PLSA appoints new chair

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has appointed Emma Douglas as its new Chair, effective Thursday 14 October 2021.

Douglas was selected by a sub-committee of the Board after an open and transparent process that included advertising the role to all PLSA members.

She will initially serve as PLSA Chair for three years; but this can be extended by up to a further three years. The appointment will see Ms Douglas succeed outgoing chair Richard Butcher, whose four-year tenure ends at the PLSA’s AGM.

With a wealth of experience in the pensions industry, Ms Douglas has chaired the PLSA’s Policy Board since 2018, was most recently Head of DC at Legal & General Investment Management and will soon take on a new role as Managing Director, Workplace Savings at Aviva.

As part of her role as Chair, Douglas will help ensure that the PLSA can fulfil its mission to help everyone achieve a better income in retirement. The Board sets out the PLSA strategy, allocates its resources, reviews its financial performance and monitors the effectiveness of its lobbying, events, training and membership products and services.

Douglas’s appointment also creates a vacancy for her Policy Board Chair position.

The Policy Board has strategic oversight of the PLSA’s policy work programme, making sure it supports the PLSA’s purpose and strategic vision. As part of their role, the new Policy Board Chair will represent the PLSA’s membership in policy-making and provide leadership in bringing a diverse range of members together behind common policy goals.

It is expected the Policy Board Chair will serve an initial term of three years and may serve a second term of up to three years by agreement with the PLSA Board. They will also become a non-executive director on the PLSA Board. Details about applying for the role and post information about the requirements and application process, will be on the PLSA website soon.

Douglas says: “The PLSA is a leading voice within the pensions industry and I am extremely proud to be appointed as the PLSA Chair. Having been involved with the PLSA for many years, most recently as the first Chair of the Policy Board, I am looking forward to ensuring that members’ interests continue to be strongly represented by the Association as we tackle the post-pandemic future for the pensions and savings industry. Richard and Julian have done a great job in leading the PLSA through the Covid crisis and I am very grateful for this as I take on the role of Chair.

“With my new role, I am also stepping down from my role as PLSA Policy Board Chair; a role that has proved both highly interesting and rewarding over the last three years. I’d encourage anyone who is attracted to the role to apply and will look forward to working with the successful candidate as they help to shape the PLSA’s policy output, working closely with the excellent PLSA Policy team.”

Richard Butcher, outgoing Chair of the PLSA, adds: “These announcements are always bittersweet. On the one hand, sad that it’s over but, on the other, tremendously happy that it happened. I will look back on my time as PLSA Chair with great pride having been in the role through some of the industry’s most challenging times; perhaps none more challenging than that of the impact Covid-19 and having made significant steps forward in our governance and policy work. None of this would have been possible without the fantastic PLSA team and I am hugely grateful to them for their hard work and commitment.

“It does, however, give me great pleasure to hand the reins over to Emma, who I know will perform a sterling job given her experience and unquestionable passion for the industry. It was important for me that we found someone who could take the PLSA forward and with Emma I know we have just that. I wish her great luck and success for the future.”

Julian Mund, Chief Executive, PLSA, says: “I’d like to thank Richard for all the hard work he’s done during his four years as PLSA Chair. Richard’s involvement with the PLSA stretches back a lot further than this as he has held a variety of roles with the Association for more than a decade now. His efforts during that time have been a testament to his dedication to the pensions industry and our goal of helping everyone achieve a better income in retirement.

“I welcome Emma – a face we all know extremely well already through her work as Policy Board Chair – to the role of PLSA Chair and I look forward to working closely with her in the years to come.”