Chief Executive Officer, NEST
Helen Dean, CEO of NEST Pensions, is one of the architects of auto enrolment and responsible for bringing 9 million UK workers into pension saving. During her time at DWP Helen was tasked with coming up with a solution to the UK’s chronic under-saving in pensions. Her degree in psychology led Helen to behavioural economics. Finding compulsion too extreme, Helen and her team started to explore nudge theory. Fast forward and having designed and built the policy that would change the face of pension saving in the UK, Helen moved to PADA, NEST’s predecessor. Here she moved from policy to delivery. Helen and the PADA team were faced with a blank piece of paper and a big challenge – to build a low-cost, high-quality pension scheme from scratch. In the last 8 years Helen has led the product, marketing and operations arms of NEST, before her appointment as CEO in September 2016. Since then, Helen has been at the helm of one of the largest pension schemes in the UK. Using her position to support women in pensions, Helen is a mentor to female pensions and non-pensions professionals, offering guidance and coaching. Helen has signed the Women in Finance Charter on behalf of NEST, overseen the creation of NEST’s first diversity group and published NEST’s gender pay report despite not being required to. Helen is committed to bringing more diversity to NEST’s senior team and is working with her board to establish a senior leadership programme to cultivate the next generation of diverse leaders for NEST.