Lesley Williams, group pensions director at Whitbread, to become next NAPF chair
08 June 2015
Lesley Williams will become the next Chair of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), the UK’s leading voice of workplace pensions.
The incoming Chair will succeed Ruston Smith, whose two-year tenure ends at the NAPF Annual General Meeting on Friday 16 October 2015. Lesley will assume her responsibilities after the AGM for a two-year term.
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. She has held a non-executive directorship / director role at the NAPF since 2011 and is currently Chair of its Defined Contribution Council.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Williams said:
“I’m delighted to become the next Chair of the NAPF and to succeed Ruston Smith. I would like to thank Ruston for his guidance, expertise and tenacity during a very busy time for pensions in the UK. I am also very pleased to be the first woman to Chair the NAPF.
“We have seen an almost unprecedented amount of change in pensions in the past two years, but one thing remains sure – pensions will continue to be a hot topic, both socially and politically, for many years to come. The NAPF is in a unique position to inform that debate and to make sure the views and interests of schemes and their members are heard.
Ruston Smith, current Chairman of the NAPF, said:
“I'm absolutely delighted that Lesley will be the next Chair. Lesley has an infectious passion for pensions and always has the interests of members at the heart of everything she does. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be of considerable value, particularly at this important juncture of retirement savings in the UK, and will make sure that NAPF members' views will continue to be heard in Whitehall, Westminster and Brussels.”
About Lesley Williams
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. Lesley is a Fellow of the PMI and has an MBA.
About Ruston Smith
Ruston joined Tesco as Group Pensions Director in December 2002. In this role he is accountable for the running of the group's many schemes, including the in-house administration of benefits for over 350,000 members in the UK Pension Scheme and the investment of the £10bn of UK assets managed by Tesco Pension Investment, an internal FSA-approved company. He is also accountable for the strategic development of the Pensions Policy of Tesco on a global basis. Ruston also has responsibility for other areas in the business which include Insurable Risk, Executive Reward, Health & Wellbeing and HR systems.
Before joining Tesco, Ruston was a Director and Company Secretary at PZ Cussons, where he was also responsible for their group pensions. He has an MBA from Manchester. He is also a Director of Standard Life's Master Trust Company, a Director of GroceryAid Trust, a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute, a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and a Fellow of the Institute of Management.
Notes to editors:
The NAPF is the voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for over 1,300 pension schemes that provide pensions for over 17 million people and have more than £900 billion of assets. We also have 400 members from businesses supporting the pensions sector.
We aim to help everyone get more out of their retirement savings. To do this we spread best practice among our members, challenge regulation where it adds more cost than benefit and promote policies that add value for savers.
Photos of Ruston Smith and Lesley Williams are available on request.
Lucy Grubb, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1726 or 07713 073023, [email protected]
Eleanor Bennett, PR Manager, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]