Posts by Brian

Brian Spence

Brian Spence

Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Society of Actuaries in Ireland, scheme actuary, professional pension trustee
Brian Spence

Spence & Partners welcomes the creation of a Lifetime ISA but said it was unfortunate that the current pensions tax system was still in place.

Brian Spence, at Spence and Partners said: “What’s not to love about the Lifetime ISA compared to the complex pension tax system? The snag is the government bonus stops at 50 and if you are over 40 before April 2017 – tough luck!

“Young people however get a Government bonus of £1,000 for each £4,000 and you can take it out whenever you want if you need it but lose the government bonus until age 60. For young workers it is a “no-brainer” – max out your Lifetime ISA before you even think about pensions saving with its complexity, tie-ins, charges and near certainty of political interference.

“It is a pity the Chancellor did not take the bolder step of killing the current pensions tax system once and for all – but he may well have landed a significant blow!

“The Lifetime ISA is clearly the shape of things to come.”

Brian Spence

Spence & Partners today announced the appointment of Hugh Nolan, previously JLT’s Chief Actuary, as director. Hugh will be based in Spence’s London office and begins work with the business on 1 April.

Brian Spence, Founder, commented: “Hugh comes with a great deal of experience at a senior actuarial level, so he will take a leading role in our group and his presence in the London region will consolidate and further enhance our position in this competitive market. We very much look forward to him joining us in April and welcome him wholeheartedly on board.”

Hugh added: “I am very pleased to be taking a leading role in driving forward Spence’s business. Spence has carved out an enviable reputation for high standards and innovation and are a great choice of adviser for all sizes of employer and pension scheme.”

Hugh entered the pensions industry in 1989 and has worked for several large consulting firms, most recently JLT / HSBC, where he has been since 2002. He sits on Council of the Society of Pension Professionals (SPP) and is Chair of the DC committee of the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA).

Brian Spence

Spence & Partners today announced the appointment of Simon Cohen as Head of Investment, based in our London office.

Brian Spence, Founder, commented: “We are extremely proud of our investment consultancy capability, which we believe is unique in the market. Pension scheme trustees and charities are coming under increasing scrutiny and indeed increasing pressure to maximise returns while managing risk. In the pensions arena, our cutting edge pensions technology, Mantle, monitors the value of assets and liabilities every day empowering trustees to make real time decisions or use automated switching and take advantage of investment opportunities as they arise.

“Simon has experience of a wide range of investment work including strategy setting, manager selection and liability hedging, which will add further weight to our proposition. He will work closely with corporate, charity sector and pension clients on all aspects of investment strategy. We are very pleased to welcome him on board.”

Simon added: “I’ve watched Spence grow in size and stature over the years and I look forward to helping drive the development of the practice in the future, harnessing the existing skills and expertise within our business to add even more value to existing clients and attract new ones.”

Simon entered the pensions industry in 1994 and became a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in 2000. He has worked for three major consultancies holding senior roles in both investment consulting and management positions.

Brian Spence

Spence & Partners, the UK pension actuaries and administration specialists, today announces that it has appointed Martha Quinn as Consultant. The newly created role will provide legal support throughout the Spence Group and will benefit the business and its clients. Martha will also assume responsibility for managing and strengthening relationships with key law firms.

Brian Spence CEO of Spence and Partners, commented: “While pension freedom has resulted in far more choice and clarity for members, the complexity behind the scenes has grown enormously. It will be Martha’s role to ensure that our team and clients fully understand the new world we are now in, along with all the nuances within it. We already have a leading role in advising in the charity sector and Martha’s wealth of experience around multi-employer pension schemes, public sector out-sourcing and wider legal and governance issues will further enhance our offering in this area. With two decades of experience in pension law, and advising on everything from industry wide schemes to mergers and acquisitions, we are very much looking forward to Martha joining the team, and the contribution she will be able to make.” Read more »

Brian Spence

Spence & Partners, the UK pension actuaries and administration specialists, today announced their move to new, larger, offices in the City.

The firm, who first opened their London office in the West End in 2013, also has offices in Belfast, Glasgow, Bristol and Manchester.

Brian Spence, Founder at Spence & Partners, commented; “The last three years in London have been great for Spence, we have constantly innovated and it is pleasing to see our team in London grow. In the last 12 months we have picked up two major industry awards for ‘Best Administration’ and ‘Consulting Innovation’ which is a great recognition of our work.

Spence & Partners new offices are at 46 New Broad Street.

Brian Spence

Spence & Partners, the UK pensions actuaries and administration specialists, scooped their second award of the year last night at the European Pensions Awards 2015. The company was awarded the Pension Scheme Administrator of the Year title for their ‘Spence approach’* for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes at a prestigious ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Spence were judged against their peers by a panel made up of professionals from across the European pensions sphere, including providers, pension funds, consultants and representatives from various European pensions and investment associations

Brian Spence, CEO of Spence and Partners, commented: “We recognised some time ago that pension schemes are no longer working to an indefinite time horizon and needed new and innovative solutions to help them, so we developed our services accordingly.  To say we are thrilled to receive this award, our first for administration, is an understatement. We are incredibly proud of the service and have worked hard to carve our niche in this market so to be recognised by such influential and expert industry colleagues from across Europe, against such stiff competition, is a fantastic acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of our team in putting it together. Read more »

Brian Spence

Spence & Partners, the UK actuaries and administration specialists, today announced that Marian Elliott, Director and Head of Trustee Advisory services at the firm, has been awarded the prestigious International Association of Consulting Actuaries (IACA) Young Actuary High Achievement Award at the International Congress of Actuaries held in Washington D.C. this month.

Brian Spence, Founder of Spence & Partners, commented: “Marian thoroughly deserves this international recognition as she has made a significant contribution to the UK pensions industry, to her clients and the Actuarial Profession as a whole – all in a relatively short space of time for a young Actuary. Marian’s dynamic, pragmatic and enthusiastic approach to actuarial work is highly regarded by clients and industry professionals; and she highlights the positive impact a strong Actuary can have on a Scheme.” Read more »

Brian Spence

As the PPF announces the launch of a Specialist Administration Services Panel, Rob Jones of PPF TV talks to Panel Manager, Paul Turrell, about what this will mean for pension schemes in the PPF assessment period.

Brian Spence

Leading pensions actuaries and administrators Spence & Partners have completed ISO/EIC 27001, an internationally recognised standard for Information Security Management.

ISO/IEC 27001 is fast becoming the international touchstone for effective, secure information management practices that protect organisations and ensure their compliance with data protection, privacy and computer misuse regulations. The application and use of this standard primarily ensures business continuity, minimising business damage by preventing and reducing the impact of security incidents while maximising business investments and opportunities.

The security practices adopted within Spence & Partners to comply with the accreditation are essential to protect the interests of the firms’ people and its clients in ensuring the secure and safe deployment of IT systems and services.

Brian Spence, Managing Director at Spence & Partners said: “We are proud to be one of the first pension administration companies to meet ISO 27001 compliance criteria standards.

“IT security is becoming increasingly paramount – given the volume and importance of the data which firms such as ours hold on file and we felt it was essential to obtain this accreditation. We believe the assurance we can offer clients through this high standard of data security will give us a clear advantage against many of our counterparts within the UK pensions industry.”

“This underlines our commitment to setting the standards across our sector and to provide our clients with enhanced levels of service and security.  This commitment spans all levels of Spence & Partners and Dalriada, whether we act as trustees, advisers or are only considering our internal information and processes.”

To help undertake the compliance project in a very tight timescale, Spence & Partners brought in external consultants Cimaomega.

Gillian Esquivel, Director at Cimaomega said: “This project has been completed at an accelerated pace and is a credit to everyone working directly and indirectly on it. This underlines Spence & Partners’ commitment to invest for the benefit of their clients.”

For further information please contact Bill Shaw on 07974 720669 or


Brian Spence

Our pensions review of 2011

A New Year and in January developments in de-risking throughout 2010 were discussed. How would 2011 fare in comparison?

February hosted a long and sometimes confusing conversation about PIPs. Turns out it’s simple,……… honestly!

In a busy month of March we aired our opinions and gave a spring clean to these pieces:

Help for schools and colleges showed we are no fools in April with some guidance on FRS17 disclosures.

The joys of spring were not abound in May as we lost an “f” in pensions. There never was one?  I think you’ll ind……..

Inflation and its effects were being discussed in June as another quarter sees the inflation targets go by unachieved. On a more positive note the Actuarial Profession was inflated with a new influx of talented graduates from Queen’s University. We were there to welcome them to the industry and indeed are nurturing some of that talent within our business today.

Individuality was the theme of July’s hot topics. Section 75 Regulations fail to recognise the plight of the unattached charitable organisations among multi employer schemes. And, as tPR guidance on Incentive Exercises suggests trustees start with the view that they will not be in the members’ interests, we ask just how much trustees should assume all members have the same needs?

In August we tried to make sense of babysitting pensioners and whether they were truly responsible enough to take care of their own finances.

September brought another egg to the NEST in the form of NOW Pensions as a rival. All good sport or will it be rotten?

November saw us pushing the limits of data management. Are Trustees using all the tools at their disposal to  improve their data and meet tPR’s  deadline?

December and we are back to de-risking and not much festive cheer. We feature our article in the Actuarial Post.

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