Aegon UK reveals full line up of Independent Governance Committee

Back to results

Aegon UK, one of the largest providers of workplace pensions with workplace assets of over £20bn, has announced the final appointments to its Independent Governance Committee.

Joanna Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service and Colin Richardson, Client Director of PTL will join Ian Pittaway who was appointed as the Chair of Aegon’s IGC last month.

Joanna Causon brings with her a wealth of customer service experience from both commercial and not for profit organisations. She also has extensive experience of working with government and professional and trade bodies. She has been the CEO of the Institute of Customer Service since 2009 which has enabled her to put customer service at the heart of all business activities, which she demonstrated by launching the UK Customer Satisfaction Awards in 2011.

Colin Richardson will take up his appointment on Aegon’s IGC while in his role as Client Director at PTL. Colin has more than 25 years of experience in pensions and actuarial consultancy providing trustee advisory services. He was formerly a Director at KPMG and a partner at Barnett Waddingham LLP after which he held senior positions at JLT and Buck Consultants. As well as pension trustee appointments, Colin sits on the PTL Governance Advisory Arrangement, alternative IGCs for smaller providers running workplace personal pension schemes.

The remaining two places on the committee will be filled by Angela Seymour-Jackson, Managing Director, Workplace Solutions and Gordon Greig, Customer Innovation Director from Aegon. As Aegon nominated IGC members they bring a wealth of experience and diversity to the committee.

Angela Seymour-Jackson, Managing Director, Workplace Solutions, at Aegon UK, comments:

“I’m really excited to welcome Jo and Colin onboard and look forward to the value they will add to our IGC. The key focus for the IGC will be to look out for the interests of our customers and both Jo and Colin’s expertise will play a huge role in delivering this. In Ian, Jo and Colin we have a perfect blend of skills and expertise from across the fields – legal, governance, actuarial and customer service – essential to achieve the customer driven objectives of our IGC.

“Good governance already exists within much of the pension provider community but from April our IGC will focus entirely on our customers, which is key to improving trust and confidence in pension saving. Once in place, our IGC will assess the value for money of our workplace personal pension schemes on an ongoing basis, and act as a customer advocate for workplace personal pension scheme members.

“Aegon has been instrumental in leading the charge into workplace based platforms and has developed new technologies, including a digital governance tool due to be released later this year, to support employers and maximise employee engagement.

“I look forward to starting work with our IGC to ensure that the customer is always at the heart of our business.”

Colin Richardson, Client Director of PTL said: “It’s vital that an organisation thinks about governance as part of its daily activity and that it’s aligned to its core strategy. It’s for that reason I was keen to get involved with Aegon. In addition to having a wealth of experience in the workplace market, they have a clear focus on customer outcomes and treat governance with a strong sense of commitment and energy.”

Joanna Causon, CEO at the Institute of Customer Service said: “Customer service is a vital piston in the engine room of any successful business.  Getting it right is no easy feat and, as the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index shows, organisations in the finance sector that take it seriously are the ones that impress and retain a solid customer base. I’m delighted that Aegon take customer service seriously and look forward helping the committee focus on the needs of the customer and the best possible outcome for them.”

What is the role of an Independent Governance Committee (IGC)?

  • IGCs will have a duty to act in the interests of relevant scheme members and will have to operate independently of their sponsoring provider.
  • IGCs must consist of a minimum of five members, of which a majority, including the Chair, must be independent, and recruited in an open and transparent way.
  • Providers must put in place arrangements to ensure that the views of scheme members are heard.
  • IGCs initial priority will be on making recommendations to their provider following the 2014 audit of workplace pensions and providing an oversight of the sampling exercise of former workplace scheme members who may be at risk of high charges.  
  • IGCs will have the power to escalate any concerns to the FCA and/or make these concerns public, where it believes the provider hasn’t addressed those concerns satisfactorily, or not at all.