Directors exit as Widows launches specialist AE team

Scottish Widows has created a new specialist auto enrolment team to work with advisers and employers to meet the surge in organisations meeting their staging date in 2014.

As part of the restructure, intermediaries director Simon Massey and employee benefits and direct distribution director Andy Barton are both leaving the provider’s pensions arm. Both are currently considering positions elsewhere, either within or outside of the group.

The launch, which follows a review by pensions & investments director Ronnie Taylor, establishes a dedicated team of workplace pension specialists to support Widows’ existing customer and intermediary teams across the UK, with the aim of providing a coordinated and expert approach to auto enrolment.

Widows says the review has created a strengthened leadership team and simplified structure with a renewed focus on supporting new and existing customers with their corporate and individual retirement needs.

The new pensions & investments leadership team includes Jackie Leiper in the role of director of employer relationships, Gordon Egan as head of IFA sales south, Damian Coleman as head of IFA sales north, Tim Willis as head of EBC distribution and Jim McCaffrey as head of retirement distribution

Taylor says: “By the end of 2013 we will have helped around 300 large companies work their way through auto enrolment, but the main challenge lies ahead, with smaller employers, who may lack the knowledge and expertise associated with the changes reaching their individual staging dates from as early as next year.

“Our primary objective is to support employers and advisers through this transition, helping them to navigate through the auto enrolment journey, with the end goal of ensuring that an increased number of people in the UK are saving towards a more comfortable retirement.

“It is of paramount importance that we have the right structure and strategy in place in order to deliver this.”