United Kingdom

Aon Conference

Accelerate your de-risking journey

FREE Half Day Seminar

Leeds - Tuesday 11 July 2017

When and how should you settle pension scheme risk?

Taking place in Leeds, this conference will demonstrate how to optimise the use of insurance solutions for pension schemes.

2016 was the most significant year for the bulk annuity market with business volumes reaching almost £20bn for the first time ever, highlighting that pension scheme trustees, and sponsors and insurers are looking to capture pricing opportunities as they arise. Longevity swaps have also developed significantly over the last 12 months with the market opening up to transactions of all sizes and recent trends in UK mortality having a significant influence on the price of longevity protection.

Aon's experts and invited speakers will share their insights into how you can find solutions that match your needs and help to accelerate your de-risking journey. Our presentations will include

  • Innovation and growth in pension risk transfer market
  • A phased approach - Deliver earlier de-risking at a lower overall cost
  • Longevity hedging - Solutions for schemes of all sizes
  • Bulk annuities - A case study of the well-trodden path to completing a buy-in

There will be plenty of opportunity for you to ask questions to our panel of pension experts and scheme peers, sharing your views, and continuing the discussion over lunch afterwards.


08.45 - 09.25 Registration & Breakfast/Refreshments
09.25 - 09.30 Welcome
Martin Bird, Senior Partner & Head of Risk Settlement Group
09.30 - 10.00 Key Note – Innovation and growth in pension risk transfer
The range of risk reduction techniques available to pension schemes is growing. How do these interact, how do companies and trustees get optimal outcomes and what is the impact on ultimate insurance? Emma Watkins, Director, Bulk Annuities Division Scottish Widows
10.00 - 10.30 A phased approach to buy-ins - Savings at every step
Bulk annuity pricing is volatile and deferred annuities are expensive. Phased buy-ins deliver earlier de-risking at a lower overall cost. How do you determine the best strategy for your scheme? John Baines, Partner & Tiziana Perrella, Principal
10.30 - 11.00 Case study: Smiths - 6 buy-in’s and counting
Be prepared! – A case study from Smiths Group Plc
Earlier this year Smiths Group secured the sixth buy-in for their pension arrangements. With a track record of purchasing insurance now spanning almost a decade, what lessons can they offer to schemes looking to reduce risk at the right price? Paul Belok, Partner & Allan Whalley, Group Pensions Director, Smiths Group plc
11.00 - 11.20 Refreshments and networking break
11.20 - 11.50 Longevity hedging – Solutions for all
With increased focus on a simplified approach, and the market opening up to smaller schemes, what options are now available to trustees and companies looking to purchase longevity insurance? Tom Scott, Principal Consultant & Hannah Cook, Senior Consultant
11.50 - 12.20 Longevity trends and other ‘solved problems’
The much lower-than-expected England & Wales mortality improvements since 2011 have surprised many in the pensions and insurance industry.
We’ll explain what’s driving this, and the implications for pension scheme finances and the longevity insurance market generally
Tim Gordon, Partner & Matthew Fletcher, Senior Consultant
12.20 - 12.40 Your Questions Answered
An open question forum to our panel of experts John Baines, Partner & Michael Walker, Principal Consultant
12.40 - 12.45 Summary and key learnings
Martin Bird, Senior Partner & Head of Risk Settlement Group
12.45 - 14.00 Lunch & networking


Register Now



Martin Bird

Senior Partner and Head of Aon Hewitt's Risk Settlement Group

Martin is a qualified actuary and authorised to provide advice on insurance and capital markets transactions and spends all of his time working with clients on de-risking projects. This includes structuring risk transfer transactions, providing clients clear advice on the value for money of different types of solution, and identifying which solutions provide the best fit to the clients' objectives.

Martin has led many of the industry's high profile risk transfer transactions. His relevant experience includes:

  • Leading the industry's major longevity swap transactions, including the BMW, Rolls Royce, AstraZeneca, Pilkington, BAE and BT deals, covering over £30Bn of UK pension liabilities – giving him unrivalled insight into how the market prices longevity risk
  • Structuring over £10Bn of reinsurance for a leading UK insurer
  • Advising financial institutions who have evaluated acting as investors in longevity deals
  • Advising the PPF
  • Advising on numerous bulk annuity deals, from £100M to £2Bn, including Cadbury, Lucas Yuasa and GKN plc.

Martin's extensive range of experience allows him to bring insight from both a pension scheme and investor mindset. He is frequently sought out by trustees, sponsors and the media and is widely recognised as one of the UK's leading settlement advisers.

Emma Watkins

Director, Bulk Annuities Division Scottish Widows

Emma is the Bulk Annuities Director for Scottish Widows, where she is responsible for the overall service delivery of buy-ins and buy-outs to trustee and policyholder clients.

Prior to joining Scottish Widows in June 2015, Emma was a partner at a leading consultancy, specialising in helping trustees and companies manage defined benefit pension scheme risk through the use of insurance solutions.

Emma has acted as lead consultant on a large number of buy-in and buy-out transactions from £1m to £1.6bn and a variety of organisations including Total, Interserve and Makro.

Emma has also held senior positions at a number of other insurance companies, having started her pension's career in defined benefit scheme administration at Prudential. With over 20 years' experience in the pensions industry, the last 10 of which have been in the bulk annuity market, Emma brings wide practical experience on DB pension schemes.

John Baines


John Baines is a Partner and Actuary, working in Aon's Pensions Practice since 2002. He splits his time between ongoing corporate appointments and specialist work in relation to risk settlement.

John is a qualified actuary fully regulated to provide risk settlement advice and leads Aon's medically underwritten bulk annuity team. More widely, he has advised on risk settlement projects from £5M to £8Bn. He is often quoted in the media in relation to bulk annuities, and is a frequent speaker on the topic.

Recent projects include:

  • Lead adviser for a large multi-national on three full scheme pension buy-outs, completed within a 6 months period, as part of a $4Bn corporate transaction.
  • Lead adviser on Pilkington and Kingfisher's bulk annuity transactions.
  • Lead adviser on the largest medically underwritten bulk annuity and the largest medically underwritten full buy-out.

More broadly, John advises clients on long term pension risk management strategies.

Michael Walker

Principal Consultant

Michael is a Principal Consultant and Risk Settlement Adviser within Aon's Retirement and Investment practice.

Michael advises clients on the full range of risk settlement structures including both bulk annuities and longevity swaps. His experience spans the adviser and the insurer sides of de-risking having spent 2.5 years working in Legal & General's Pension Risk Transfer business.

Michael has worked on a wide range of de-risking transactions from a £1.5M buy-out to a multi-billion pound longevity swap and spent a year working with L&G's US business where he jointly priced and structured L&G's first US bulk annuity transaction for $450M.

Prior to joining Legal & General Michael was a Principal Consultant and Scheme Actuary in Aon's Trustee Advisory business advising clients with pension schemes ranging in size from £15M to £12Bn.

Hannah Cook

Senior Consultant

Hannah is a qualified actuary and risk settlement adviser in Aon's Risk Settlement Group. Hannah advises clients on the full range of risk settlement structures including both bulk annuities and longevity swaps.

To date, Hannah has advised on risk settlement longevity swap treaties and bulk annuity transactions covering over £11bn of liabilities including the £1.6bn pensioner buy-in for CAA. Hannah has also overseen the implementation of three significant longevity swaps and advised on the terms/structuring of a multi-billion pound longevity swap for a FTSE 100 company. She is also responsible for Aon's longevity offering for small and medium sized schemes.

Tom Scott

Principal Consultant

Tom is a risk settlement adviser, with broad experience across the market on bulk annuity transactions (medical and traditional) and longevity swaps.

Tom is authorised to advise on bulk annuity and longevity swap transactions and is the lead for Aon's Implemented Annuities service.

To date, Tom has advised on a £0.9bn multi-transaction insurance exercise, a medically underwritten buy-out of an executive plan and a £2bn longevity hedge

Tim Gordon


Tim specialises in longevity modelling and risk management, and leads Aon UK's longevity modelling and advisory.

Over his career Tim has held a variation of rules, including:

  • Scheme actuary
  • Adviser to large corporate clients on acquisition and restructuring programmes
  • Overseeing the wind up and settlement of pension plans

Tim is currently the chairman of the CMI, the body responsible for producing standard mortality tables and projections for the UK actuarial profession. In the past, Tim has also held various roles at the Institute of Actuaries and published a number of thought leading papers in the areas of financial economics, pension plan funding and sponsor covenant assessment.

Tiziana Perrella


Tiziana is a risk settlement adviser specialising in bulk annuity transactions and pension scheme wind ups.

Tiziana has worked as an adviser in the bulk annuity space for over 15 years and has been leading adviser on over 100 bulk annuity transactions, including the first buyout in respect of active members and the first buy-in to include deliberate mismatching of benefits.

Prior to joining Aon, Tiziana was head of the bulk annuities team at JLT.

Paul Belok


Paul is a senior risk settlement adviser, specialising and authorised to advise on bulk annuity transactions.

Paul is a lead adviser on transactions of all shapes and sizes, covering buy-ins and buy-outs, trigger-based transactions, price locks and medically underwritten deals. Cases advised on in the public domain include:

  • CAA (£1.6bn plus second tranche of £90m)
  • TI (5 transactions totalling £930m)
  • Aon (3 transactions totalling £900m)
  • Lehman (£670m
  • Cadbury (£500m)
  • Cookson/Vesuvius (£350m including follow-on tranches for new retirees)
  • Minet (2 transactions totalling £300m)

Allan Whalley

Pensions Director Smiths Group PLC

Allan has been involved in a number of buy-ins dating back to 2009 when he was director of benefits – Europe at Cadbury.

Allan joined Smiths Group as pensions director in 2013, where his core focus has been on risk and investment strategy.

In addition to his role at Smiths Group, Alan also acts for a number of trustee boards (and similar) as an independent professional trustee / chair.

Matthew Fletcher

Senior Consultant

Matthew joined Aon in early 2016 and has more than 15 years' experience advising pension plans and the insurance sector. He is a longevity specialist within our Risk Settlement Group, helping measure and communicate longevity and other demographic risks in the UK and overseas, including Canada and the Netherlands. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

Matt is also a member of the Continuous Mortality Investigation's (CMI) Projections Committee and of its Self-Administered Pension Schemes Committee which investigates UK pension scheme mortality to produce mortality curves that are widely used by schemes and bulk annuity providers across the UK.


Register Now



Aon Hewitt Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


This event is scheduled to start at 8.45am with registration and will finish at 2pm following a networking lunch.

Tuesday 11 July 2017
Park Plaza Hotel
Boar Lane, City Square

Register Here