Actuarial Post | January 2021 | Awards Issue

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2020 Actuary Of TheYear



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Actuarial Post Team EDITOR Jennifer Redwood SUB EDITOR Jennifer Stone ADVERTISING MANAGER Alan Burns @actuarialpost @APjobs Head Office 13 Vale Rise Tonbridge Kent, TN9 1TB 01732 359488

EDITOR’S NOTE A belated Happy New Year to you all and welcome to the Actuarial Post Awards 2020 Winners edition of the magazine. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors AON’s ReMetrica and Bolton Associates for supporting the awards through a very difficult year. I won’t spoil your enjoyment of discovering the winners within the magazine by naming them here, other than congratulating our Actuary of the Year, Michael Ingram from Deloitte who is gracing our front cover, so no spoiler alert there. Massive congratulations to all of our other winners, a great start to 2021 despite the lockdown. To continue on a theme we have just opened the voting for Stars of The Future Awards so keep checking the Actuarial Post Twitter and Linked In accounts for snapshot links to each of the nominees on the short list. I look forward to welcoming you back for the February edition of the Actuarial Post Magazine. Stay safe and stay well.

- Jennifer Redwood

Legal Notice All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the prior permission of the publisher in writing. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, Actuarial Post cannot accept responsibility for loss of business to those referred to in thie magazine as a result of errors.


Regulars News


Movers & Shakers


City Dealings


16 Winners



Actuary of the Year


GI Actuary of the Year


Pensions Actuary of the Year


Investment Actuary of the Year


Life & Health Actuary of the Year


Employer of the Year


Software of the Year


Recruitment Consultant of the Year



TPR publishes interim response on DB funding code The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has today published an interim response to its first defined benefit (DB) funding code consultation. The consultation aimed to scope out what the revised DB funding code may look like under

the new developing legislation. It asked for views on several proposals including:

• the principles that should underpin all valuations in the revised framework

• TPR’s proposed regulatory approach (twin track routes to demonstrating compliance: Fast Track and Bespoke)

• ideas on how these principles could be applied in practice to provide clearer guidelines READ MORE

What investment pathways will mean for pension drawdown Since the pension freedoms were introduced back in April 2015, individuals have had much more flexibility over how to use their ‘defined contribution’ (DC) retirement savings, currently from as young as age 55. Previously, the most common approach when turning a pension pot into retirement income was to buy an annuity, which provided a guaranteed income for life. But READ MORE

4 key investment themes for trustees to focus on in 2021 To help prepare for the busy year ahead, we have set out four key DB investment themes and actions that Trustees should be focusing on in 2021. Preparing for the end of LIBOR in 2021. The end of 2021 will see the long-awaited cessation of LIBOR as an interest rate benchmark. The transition from LIBOR to SONIA (plus an additional margin) will have a number of impacts on the way Trustees manage their investment strategies and 2021 will be a year of ensuring suitable preparation plans are in place.

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By Ross Fleming, Co-Head of Trustee DB Investment and Elaine Torry, Co-Head of Trustee DB Investment from Hymans Robertson. Action for Trustees Focus on reviewing aspects of your Scheme’s investment arrangements which have LIBOR exposure to ensure there is a plan in place to implement the transition smoothly and the amendments are adequately...


NEWS FCA publishes coronavirus financial resilience survey data The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published the results of its coronavirus (Covid-19) financial resilience surveys. The surveys were sent to solo-regulated firms to inform the FCA of the impact of coronavirus on firms’ financial resilience. In response to the crisis, the FCA has been monitoring the effects of the economic downturn on firms’ solvency by rapidly increasing the data it collects on firms. The surveys, which are one of the data sources used to monitor financial resilience, have been sent to 23,000 solo-regulated firms to understand the real-time effect the pandemic is having on the finances of the firms the FCA prudentially regulates. The FCA has also been using existing regulatory reporting data, enhanced data purchased from a third-party... READ MORE

DC Pensions 2021 Outlook

Impact of climate change. David Attenborough’s “Climate Change – the facts” demonstrated to the TV watching population the stark impact of changing climate on the future of our world. Many members within our DC schemes will be invested for 30 or 40 years – perhaps more. Pension schemes can have a huge impact on the actions of companies in relation to climate change through the influence of the stewardship of their fund managers and the benchmarks they use. By Rona Train, Partner, Michael Ambery, Head of DC Provider Relations, Laura Andrikopoulos, Head of Governance Consulting, Kathryn Fleming, Partner and Kinna Patel, DC Investment

Consultant from Hymans Robertson It’s vitally important for trustees and other fiduciaries of DC schemes to understand the longer-term impact of climate change on the funds offered to members. We also see a role for them in using the good news stories of the positive impact that their members’ money is having to engage them properly in their pension savings, perhaps for the first time. Organisations like Make My Money Matter will only increase members’ interest in where their money is invested. 2021 sees the COP 26 UN summit on climate change take place in Glasgow. This is an ideal opportunity for us all to consider what impact we can have to slow climate change whilst... READ MORE

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Aviva reveal a selection of more unusual insurance claims From phones dropped in custard, to cars pelted by potatoes, to deer in swimming pools, Aviva’s claims handlers have seen it all. The insurer reveals some of the more unusual claims settled for its UK general insurance customers. The accounts of these incidents have been released to coincide with a new TV advertising campaign which launched on Boxing Day. The advert focuses on a situation where “you had to be there.” And as the examples below demonstrate, Aviva has experienced its fair share of out-of-theordinary claims: Salt and vinegar with that? A motor insurance customer encountered an oncoming tractor pulling a trailer of potatoes. The potatoes flew off the trailer and READ MORE

MOVERS & SHAKERS The latest moves and appointments from the actuarial marketplace Redington appoint two new Managing Directors

XPS Pensions Group appoints new Head of Covenant

Redington has further expanded its investing consulting team with the appointment of two new managing directors. Both hires are industry heavyweights with significant experience and represent the firm’s successful growth journey and commitment to expanding the expertise it is able to provide to its pension clients. Andrew Drake, a former PwC partner, brings more than 25 years’ experience in the industry having cofounded River & Mercantile Solutions (previously P-Solve). At PwC he’d had responsibility for the UK pensions investment consultancy business and has extensive experience working with institutional investors to help them achieve their investment goals. Nick Horsfall joins from the Asset Management Exchange (AMX) where he also acted as a member of the firm’s advisory board. Before this, he was a managing director in Willis Towers Watsons’ investment practice, where he worked for more than 30 years. READ MORE

Sarah Powell FIA joins SEIs Institutional Group

Dalriada appoint senior actuary Sarah Brough as trustee Dalriada Trustees Limited (Dalriada), one of the largest providers of professional trustee services to pensions schemes in the UK, has today announced the appointment of Sarah Brough as a professional trustee.

Elen Watson has been appointed as Head of Covenant and as a Partner at XPS Pensions Group. Elen joins XPS from KPMG’s Restructuring practice where she has worked for over 20 years. She has 15 years’ experience in advising trustees and corporates on all aspects of employer covenant including triennial reviews, covenant monitoring and Integrated Risk Management (IRM), transaction reviews and distressed situations. Whilst at KPMG, Elen undertook a twelve month client secondment to The Pensions Trust to establish and build their internal covenant team. Alongside extensive experience with single employer schemes, she also has significant experience in advising complex groups and multi-employer schemes. READ MORE

SEI have announced that Sarah Powell, FIA, has been appointed as a Client Strategy Director within SEI’s Institutional Group. Powell will be based in the UK and responsible for formulating and providing strategic advice, as well

Sarah joins Dalriada from the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) where she was Deputy Chief Actuary (Funded Schemes). She has more than 25 years’ experience in advising defined benefit pension schemes in the public and private sector through various senior management roles at GAD. In addition to Sarah’s funded scheme work, she is the Chair of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) Lifelong Learning Committee and a member of the IFoA’s Pension Board. She is also a voluntary board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Audit and Risk committee. Elen, Head of Covenant said “This is READ MORE

as managing day-to-day relationships with SEI’s fiduciary management clients. SEI is one of the first and largest global providers of outsourced investment management services. The

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company delivers integrated retirement, healthcare and nonprofit solutions to more than 460 clients in 12 countries, as of 30 Sept., 2020. Throughout her career, READ MORE

CITY DEALINGS Keeping up to date on acquisitions, mergers and the dealings of companies in the city

Aon advises on 5bn longevity transaction for Barclays Bank Aon has announced that it was the lead advisor to the Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund (UKRF) on its £5 billion longevity transaction with Reinsurance Group of America (RGA). A multi-disciplinary team from Aon, led by senior partner Martin Bird, advised on all aspects of transaction, including risk analytics, design and structuring, reinsurance selection and operational establishment. The team included members of Aon’s UK-based risk settlement group and Aon’s insurance team. READ MORE

Martin Bird, senior partner and head of Risk Settlement at Aon, said: “It’s great that Aon was able to bring together all the necessary expertise – including our market-leading demographic analytics, our diverse experience of the risk settlement market and insurance capabilities – to support this significant transaction.

Broadstone secures new backing for ambitious growth plans

Scottish Widows complete 510m pensioner buy in with Aon

Broadstone has announced that it has forged a partnership with Intermediate Capital Group plc (ICG) subject to approval by the FCA.

Scottish Widows has completed a £510m pensioner buy-in with the Aon Bain Hogg Pension Scheme Section of the Aon Retirement Plan. The Plan is sponsored by Aon UK Limited.

Broadstone’s deal with ICG secures the financial backing to maintain and accelerate its ambitious growth plans and allows management to increase its stake in the business. It brings to a successful conclusion Broadstone’s five-year relationship with the mid-market private equity investment firm, Livingbridge, and is an endorsement of the expertise of Broadstone’s people, proposition and strategic aims. The last few years have witnessed a hugely successful period of sustained and significant expansion fuelled by an ambitious programme of both organic growth and strategic... READ MORE

This is the Plan’s fourth pensioner buy-in and the second for the Section, representing a significant further step on its long-term derisking journey. Scottish Widows and the Trustee worked closely together to ensure the arrangement was structured to meet the Plan’s needs. This collaborative approach enabled the buy-in to be completed quickly following exclusivity. The Trustee was advised by Aon and CMS and Scottish Widows was READ MORE

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Message from our Sponsors AON’S REMETRICA Actuaries play a critical role in the financial services industry from navigating challenging regulation to enabling their firms to make informed and strategic decisions. Aon’s ReMetrica team is proud to award Actuary of the Year to Michael. His career to date is truly impressive and shows exactly why he was deserving of this award. We hope to be able to meet Michael in-person soon and to hear more on the bank vault story. Congratulations, Michael!



Michael Ingram

Actuary Of The Year Michael is an Associate Director within Deloitte’s pensions advisory team with over 13 years’ experience in the pensions industry. He is known for embracing all sorts of opportunities and challenges, which has resulted in him accidently leaving the country, climbing through a bank vault in the early hours of the morning, and agreeing to lead Deloitte’s GMP Equalisation team. Career highlights include working with some truly fantastic teams, clients and other advisers and seeing not only great outcomes but also having great fun together and seeing people’s careers thrive and develop.

What was your initial reaction to winning this award, nominated and voted for by your peers? My initial reaction was one of surprise. It’s a real honour receiving this and I am thankful to everyone who has voted and for all of the kind messages of support I have received. I have to add, my other half’s reaction was brilliant – as soon as she realised I might have to pose for a photo, she went straight for “does that mean you’ll finally let me cut your hair?” What made you decide to become an actuary? Like many actuaries, I’ve always enjoyed maths and numbers but I also quite like variety and meeting new people, so it seemed a good match at the time. I’m glad to say I still think it’s quite a good match.

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How did you start your actuarial career? I started out in a relatively small firm focused on providing trustee advice. There were some fantastic people there and the actuaries, administrators and investment advisers all sat close together, which really helped me to learn not only about performing actuarial calculations and valuations, but also how all the different components of running a DB pension scheme worked and came together. Since then, I have been at Deloitte where I’ve been fortunate to work with some more fantastic people on a really wide range of projects including corporate transactions, restructuring, liability management, scheme funding, pensions strategy and consolidation. What drew you into working in the field of Pensions? What aspect of your work do you enjoy most? The field of pensions has a much wider reach than many of us first think. They can have an impact on companies, investment and employee relations, as well as the members themselves. There aren’t many other fields that can be so varied and have such a broad impact on people’s lives. I’m really very fortunate to work with some truly fantastic teams, clients and other advisers. It’s really rewarding seeing great outcomes, making a difference and seeing people’s careers really develop. What would your advice be to those starting out in the actuarial field? When I look back at my most memorable clients/projects/experiences, the vast majority came about from unexpected opportunities that were initially outside of my comfort zone and ones I didn’t think I would enjoy. My advice would be to embrace unusual opportunities wherever you can – the more unusual, the better! What would your top tip be for those working in the field of pensions? I would always encourage saying yes to opportunities and making sure you enjoy work. It’s also important to keep in mind and appreciate what an important role it is. Our advice to clients can directly impact members. What are your hopes for 2021 (apart from Covid lockdowns and restrictions ending)? That the haircut goes okay!

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Message from our Sponsors BOLTON ASSOCIATES Bolton Associates are delighted once again to present this year’s GI Actuary of the Year award to the worthy winner, Nishika Sasdev of QBE. Nish’s experience from across the general insurance and banking sector means she is perfectly positioned to apply her skillset to the Risk and Validation models at QBE. Her previous work at PWC means she has worked with many actuaries across our market, and is wellrespected across the sector. Bolton Associates’ Zoe Bolton said of the accolade “Whilst it’s a shame not to be able to present this award in person to Nish, it is wonderful that the awards have continued during the pandemic, and I am thrilled to offer my congratulations to Nish! Well done!”


Nishika Sasdev

2020 GI Actuary Of T Nishika Sasdev What was your initial reaction to winning this award, nominated and voted for by your peers? Surprised! And honoured to have been nominated. What made you decide to become an actuary? I loved Maths at school. I was the geeky kid who completed extra questions from the textbook for fun because I loved the challenge, and I loved the feeling when I got them right! I knew I wanted a career which utilized Maths and also would challenge me every day. How did you start your actuarial career? I completed an internship in Pensions at Hewitt (since bought by Aon) and met some wonderful actuaries. I had a great experience and also developed a broader understanding of the various areas of Actuarial work.

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The Year What drew you into working in the field of General Insurance? What aspect of your work do you enjoy most? I liked the variety offered by General Insurance, with different insurance product considerations, as well as the breadth of involvement that Actuaries had within General Insurance. Job variety was what attracted me to start as a graduate at PwC, in their non-life actuarial business. Whilst there I also spent time working on banking clients as well as (re)insurance. Now I work at QBE, a global insurer, and as part of my role, I like carrying out deep dives across the business. I think that they add value to the business and I feel like my team really makes a difference. What would your advice be to those starting out in the actuarial field? I think that being a good actuary is about having a particular skillset. Don’t feel confined to what a traditional actuarial role might be, but expose yourself to all types of industries and opportunities when deciding what the right role is for you. Pick something you think you’d enjoy and that you think you’d be good at. The world, and the job market is evolving – the actuarial skillset can be applied to all sorts of roles! What would your top tip be for those working in the field of general insurance? Focus on your areas of interest – there’s so many to choose from! What are your hopes for 2021 (apart from Covid lockdowns and restrictions ending)? Personally, to be able to see and spend time with family and friends again (outside of Zoom!). We’re currently carrying out renovations on our house, so I’m also looking forward to it all being completed!

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2020 Pensions Actuary Of The Year Greer Flanagan What was your initial reaction to winning this award, nominated and voted for by your peers? It was a lovely surprise! It was humbling to know that people took time – and believed in me enough – to vote for me. It was a great way to start the New Year. What made you decide to become an actuary? My dad! I studied Maths at University with the intention of becoming a maths teacher. I vividly remember a conversation I had with my dad while on holiday one Summer about what I would do after I graduated my dad said that he could see me as an actuary. I had never heard of an actuary and had no idea what they did, but after some researching I agreed with him – it looked like a great career. And so I decided to pursue it! How did you start your actuarial career? I was delighted to be offered a place on Hymans Robertson’s actuarial graduate programme which I joined straight from Uni. I am still with Hymans Robertson 15 years later and have enjoyed a varied career with them taking advantage of the many wonderful opportunities they have to offer. I started off in our Public Sector team, moved into a New Business Consulting role, then on to our Commercial Group and have now been working as a DC Consultant for 2 years. Oh and I had two babies in that time too!

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What drew you into working in the field of Pensions? What aspect of your work do you enjoy most? If I’m honest, pensions was the field I landed in rather than one I chose, but having worked in pensions for the last 15 years I couldn’t imagine working in any other field. We have a crucial role to play in helping people retire when they want to, and with enough money to do so – it’s a big responsibility and something that should never be downplayed. Helping pension scheme members aim for, and achieve good outcomes in retirement is my passion and the part of my role I enjoy most is spending time with these members (virtually at the moment!) to really help them understand, engage with, and ultimately make good decisions about their pension. What would your advice be to those starting out in the actuarial field? Look at the bigger picture. It took a while for me to realise the good I was doing and the difference I could make to pension members lives. It’s easy to get bogged down with studying, exams, spreadsheets, reports etc. These are crucial in becoming an actuary and need to be done, but take a step back every so often and appreciate why you’re doing it - appreciate the good you are doing. What would your top tip be for those working in the field of pensions? Get rid of jargon! Pensions can be extremely confusing – even for those of us who work with them day in and day out. Cutting out jargon, especially when speaking with pension scheme members, is a must. What are your hopes for 2021 (apart from Covid lockdowns and restrictions ending)? On a work level, I would love for all employers to refresh their pension communications and engagement strategies - to seek member feedback and identify what’s working well and what could work better, and to really communicate well with their employees to educate and engage. On a more personal level (and taking Covid to one side) a holiday would be lovely, wouldn’t it?

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Adam Gillespie

2020 Investment Actuary Of The Year Adam Gillespie What was your initial reaction to winning this award, nominated and voted for by your peers? Very surprised and delighted. I was incredibly flattered to have been nominated in the first place and thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. I particularly enjoyed receiving lots messages from clients and current and former colleagues. What made you decide to become an actuary? Actuary came out as my number one job when I did a career questionnaire at school, which I soon forgot until 10 years later when I stumbled across it at university whilst searching through the A-Z of graduate jobs! I was drawn to the idea of gaining a professional qualification and working in a job that balanced technical work with softer consulting skills. It also seemed that most actuaries really liked their job. How did you start your actuarial career? I have been at XPS since I graduated. In my first few years I was deliberately involved with all aspects of pension scheme management (day-to-day administration; actuarial valuations; member communications; IT projects). As I (slowly) passed the exams, my work became more focussed on traditional actuarial aspects leading to qualification and scheme actuary appointments. But around 10 years ago, I decided to switch my focus to investment.

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What drew you into working in the field of investment? What aspect of your work do you enjoy most? For me it was the idea of being able to offer a positive way-forward. With investment no matter how bad (or good) the situation, there is normally always something you can do to help a scheme and its members. What would your advice be to those starting out in the actuarial field? The first thing I would say is well done on making a good choice! Secondly, enjoy it! Try and get involved with as wide a range of things as you possibly can. The work you will be doing in 10 years’ time will almost certainly be very different to the work you are doing today. What would your top tip be for those working in the field of investment? I’m sure my experienced colleagues and peers don’t need any suggestions from me! For me, the key has always been to understand the challenges from the client’s point of view and never to under-estimate the importance of good communication. What are your hopes for 2021 (apart from Covid lockdowns and restrictions ending)? Ideally some of these: • Getting on an aeroplane to somewhere very warm. • Hearing less news coverage of Brexit, Covid and Donald Trump. • Spending time with my family, friends and colleagues. • Watching some cricket in person (ideally England winning its second T20 world cup or the inaugural Test Championship)

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Emma Hutchinson

2020 Life Actuary of the Year Emma Hutchinson What was your initial reaction to winning this award, nominated and voted for by your peers? It was a big surprise but a lovely one. I was thrilled to be nominated in the first place so to win the award was a major high point. I’m very flattered that my peers see me as deserving. What made you decide to become an actuary? I loved maths and problem solving in school, and I wanted to combine this interest with a career that provided opportunity and longevity. I therefore chose to do an actuarial degree in University College Dublin and I haven’t looked back since. How did you start your actuarial career? In my last year of university I applied for a graduate role with Willis Towers Watson in Dublin and was successful. I joined the Life Insurance team where I completed my actuarial exams and qualified as a Fellow of the IFoA. It was a great start to my career – I made friends who I’m still close to now and received great training.

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What drew you into working in the field of life and health insurance? What aspect of your work do you enjoy most? I landed in the life insurance space accidentally but I’ve never considered leaving it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the diversity and challenges I’ve experienced – there are so many different opportunities involving different products, different teams and different companies. I’m still learning new things every day and I intend to keep it that way. I would also say that relationships and the people I work with have always been very important to me. I think there are very few jobs that are tolerable if you don’t enjoy the company you’re in. I’ve been lucky in this regard. What would your advice be to those starting out in the actuarial field? I would say don’t be afraid to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. I have found swimming in the deep end (with the right support system) to be the best learning experience there is. What would your top tip be for those working in the field of life and health? As I’ve already mentioned, there are so many different opportunities in this field. Find an area and a role that you like, that you are genuinely interested in, and try to maintain this level of interest as you move forward. It may involve you making career choices that you didn’t foresee but if it feels right at the time don’t doubt yourself. What are your hopes for 2021 (apart from Covid lockdowns and restrictions ending)? I’ve recently moved back home to Ireland after six years in London so am looking forward to spending more time with friends and family.

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2020 EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR AON Dean Roberts, Business Development Executive, Aon, says:

“Fresh views and new perspectives are invaluable to our business—and they come from people who feel confident and comfortable with being true to who they are and what they see. That’s why we’re committed to creating a workplace that supports and empowers people of all backgrounds and experiences. For our firm to do its best work on behalf of clients, we need our colleagues to be able to work, express, be, and live in a way that is true to themselves. That is why the ReMetrica team, on behalf of Aon, is delighted to have been awarded Employer of Year. Thank you for your votes as we continue to create an inspiring and rewarding workplace for our actuarial and technology colleagues to enhance their impact in a volatile world.”

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2020 SOFTWARE OF THE YEAR Radar Will Wolfenden, Head of Radar said:

“We are thrilled to have won Actuarial Software of the Year award for the second year running. With so many trustees and employers working remotely, access to intuitive, real time information that is easy to use is critical. Client feedback has been fantastic on how Radar has helped their decision-making through these difficult times. Radar is the cornerstone of everything we do for our actuarial and investment clients. We look forward to announcing some further exciting technology innovations in the year ahead.�

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What was your initial reaction to winning this award, nominated and voted for by your peers? I was ecstatic, I am very grateful to have been voted Recruiter of the Year by the actuarial and insurance community. I want to thank all those that voted and for the unexpected notes of encouragement and thanks for my help and advice over the years they were very humbling to receive. What made you decide to become an actuarial recruiter? I fell into recruitment and thought it would be a good stop gap before training to be a teacher......20 years later I’ve come full circle and have become a teacher (at home) albeit with zero qualifications. How did you start your career? I joined Darwin Rhodes in the summer of 2000 and was selected to be in the actuarial team which was then headed up by Lorraine Thomas one of the original founders. I’ll always be very grateful to her and the other founders for giving me the opportunity. What drew you into working in this field? What aspect of your work do you enjoy most? Well as I said it wasn’t really a thought out career move but the reasons why I have persevered for so long is I enjoy the investigative side and fundamentally get a lot of fulfilment in helping people. The aspect of my work which is the most satisfying is of course delivering an offer to a candidate who you know desperately wants the job and sharing that moment with makes all the knock backs you get in recruitment (and there are many) worth it. What are your hopes for 2021 (apart from Covid lockdowns and restrictions ending)? My hopes for 2021 are to be able to strike a good balance between working from home and being back in the office – I miss meeting clients and candidates in person. Whilst technology has clearly been a saviour during these times nothing beats face-to-face contact. I’m also looking forward to finally celebrating Bolton Associates delayed 10 year anniversary party with all our wonderful clients and contacts. On a personal note I’d like to get a new PB for my half marathon time - if ever there was a year to be committed to that it is 2021.

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