Standard Life Assurance Limited today announces three new board appointments to the Standard Life Master Trust Co Ltd (SLMTC). The SLMTC board looks after more than 250,000 members*, with the Standard Life Master Trust schemes having combined assets of over £5.5 billion*, making it among the biggest in the UK.

The three new board members, Catherine McKenna, Andrew Davies and Caroline Escott, bring a depth and breadth of knowledge to the Board, including ESG expertise. They will join Rene Poisson, who has been reappointed to the Board, and the current Chair, Richard Butcher. These new board members are replacing Francois Barker and Stella Girvin who stepped down from the SLMTC Board in January 2020 and Ruston Smith who steps down this month.

  • Catherine McKenna has over 30 years’ experience in the pensions industry as a qualified solicitor, providing advice to companies, trustees and product providers on a wide range of pension issues and a trustee and board member. She is a partner at Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP, a global law firm.
  • Andrew Davies is an experienced strategist, marketer and business development professional, most recently Director of Marketing Strategy and Customer Insight for AXA UK & Ireland. He has over 30 years’ experience in a wide range of senior Financial Services roles and has qualified as a Chartered Insurer and Financial Planner. Andrew currently runs his own management consultancy business and is an advisor to a number of start-ups.
  • Caroline Escott brings with her 15 years of experience of investment and stewardship of both retail and institutional pensions policy issues. She currently leads these issues at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) and has also been Head of Public Policy at the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF). Caroline sits on a number of industry and government groups and taskforces, including the Pensions Climate Change Risk Industry Group and the Pension Scams Industry Group.

As the scheme trustee, the SLMTC works in the interests of the Standard Life Defined Contribution Master Trust (SLDCMT) and Stanplan A pension scheme members. In June 2019, Standard Life Assurance Limited’s two Master Trust schemes were among the first schemes to receive authorisation from The Pensions Regulator.

Richard Butcher, who is the chair of the SLMTC said of the appointments: “I would like to thank Francois Barker, Stella Girvin and Ruston Smith who have worked hard to protect the interests of members in the two pension schemes. The new members, Catherine, Andrew and Caroline, bring with them a wealth of experience and have been selected to ensure that the board possesses a diverse range of skills and knowledge and that it is well equipped to ensure that the schemes continue to deliver good outcomes and value for money for members.”

Jenny Holt, Proposition Director at Standard Life, said: “These appointments will further enhance the board’s diversity of thought and strengthen its depth of knowledge, especially given the expertise being brought to the table in areas such as ESG and member engagement. We’re looking forward to working with the new board members and in continuing to ensure that the Master Trust scheme members receive good outcomes from their pensions.”

*Figures at 31 December 2019

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Notes to Editors

The SLMTC Board members:

  • Richard Butcher, Chair
  • Rene Poisson
  • Catherine McKenna
  • Andrew Davies
  • Ruston Smith (who will be replaced by Caroline Escott in March 2020)

About Standard Life

  • A range of high quality products are offered through Standard Life Assurance for workplace pensions, personal pensions, savings, investments and retirement. These are sold in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria. Standard Life Assurance Limited is owned by Phoenix Group and uses the Standard Life brand under licence from the Standard Life Aberdeen Group.
  • At Standard Life, we’ve been helping customers with their life savings for nearly 200 years.
  • Today the Standard Life brand is trusted by millions of savers, helping them to manage their life savings so that they and their families can enjoy a better future.
  • Customers come to us through advisers, through their employers and direct to Standard Life.
  • We know that customers need more support than ever to make important financial decisions, so we use our expertise to help them get good advice and make better financial choices for their future. And our close relationship with Aberdeen Standard Investments allows us access to world-class investment solutions.
  • Ultimately we want to help customers make good choices with their life savings, whether they are saving throughout their working lives, enjoying financial security in retirement or planning to pass wealth on to loved ones.
  • We believe that experience matters, customers need us and together we will succeed. Collectively we believe this means that there’s a lot to look forward to.

Please remember that the value of investments can go down as well as up, and could be worth less than originally invested.



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