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Judging panel 2021

Charles Coase, Trustee Chairman, The Ulster Bank Ireland Pension Schemes
Andy Dixon, Head of Business Development, Harvest Financial Services
Deirdre Horan, Head of Reward and Benefits, Tesco Ireland
Emer Kirk, CEO, Financial Planning Standards Board Ireland DAC
Rickard Mills, Corporate Affairs Consultant and pension fund trustee
John O'Connell, Owner, Trident Consulting
Frank O'Riordan, Independent Director & Investment Consultant
Fionán O'Sullivan, Corporate Sales Director, Employee Benefits, Acumen & Trust

Image titleCharles Coase, Trustee Chairman, The Ulster Bank Ireland Pension Schemes
Charles has been a pension scheme trustee since 2000 and now works as an independent trustee and chairman for various schemes including those of Diageo in the UK and Ireland, Aviva Ireland Ulster Bank Ireland, Dublin Airport and Mott MacDonald in the UK. In aggregate, the pension schemes where Charles serves as a trustee have some 68,000 members and assets of €13 billion. Charles had a “first” career of over 25 years with Diageo in a variety of finance roles, including Finance Director Ireland, Group Treasurer and Head of Global Audit & Risk. He left Diageo in 2014. Charles also serves in a voluntary capacity on the Governing Authority of UCD, where he chairs the finance committee, and as a trustee of The Iveagh Trust, a social housing association in Dublin.

Image titleAndy Dixon, Head of Business Development, Harvest Financial Services
Andy Dixon joined Harvest Financial Services in 2018 and has 18 years’ experience in the Life and Pensions Industry in Ireland. Before joining Harvest, Andy provided technical support to independent intermediaries in the provision of Retirement Planning and Investment advice. In Harvest Andy supports the growth of the business working with new clients, accountants, solicitors, and other professional referrers to provide retirement planning and wealth management solutions. Andy has attained the QFA, FLIA and RPA designations and is a Certified Financial Planner. Andy sits on the Life Insurance Association Dublin Committee and is past Chair of the North East Regional Committee.

Image titleDeirdre Horan, Head of Reward and Benefits, Tesco Ireland
Dee has vast experience in financial services and now heads up the Reward and Benefits Team in Tesco Ireland. Dee leads a team which is responsible for designing, delivering, managing and evolving the employee reward and benefit offering in an ever-changing and dynamic marketplace. Previously, Dee worked as a Pension Consultant in Willis Towers Watson where she supported trustees and employers from a compliance, governance and communication perspective. In Aviva as their Corporate Pension Manager, she partnered with financial brokers and corporate clients, tailoring the pension service proposition to meet their needs and those of their members. In addition to her Degree in Insurance and French from the University of Limerick, relevant to the pensions arena she also holds a Pensions Diploma and a qualification as a Trustee Practitioner. She is an Associate Member of the IIPM and a Fellow of the LIA.

Image titleEmer Kirk, CEO, Financial Planning Standards Board Ireland DAC
Emer Kirk is CEO of the Financial Planning Standards Board, the body in Ireland responsible for the CFP® professional designation and promoting improved standards in personal financial planning. Prior to this she was an Associate Director with Harvest Financial Services, specialising in providing financial planning advice to private clients approaching and during retirement. With almost 20 years’ experience in the pension’s industry, she has a strong client focus and a goals-based retirement planning bias, and is passionate about helping clients make informed financial decisions to achieve their lifestyle aspirations. She is an Associate of the Institute of Taxation, a Qualified Financial Adviser and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). Emer is co-founder of Connect Women in Pensions, a network who support the importance of retirement planning for women.

Image titleRickard Mills, Corporate Affairs Consultant and pension fund trustee
Rickard is a pension expert with 20 years of direct and active involvement in the management and oversight of Irish pension schemes. He currently acts as independent trustee on a number of DB and DC schemes including KBC Bank Ireland and The Merrion Hotel and is a Director and Council member of the Irish Association of Pension Funds. Rickard is a qualified chartered accountant, taxation specialist, executive coach and pension trustee with over 25 years’ experience at a senior level in the financial services industry. In addition to pensions, his expertise spans a wide range of disciplines including corporate governance, taxation and structured financing. He is on the board and the audit committee of European Movement Ireland and sat on the boards of the both the Chambers Ireland and the Dublin Chamber for many years. Rickard’s philosophy as an independent, professional trustee is to ensure that members’ interests are adequately protected through good governance while always appreciating the key role played by the sponsoring employer. He critically challenges investment managers and service providers to ensure value for money is achieved and plays a key role in the education and development of the trustee boards on which he sits. Rickard’s primary degree was in Civil Engineering at UCC.

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John O'Connell, Owner, Trident Consulting
John is an actuary who has worked in the pension and investment areas for the last thirty years. He founded Trident Consulting, an independent pension advisory firm, in 2006. John completed an MBA in 2000, the Institute of Directors’ Diploma in Company Direction in 2012 and the Pension Trustee Practitioner in 2017. From 1987 to 1990, John worked in the investment arena and since 1990 has worked in the corporate pensions area working with Irish Life, Life of Jamaica and Mercer – and for the last 15 years as a Director of Trident. John specialises in the provision of independent pensions advice to trustees and employers and also acts a trustee to a number of group pension schemes.

Image titleFrank O'Riordan, Independent Director & Investment Consultant
Frank O’Riordan is a Central Bank of Ireland approved Fit and Proper Director. He has over 30 years’ experience in the asset and funds management industry. He has operated at CIO, CEO and at Board level. His current positions include being an Independent Director of 8 UCITS/ICAVS. He is a Pension Trustee /Director and chair of Investment Committee involving assets of over €5 billion. He has provided independent consultancy services to financial services firms involving mandates of €25 billion. Frank was formerly a CEO of an asset management firm with over €12 billion for 6 years. Frank is President of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI) in Ireland and a Director of the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland. He is a member of the Institute of Bankers of Ireland and holds both Primary and Post Graduate Degrees and diplomas in in Economics, Statistics and Education from University College Dublin (UCD) and Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

Image titleFionán O'Sullivan, Corporate Sales Director, Employee Benefits, Acumen & Trust
Fionán has worked in the Corporate Pensions & Benefits industry since 1995 with vast experience in Managing and Co-ordinating Benefit Arrangements for corporate clients. At Acumen & Trust, Fionán’s role is primarily focused on attracting and securing new corporate accounts, ensuring high quality advice and service is provided. As Acumen & Trust DAC amalgamate with Invesco Limited in the coming months, Fionán will extend his role across the combined entities.

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