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Executive team

Day-to-day management of Nest Corporation and the Nest scheme is delegated by the Board to our Chief Executive Officer, who is supported by an executive team.

Executive team profiles

Helen Dean CBE, CEO of Nest Pensions, is one of the architects of auto enrolment and responsible for bringing 9 million UK workers into pension saving. During her time at DWP Helen was tasked with coming up with a solution to the UK’s chronic under-saving in pensions. Her degree in psychology led Helen to behavioural economics. Finding compulsion too extreme, Helen and her team started to explore nudge theory. Fast forward and having designed and built the policy that would change the face of pension saving in the UK, Helen moved to PADA, Nest’s predecessor. Here she moved from policy to delivery. Helen and the PADA team were faced with a blank piece of paper and a big challenge – to build a low-cost, high-quality pension scheme from scratch. 

In the last 8 years Helen has led the product, marketing and operations arms of Nest, before her appointment as CEO in September 2016. Since then, Helen has been at the helm of one of the largest pension schemes in the UK. Using her position to support women in pensions, Helen is a mentor to female pensions and non-pensions professionals, offering guidance and coaching. Helen has signed the Women in Finance Charter on behalf of Nest, overseen the creation of Nest’s first diversity group and published Nest’s gender pay report despite not being required to. Helen is committed to bringing more diversity to Nest’s senior team and is working with her board to establish a senior leadership programme to cultivate the next generation of diverse leaders for Nest. 

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Dan Davis, Chief Risk Officer at Nest is a Certified member of the Institute of Risk Management. He has 10 years' senior experience leading risk and compliance teams within pensions and prior to this in high profile civil engineering projects. Dan has also supported the World Bank with their engagements in Georgia and Bulgaria to set up and improve the risk and governance structures of their national pension providers.

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Mark has been an investment manager for over 27 years and managed money at a variety of institutions.

Mark was head of Japanese equities at Gartmore, and held the role of Chief Investment Officer at American Express Asset Management International.

Before joining Nest, Mark was a partner at the boutique investment manager Thames River Capital LLP.

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Neville has extensive experience in the financial services sector, having held senior legal roles at RSA, AEGON, St James’s Place and Lloyds Bank.

Neville began his career in the Army, serving as a Captain in the Royal Engineers.

Richard is a Chartered Management Accountant with broad financial experience and extensive knowledge of corporate governance, commercial business partnering, strategic planning, M&A activity and system improvements.

His experience over the last 20 years includes leading financial roles in a number of blue-chip UK retail and consumer product companies, such as Home Retail Group, BAA, Kingfisher, Whitbread and BP.

Gavin has been involved with the development of auto enrolment since 2007, initially advising DWP on the operational impacts of the proposed legislation and moving on to the development of the requirements for what would become the solution for Nest.

Prior to his work at Nest, Gavin spent almost his entire career in the corporate pensions sector.

Will is Executive Director of Nest Insight, Nest’s in-house research and thought leadership unit focused on delivering cutting-edge research into how to improve retirement outcomes for the ‘DC generation’. He has nearly 15 years of experience working in strategy, public policy and research relating to personal finance and pensions, including time working for the UK Government on financial inclusion and on the design and implementation of their landmark Automatic Enrolment programme. In 2008 he joined Nest, shortly after it was formed (then as PADA) and joined the executive team in 2010 as Strategy Director.

In 2016 he oversaw the launch of the Insight Unit and since earlier this year has been focused on it full time. Outside of Nest he is a member of the research committee of the International Centre for Pensions Management, and of the World Economic Forum’s project expert committee for their Retirement and Investment Systems Reform Project.

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