Mercer appoints Ben Stone as Partner in risk transfer team

05 May 2020 2 min. read
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Mercer has expanded its risk transfer team, with the appointment of Ben Stone. Joining as a Partner, Stone arrives from PwC, following more than two decades in the actuarial industry.

In early 2019, Mercer, a global consulting firm focusing on the health, wealth and careers of its clients, announced the formation of a new team focused on providing advice around defined benefit (DB) consolidators. Headed up by Andrew Ward, the team draws on wider expertise across risk transfer, covenant assessment, actuarial and investments across Mercer.

As Mercer looks to build on its expertise in its risk transfer team, it has announced the appointment of Ben Stone as Partner. Stone will report to Ward, and will advise Mercer’s clients on how to most effectively manage their pension risk, either through bulk annuity, member option exercises, longevity swap, migration to a master trust, or other alternatives.

Ben Stone, Partner at Mercer

Ward commented, “An increasing number of defined benefit schemes are considering their end games and will either decide to adopt a difference governance model... As a firm, we are agnostic on the solution used as long as it is right for our client, and we are determined to be the leading adviser to support trustees and sponsoring employers through this… With the growing uncertainty stemming from Covid-19 it is crucial for schemes to plan ahead. We are confident that Ben’s contribution will be invaluable as we continue to support our clients through this period.”

Stone arrives from PwC, where he led the Big Four giant’s pension risk transfer team, advising trustee and corporate clients on 30 buy-in, buy-out and longevity swap transactions. Prior to that, he was an actuary at Willis Towers Watson. He has led several industry landmark projects in recent years including the Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme buy-out in 2015, the £4.4bn British Airways Pension Scheme buy-in in 2019 and last year's £3.8 billion full-scheme buy-in transaction for the ASDA Group Pension Scheme.

Mercer hosts more than 25,000 employees based in 44 countries, and the firm operates in over 130 countries. It is currently the largest pension consultancy in the UK, although this is set to change once Aon’s mega-deal with Willis Towers Watson sees the two merge at the end of 2020.