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UK

Published in December 2019, Neyber’s report, the DNA of Financial Wellbeing, which has surveyed over 42,000 people since 2016 suggests that absence, productivity and turnover of staff costs UK employers over £15.2 billion per annum. The report shows that employees’ financial woes are indeed a burden on employers as their spending habits (and results thereof) are a direct contributor to lost revenue at firms. With this report looking at

Cancer can change a person’s world beyond recognition. During this often highly stressful time, work can provide an oasis of normality and routine. However, the experiences of those working through a cancer diagnosis can vary widely. Employee benefits specialist Unum recently conducted a survey of 300 U.K. workers diagnosed with cancer in the last five years. Published in November 2019, the survey explored workers’ attitudes and challenges, as well

Vodafone announces the appointment of Alexandra Kitching to the position of Pensions and Benefits Manager effective October 2019. She will be based in London. Kitching comes to Vodafone from Deloitte UK where she was Consulting Manager, Human Capital, as well as Senior Consultant (D.C. Pensions and Group Risk) prior to being promoted to Consulting Manager. Prior to Deloitte, she was with NAPF as a Pension Quality Mark Manager. She

Discovery has announced the promotion of Hannah Naude to Director, International Compensation & Benefits, effective October 2019. She will remain based in London. Naude was previously Senior Manager Manager, International Compensation & Benefits. Before joining Discovery, she was a Human Resources Advisor at inVentiv Health Commercial, and worked in HR for the Save the Children foundation and Viasat Broadcasting. She started her HR career in Human Resources and Quality

First Actuarial in October 2019 announced the appointment of Martin Leigh as D.C. Consultant, based in Tonbridge, UK. Leigh joins First Actuarial from EQ Investors where he was a Corporate Pensions & Risk Benefits Manager. Previously, he was an account manager for Creative Employee Benefits, and Intermediary Relationship Manager with B&CE Benefits Scheme. He was also Client Relationship Manager for Aviva plc. He holds a Certificate in Marketing from

Mercer has appointed Sam Johnson as a Global Consultant effective September 2019. Johnson is based in London, UK. Johnson comes to Mercer from Fidelity Investments, where he worked in International Benefits. Prior to that he was a Global Benefits Consultant for Aon Risk Solutions and a futures trader for H2O Trading LLP. He holds a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, 1:1 from the University of Warwick.

Internet registrar and web hosting firm GoDaddy in September 2019 announced the appointment of Yasemin Sezgin as their new Director Compensation & Benefits EMEA, based in London, UK. Yasemin joins from Fox International Channels where she was Director Compensation & Benefits for Europe & Africa. Prior to Fox, she worked for Yıldız Holding as Head of Global Reward and HRIS; Goodyear Lastikleri as Compensation & Benefits Manager; Nestle Turkey

Swiss Re in August 2019 announced it had acquired the UK closed book business of Quilter. The acquisition was made through Swiss Re’s specialized subsidiary ReAssure and includes Old Mutual Wealth Life Assurance and Old Mutual Wealth Pensions Trustees. Quilter is mostly comprised of companies belonging to the former Old Mutual group. It is active in investment consulting and asset management (GBP 45 billion in assets under management –

Debenhams, a British multinational retailer based in London, in July 2019 named Sarah Purnell as Head of Rewards. Purnell comes to Debenhams from the Arcadia Group, where she was Group Reward Manager, and Travelport, where she was Director, Compensation and Benefits. Prior to that she was Senior Compensation and Benefits Manager for Lucazed Ribena Suntory, Uxbridge, UK, and Head of UK Reward & Benefits for Tesco. She began her

Nick Burns in July 2019 joined Gallagher as the new CEO of its UK Employee Benefits Consulting Division. He now is based in London and succeeds Tim Johnson. Prior to joining Gallagher, Burns was a non-executive adviser for SMEs and start-ups in employee benefits and creative technology, including Hybrid Legal; Brand Biology; Engage Works; and Neyber. Earlier, he was the CEO of Capita E.B. Solutions; of consulting firm Bluefin;

The number of workers on zero-hours contracts continues to rise in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that between October and December 2018 there were between 777,000 and 911,000 people working on zero-hours contracts. But the impact of such contracts seems to be underestimated by the government.

Mercer UK in April 2019 named Sylvia Pozezanac as its CEO. She will replace Fiona Dunsire, who becomes Mercer’s global wealth leader. Pozezanac was previously senior managing director for Prudential Financial’s client management unit, based in New York. Prior to joining Prudential, she enjoyed a 26-year career with Willis Towers Watson in a number of senior leadership roles in retirement and insurance, and where she also oversaw elements of

UK rewards and benefits consulting firm Benefex in April 2019 announced the appointment of Stephen Hackett to the position of Head of Corporate Benefits, based in Southampton, UK. Hackett joins Benefex after a previous position as Director, Employer Services, for Broadstone Corporate Benefits in London. He was also Head of Health & Risk proposition for Aon Employee Benefits in London. He has held other leadership positions at Capita Employee

The UK government in April 2019 published practical guidance on social security contributions for UK and EU internationally-mobile workers in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. This guidance also includes actions UK employers would need to take for outbound employees to the EU. This follows draft legislation published in December 2018 by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) regarding the UK’s proposals to

According to information prepared by Deloitte UK in April 2019, the UK government has published practical guidance on the social security contributions position for UK and EU internationally mobile workers if the UK leaves the EU without a deal and actions UK employers would then need to take for UK outbound assignees to the EU. This follows on from draft legislation published by the Department of Work and Pensions

Why talk about productivity? We have a clear business challenge in the UK. Productivity is a major issue for Government and Philip Hammond devoted his first Budget speech as Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) in 2017 to addressing it.1

France in February 2019 published transitional (or emergency) measures related to insurance in case of a no-deal Brexit. As per the new rules, contracts may not be amended if additional premiums are collected renewals, including automatic renewals are not allowed payment of claims will not be considered a breach for at least the first 12 months The new rules apply to contracts covering French risks and entered into before

Zurich UK in January 2019 announced it was backing London, UK-based travel insurance startup Pluto. Pluto targets Millennials, an under-insured segment when it comes to travel insurance, with up to 60% of them traveling without insurance. The underwriting engine blocks people over the age of 46. Zurich provides underwriting and claims management; Pluto brings mobile-oriented software that gives clients a standard insurance quote in around one minute, or three

Replicating an earlier deal in 2017 between the European Union (E.U.) and the United States (U.S.), the latter in January 2019 signed a “covered agreement” with the United Kingdom (UK) that protects their respective international insurers and reinsurers when doing business with each other. The new covered agreement basically provides for a limited but very useful form of mutual recognition of reinsurance companies and of (re)insurance regulators. The existing

American International Group (AIG) in December 2018 announced that it has completed the acquisition of Ellipse, a specialist group life, critical illness and income protection carrier in the UK, from Munich Re. Ellipse CEO Lee Lovett reports to Adam Winslow, CEO, International at AIG Life & Retirement. AIG expects Ellipse’s expertise in group protection and its technology to significantly enhance existing AIG Life operations. AIG Life will now distribute

AIG Life Limited (UK) in December 2018 announced the appointment of Philip Willcock as CEO, effective March 1, 2019. He will be based in London and report to Adam Winslow, CEO, International, Life & Retirement. Willcock spent over 20 years with Aviva holding various senior positions in the UK life & health businesses. Most recently, he was CEO and President of Aviva’s joint venture in Indonesia and CEO of

French insurer Apicil in December 2018 launched an EUR 10 million insurtech fund along with private equity firm Odysseus Alternative Ventures (OAV). The fund will invest in European startups “seeking to develop new technologies, new business models and new forms of delivery for the insurance sector”. APICIL Group is France’s 4th largest provider of occupational health, life, and retirement plans. OAV is the private equity and venture capital arm

Aon in December 2018 released a paper, The Contemporary Drivers of Mental Health, detailing factors driving poor employee mental health in the UK. Debt, separation and bullying are the personal issues of most concern to employers when it comes to employee mental health, according to a poll of employers. Of the 92 employers surveyed, 39 stated that money and debt were their biggest concerns for employee mental health, 27

Aon has identified that many UK employees do not accurately record sickness absence. Published in November 2018, this insight was obtained by conducting group risk market reviews for employers. Group risk insurers require information on who is absent, the reason for their absence, duration, and more information such as prognosis. Aon, through its market review activity, has seen that some employers either do not record their employees’ absences or

AIG in October 2018 received approval from British courts for its European subsidiary, AIG Europe Limited (AEL) to transfer its business into two new entities: American International Group UK Limited (AIG UK), based in London, UK, and AIG Europe SA (AESA) in preparation for Brexit. AESA’s headquarters are in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, and has 21 branches across the European Economic Area and Switzerland. It is led by Christophe Nicolas

AIRINC in October 2018 appointed Joanna Wakeham as General Manager, EMEA, reporting to President & CEO Steve Brink. She will be based in London, U.K. Jo will be responsible for EMEA client relationships and will lead business development activities in the region. Her experience mostly is with relocation management companies. She most recently held the role of senior vice president at BGRS (formerly Brookfield), and previously was Global Client

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in October 2018 appointed Pamela Thomson-Hall as head of its Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEEMEA) region, which includes more than 40 countries. Based in London, UK, and reporting to Adam Garrard, Head of International, she was also named head of Corporate Risk and Broking (CRB) for the same CEEMEA region. Pamela Thomson-Hall joined WTW in 1999 as General Counsel for the