It has been just over a year since Iain Garfield joined BWD as Divisional Director - Pensions & Benefits, so I thought it would be good time to sit down with him and find out how it has gone and what keeps this intriguing character going.
You’ve just had your one-year anniversary, could you summarise?
It’s been a whirlwind to be honest, and hard to believe a year has gone by. That said, we have built out from 2 consultants to 6, and now offer UK-wide coverage across the breadth of the pensions market. After 16 years at my previous firm, I have had to be more flexible and open to change than I ever believed possible, but I’ve found the exercise quite exciting!
Having been in the industry for 20 years, what made you chose BWD?
The people, the brand and the potential, in that order. I genuinely enjoy working with all my colleagues (which I can’t claim has always been the case in my career) and find several of them truly inspirational. The brand has a clear reputation for fairness, delivery and straight-talking: all traits I try to live by. If I can ally our brand, the calibre of our people, and a little of the industry nous I have picked up over 20 years, we will be able to increase the delivery capability for our clients.
What has been the highlight of your time at BWD so far?
Scoring the winning rounder at our annual office sports day the day before I officially started. Low point? My unmitigated failure at the same event this year!
What are the plans for Pensions & Benefits for 2019
We now offer specialists within the Actuarial market, Investment Consultancy, across DC and Wealth at Work, and Pensions Operations. We will soon be expanding the team, with one to work within the Pensions Legal sector, and one in Pensions Consulting and Covenant Advisory. We aim to be a one-stop-shop for all Pensions recruitment across the UK. 2020 we go international …!
What is the one thing you would change about the Pensions Sector?
Increase staff engagement, either in their financial wellness per se, or an earlier interest in the benefits of investing in their retirement.
Are you working on any exciting projects?
We are engaged in a number of high profile Public Sector pensions projects. Unfortunately, I am unable to talk about them, but they are genuinely ground-breaking in their conception and aims.
How might Brexit impact the Pensions and / or recruitment sector?
Answers on a postcard please, completing the following in no more than 30 words: “Brexit’s impact on pensions will be ……..”
Where do you anticipate growth in the Pensions & Benefits market?
Ongoing regulatory change drives much in the pensions industry, as does the increasing march of technology. As the regulator flexes its muscles, areas like the employer covenant will come under even greater scrutiny, along with stronger governance regimes across the whole industry.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy?
Huge sports fan, with a passion for Rugby Union and Cricket. Family time is also good, enjoy cooking and drinking wine.
Who is your idol?
Ian Poulter – the Postman always delivers!