Helen Abbott joins Lane Clark & Peacock as Principal

28 April 2020 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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Lane Clark & Peacock has appointed The Pensions Regulator Lead Business Analyst Helen Abbott to its growing covenant team as a Principal. Abbott arrives as a shake-up in pension funding and the global Covid-19 pandemic have spiked demand for pension consulting services.

A multitude of challenges currently face the pensions industry and the policy choices it could make to address them. While the sector was already dealing with effective workplace pension provision in the expanding gig economy, the growth of Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) schemes, and pressures relating to Brexit, the coronavirus has added a new issue to be hurdled in the coming months. Amid this, consulting firms catering to the needs of pension funds are experiencing heightened demand for their services.

Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) is a firm of financial, actuarial and business consultants, specialising in the areas of pensions, investment, insurance and business analytics. LCP had already reported a record income for the financial year 2018/19 of £114.9 million, an 8.5% increase from 2017/18. In preparation for another bumper year, as client needs spike amid the current crisis, the consultancy has added a new expert to its growing covenant team.

Helen Abbott, Principal at LCP

Helen Abbott has joined as a Principal, and will be leading on key engagements and providing client insight on the back of her advisory and regulatory experience, which includes seven years specialising in providing regulatory advice around covenant issues. Having spent the first eight years of her career with Grant Thornton, Abbott joined The Pensions Regulator in 2013, becoming a Lead Business Analyst before exiting this year. Her recent work with the regulator included the development of the funding code consultation.

Abbott commented, “This is an exceptionally challenging time for many trustees of schemes and the companies that sponsor them and during this period of crisis, covenant assessment is particularly important. I look forward to bringing my expertise to the team and to our clients.”

Launched in 2006, the pensions covenant team aids trustees with formulating plans to recover any deficit. Issues covered by the practice include factoring sponsor risk into funding and investment strategy decisions, planning for deficit recovery and understanding the balance between scheme requirements and what the employer can afford. LCP Head of Covenant Teams Jon Wolff said Abbot’s experience would be invaluable, as concerns relating to the Covid-19 pandemic continue to build across the pensions sector, and factor into deficit recovery plans

Wolff stated, “The pandemic arrived at the same time as plans for the biggest shake-up in pension funding for 15 years in the shape of the future for funding consultation and Helen’s in-depth knowledge of, and experience of regulatory issues with be invaluable to our clients; there is a lot of uncertainty for pension schemes at the moment.”