has acquired an extensive knowledge of individual and corporate pensions, in particular he has closely followed the development of the SIPP and retirement income markets. Matt has also spent time studying the UK platform market and in more recent years has closely followed the emergence of outsourced investment solutions targeted at financial advisers, including multi-asset managed funds and discretionary fund management (DFM) services. Matt joined AKG Actuaries & Consultants in July 2014 to take on the role of Head of Communications. Matt leads on communication and marketing activities and supports the AKG team with the delivery of their core provider profiling exercises. He will also be involved in the development and delivery of AKG’s consultancy services proposition to product providers and financial advisers. Matt is a member of the Investment and Life Assurance Group (ILAG) and currently chairs ILAG’s Wealth Management Strategy Group.


John Humpish, Senior Consultant, Fin International

John has performed a variety of marketing, sales and general management roles at national, regional and global level over the last 25 years. After nine years at Mars running a cross-section of brands based in the UK and Germany, John moved to the financial sector and to leadership positions at JP Morgan/Flemings, Axa and Deutsche Bank. A period of consultancy followed, centered largely on enhancing B2B marketing capability at Vodafone worldwide. Most recently John was Global CMO for General Insurance at Zurich Insurance Group based in Switzerland.


Michelle Cracknell, Chief executive, The Pensions Advisory Service

Michelle Cracknell was appointed Chief Executive of the Pensions Advisory Service in October 2013. Michelle started her career as a pensions adviser for Advisory & Brokerage Services Ltd, where she worked for 20 years becoming a director and qualifying as an Actuary in 1997. Her work involved giving advice to companies on their pension arrangement and she also ran the self-administered pensions team that administered SSAS and SIPPs. In 2007, she joined Skandia as the Strategy Director and continued her interest in investment platforms and pensions when she left and did 3 years as a consultant. She is a regular commentator on pension matters in the media. Throughout her career, her key desire has been to make pensions more accessible to the employees through the provision of information.


John Lawson,Retirement Solutions,Head of Policy, Aviva

John Lawson is Head of Policy at Aviva UK & Ireland Life, and a management team member of Aviva’s Retirement Solutions business. His role includes speaking with the UK government on policy issues, both on behalf of Aviva and as a representative of the UK insurance industry. He also contributes to the development of market strategy in accumulation and retirement markets. John has wide experience of the pensions industry and is a frequent commentator on pension issues in the press. He was named Corporate Adviser Personality of the Year for 2014.

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