Helm Godfrey trio join Buck

John Deacon, Ed Smithson and John Yates are joining Buck Consultants as the Xerox-owned consultancy is restructured into two units covering corporate solutions and trustee services.

Deacon is appointed head of Buck Corporate Solutions, which covers employee benefits that are directly managed by companies, including Buck’s health and productivity, DC and wealth, talent and HR solutions, flex and employee share plan administration services.

He joins from Helm Godfrey, where he was director and head of Helm Corporate.  Following a short commission as a pilot in the RAF, Deacon entered the financial services sector in 1988 and joined Bain Clarkson in 1990. He has also had stints at SBJ Benefit Consultants and Hymans Robertson where he led contract-based DC solutions. In 2004 he was appointed head of employee benefits at Truestone, which was subsequently purchased by Helm Godfrey in 2011.

Ed Smithson will report to John Deacon and will have responsibility for all aspects of Buck’s flex and share plan services.  He joins from Helm Godfrey, where he was deputy head of Helm Corporate.  He has previously worked with Hymans Robertson, Watson Wyatt and Bacon & Woodrow as well as smaller boutique operations. John Yates, a DC consultant and client manager formerly of Helm Godfrey, has also joined the Corporate Solutions division.

The new Buck Trustee Services will provide actuarial consulting, non-actuarial consulting, investment consulting, and group risk broking and pensions administration.  David Piltz, who has an 18 year career at Buck, had been appointed head of the business. 

Buck Consultants managing director, Europe Steven White says: “The new management structure leverages our expertise, resources and Xerox technology to maximum effect, enabling us to develop market-leading solutions to clients, employers and trustees,

“DC pensions are increasingly considered by employers within a package of additional and innovative benefits, communicated to employees via the web or mobile apps.  Employers are looking for an integrated approach, combining flex administration, consulting and benefit programme management.  We have created the Corporate Solutions division to meet this growing need and to provide streamlined solutions to employers.

“At the same time, although the number of DB plans in the UK are falling quite slowly, total DB plan asset values continue to rise, requiring specialist actuarial and consulting expertise, investment consulting strength and a strong administration platform for trustees.  Structuring our trustee services into one division will enable us to provide this expertise to many more DB pension plans.”