Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association > About us > Our board


The board is responsible for the governance, strategic direction and financial stewardship of the Association.

Reporting to the Board are two councils: The DB Council and DC Council. These are the Association's main policy-making bodies.

Lesley Williams

Chair, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association

Lesley Williams is Group Pensions Director at Whitbread, with responsibility for Corporate pensions strategy and to the Trustee Company for the operation of the Pension Fund and its investments. The Whitbread pension fund has a closed DB and open DC section. Lesley has worked in the pensions industry for over 20 years, with previous positions in Gateway Foodmarkets, Abbey National, the Pearl Group and Head of Pensions with the Henderson Group.

She is an Associate of the PMI and has an MBA. She became Chairwoman of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association in October 2015.

Robert Brown
Towers Watson

Robert is Chairman of Willis Towers Watson’s Global Investment Committee, responsible for all the firm’s investment assumptions and views.

Robert joined Willis Towers Watson in 2002, previously spending seven years at First Quadrant and 11 years at NatWest Investment Management. He also advises some of the firm’s largest clients. 

Robert holds BSc and MSc degrees in economics and is a member of the Securities Institute. He is a non-executive director of the PLSA and a member of its Defined Benefit Council, Chairman of INQUIRE’s Advisory Panel and a member of the ESMA CWG Working Group.

Richard Butcher
Pitman Trustees

Chairman, DC Council

Richard joined PTL in 2008, becoming Managing Director in 2010. He has responsibility for a wide range of clients with a specific focus on governance.

Richard is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute also sitting on their Council. He is Chair of the PLSA Defined Contribution Council and sits on the Association’s board.

He was Highly Commended in the 2010 & 2011 Engaged Investor Independent Trustee of the Year Awards, was named as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Pensions 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 by Pensions Insight and he won the Pension Insight DC Trustee of the Year award in 2016.

Richard is a member of The Pensions Regulator’s DC Practitioner Panel, the Mastertrust Association, the DWP Trustee Panel and co-Founder of The Association of Member Nominated Trustees.

Mark Cooke
Director of Finance & Corporate Services

Mark Cooke is a graduate of the University of Warwick. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1983 with Thomson McLintock, a predecessor firm of KPMG. He has over 30 years’ experience of financial, commercial and corporate services management across the private, public and third sectors including ten years’ as Director of Finance and Corporate Services at Big Lottery Fund, four years as Finance and Commercial Director at the British Printing Industry Federation and six years as Deputy Finance Director of Which? – the leading consumer organisation and publisher.


John Dembitz

John A. Dembitz has a portfolio of Chairmanships, Independent Directorships and on-going consultancy mandates.

John has a BSc Hons from Manchester University and an MBA from London Business School, where he is also a member of the Global Advisory Council.

He has authored two books ‘It’s the People! What really drives great management and leadership’ and ‘The 2x2 Manager’.

Born in Budapest, lives in Wimbledon, UK, with his wife, has two grown-up children, and twin granddaughters.

Jamie Fiveash
B&CE Benefit Schemes

Jamie is Chief Operating Officer for B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension.  He has responsibility for  Operations, IT, Strategic Delivery and Policy & Market Engagement for the B&CE Group whilst also holding posts as Executive Director of B&CE Financial Services Limited and B&CE Insurance Limited. 

Jamie is passionate about improving pension provision for low-to-moderate earners and the change that Auto Enrolment will bring about.  He played an integral role in the design and creation of The People’s Pension, a forward-thinking response to the Government’s Auto Enrolment challenge of October 2011. 

Jamie is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants with over 24 years’ financial services experience having joined B&CE in 1994 from Barclays Bank Plc.

Frank Johnson

Chairman, DB Council

Frank joined RPMI Railpen Investments in 2004 as Finance Director and became Managing Director, Investments in 2009, supporting the Trustee of the multi-employer rail industry pension schemes.  He oversaw the investment business streams of RPMI and Railpen Investments, with assets under management of some £20 billion, until his retirement from RPMI in 2015.

Frank is an independent non-executive director at First State Investments, UK and at GO Investment Partners.  He is also a non-executive director of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and Chairman of the Association’s Defined Benefit Council.  He also sits on the board of the Railway Benefit Fund, a registered charity.

Frank is a chartered accountant and holds a Commerce degree.  Before joining RPMI, Frank held a number of finance director posts in the transport sector.

Julian Mund
Chief Executive

Julian joined the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association as Commercial Services Director at the end of September 2013. 

Prior to this he worked at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) for almost 16 years. Most recently Julian was CIPFA’s Director of Markets and Product Development where he led CIPFA’s business development, sales and customer service teams. He also led on business growth and strategic development across CIPFA's commercial business. Prior to this Julian was Director of Operations at CIPFA and headed up the delivery of their commercial services which included events, training, publications, recruitment services, benchmarking, and consultancy.

Julian worked at the Department for Education before joining CIPFA.

Julian has a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of London and an MSc in Policy Research from the University of Bristol.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a Member of the Institute of Directors.

Jackie Peel

Vice Chair of DB Council
Jackie has been UK & Ireland Benefits Director at Mars, a multinational food company, since 2011.  Her principal responsibilities are for the defined benefit (final salary and cash balance) and defined contribution pensions arrangements.  She is also a member of the Mars Global Benefits Leadership Team which steers the company’s strategic direction for benefits.  Jackie has also held in-house roles as Associate Director of pensions at Barclays Bank and Pensions Director at VT Group plc (a service company specialising in government outsourcing contracts).

Before moving in-house, Jackie spent 17 years with Aon Hewitt in various roles specialising in Executive benefits and Global benefits.

Ruston Smith

Immediate Past Chairman

Ruston is the Group Pensions and Insurable Risk Director at Tesco which includes accountability for the strategy and management of the group's schemes, including the UK Pension Scheme which has over 350,000 members.  He is also the CEO of Tesco Pension Investment, an internal FCA approved investment company managing £12bn of UK assets. 

Ruston is the immediate Past Chairman of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, non-executive director of J.P. Morgan Asset Management International, Director of Standard Life's Master Trust, Director of the People’s Pension Master Trust, Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute, Vice Chairman of GroceryAid and Trustee of the National Council for Palliative Care. 

Graham Vidler
Director of External Affairs

Graham has worked in pensions for almost twenty years, joining the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association as Director of External Affairs in 2014.

Before joining Graham had been NEST’s Director of Communications and Engagement for six years. Previously, he had worked in marketing, policy and research roles at AVIVA, Which?, the ABI and the House of Commons.

Graham has a degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Kent.

Carol Young
Royal Bank of Scotland

Vice Chair, DC Council

 Carol is Director of Reward, Pensions & Benefits at RBS. She leads the teams responsible for all aspects of remuneration across the bank, the flexible benefits programme for over 60,000 colleagues and DB and DC pension arrangements for over 300,000 members (c£45bn liabilities) worldwide. 

She is chair of the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association’s DC Council, chairs the CBI pension panel and is a governor of the Pensions Policy Institute. Carol’s career spans 20 years across in house and consulting roles and includes a decade as an investment consultant. 

She has served as independent trustee on a number of boards, and is a trustee of the bank’s UK DC scheme. Carol is a CFA charterholder and has particular interest in pension investment, effective engagement and governance.