SPS Conferences is advised by a Committee of pension fund representatives.

The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to help the Executive improve the quality of SPS conferences and to make them as relevant as possible for pension fund managers and trustees.

Advisory Committee


David Bennett-Rees

Independent Advisor, Investment Committee

Royal British Legion

Full bio


Robert Jurkowski

Pensions Investment Manager

BOC Pensions Ltd

Full bio


Eleanor Lawther

Manager, External Funds

BAE Systems Pension Funds Investment Management

Full bio


Frank Oldham

Trustee Director

MMC UK Pension Fund

Full bio


Rita Powell

Independent Trustee and Scheme Secretary

Inside Pensions

Full bio


Markus Schaen

Senior Fund Manager


Full bio


Robin Smith

Group Head of Pension Funding & Investment

Rio Tinto

Full bio


David Bennett-Rees  Trustee – SAUL Trustee Company

David is currently Chairman of the Freemasons Pension Scheme and has now joined the Finance Committee of the Royal British Legion, which manages the investments and oversees the pension schemes of the charity. He has recently retired as an Independent Director of the Corporate Trustee of SAUL (Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London). Following his Mathematics degree at Oxford University, David taught Maths before joining Colonial Mutual Life where he qualified as an Actuary. He then spent 15 years as a partner working for Galloway & Pearson, W I Carr and Buck Patterson Consultants as a consulting actuary specialising in investments and was also a member of the Stock Exchange. For 10 years he was Head of Pensions Services and in-house Actuary at London Transport. Since then, he has been working as an Independent Pensions / Investment Consultant and chairing pension training courses for the ACT and NAPF. David co-wrote the Institute of Actuaries investment textbook. He regularly speaks at specialised Investment and Pensions conferences across Europe.

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Robert Jurkowski  Pensions Investment Manager – BOC Pensions Ltd

Robert Jurkowski is the Pensions Investment Manager in the UK for BOC, a member of The Linde Group. Robert joined BOC in March of 2010 and is responsible for a portfolio of more than £2.6bn focused on LDI and growth assets. Prior to joining BOC, he worked at the Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund as Investment Manager. He started his investment career in 1986 as a Fund Manager in New York City. He moved to London in 1993 and spent 14 years in a variety of portfolio management and investment roles with Aon Corporation before joining Berkshire. Robert earned his B.S. in Finance from the Pennsylvania State University and his M.B.A. from the Lubin School of Business in New York City. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Society in the UK. Also, Robert serves as a Trustee Director for the defined benefit GIST Limited Pension Scheme in the UK.

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Eleanor Lawther Manager, External Funds – BAE Systems Pension Funds Investment Management

Eleanor joined the in house manager of the pension schemes of BAE Systems in 2010 to monitor and advise the trustees on the selection of equity and fixed income managers.  After graduating from Cambridge with an MA in Economics Eleanor spent the first ten years of her career at Henderson Global Investors, managing UK equity portfolios on behalf of institutional clients.  She then spent five years managing multi asset portfolios on behalf of individuals for a private wealth management business.

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Frank Oldham  Trustee Director - MMC UK Pension Fund

Frank is a Client Director with ITS and a Non Executive Director. He has substantial experience of managing DB pension risk, both as a Trustee Director and as an experienced pensions professional and actuary. As a Senior Partner at Mercer he successfully led their Global risk consulting and solutions from 2010 until his retirement, from them in March last year. In that role Frank was responsible for the launch of innovative solutions such as the Mercer pension Risk Exchange and SmartDB, a longevity solution for mid sized clients. Prior to this he led Mercer’s UK retirement business from 2005 to 2010 through a period of immense change and growth. He is also a non-executive Director of Robus Insurance ICC (a captive set up to facilitate longevity transactions) and is experienced in all aspects of longevity risk transfer.  Before becoming a Trustee himself, Frank provided advice to many well known organisations, both as a Scheme Actuary and an experienced corporate advisor.

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Rita Powell  Independent Trustee and Scheme Secretary – Inside Pensions

Rita is a visionary hands-on leader within the occupational pension’s arena who has spent 28 years delivering pensions change and risk reduction strategies to various organisations including DP World, P&O, Centrica, Chloride Group and Nortel. She believes that healthy regular debate and information sharing between scheme sponsors and trustee boards is necessary and leads to practical strategies that can be implemented to achieve successful commercial outcomes for all stakeholders - members, trustees and sponsors. Rita established her own company Inside Pensions in 2008 to become an independent pension advisor and trustee.

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Markus Schaen  Senior Fund Manager – MN

Markus is Senior Fund Manager Fixed Income for the Dutch fiduciary manager MN and is responsible for the selection and monitoring of MN’s external fixed income managers. Prior to joining MN in 2008, he was Corporate Treasurer of Koninklijke Wegener. At Wegener, he was also a trustee of the company’s pension fund and a member of the fund’s investment committee. In the early part of his career he worked in various international treasury functions and as an auditor with Deloitte. Markus graduated in 1995 from Maastricht University with a degree in economics and business administration. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1997 and as Chartered Treasurer in 2000. Earlier this year, he completed the Pension Executive program at Nyenrode University.

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Robin Smith Group Head of Pension Funding & Investment - Rio Tinto

Robin is Rio Tinto’s Group Head of Pension Funding & Investment, based in the London head office and reporting to the Group Treasurer. He is responsible for ensuring that the Group’s financial risks in relation to pensions are understood and managed effectively with a focus on the Group’s largest pension plans which are situated in Canada, the UK, the US, Switzerland and Australia. He is also responsible to overseeing the financial reporting of pensions and other post-employment benefits under IAS19 for the Group’s financial statements.  Robin and his team work closely with Rio Tinto’s benefits teams around the world. He sits on the investment committees for the Group’s major pension plans and also on the Group’s Global Benefits Committee.

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Optimising Value from Fixed Income Investments

September 5, 2019

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

Alternative & Innovative Investment Strategies Conference for Pension Funds 

September 12, 2019

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London   

ESG & Sustainable Investment Issues for Dutch Pension Funds 

September 24, 2019

Apollo Hotel, Amsterdam 

Nordic Institutional Investors' Conference

October 3, 2019

7A Strandvägen, Stockholm

Property & Infrastructure Investment Strategies for Pension Funds 

October 10, 2019

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

Current Investment Issues for Pension Funds                  

November 7, 2019

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

ESG & Topical Investment Issues for Local Authority Pension Investors

November 14, 2019

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London 

Annual Northern Investment Conference for Pension Funds 

November 21, 2019

The Met Hotel, Leeds

Private Equity & Debt Investors' Annual Seminar

December 5, 2019

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Annual Bond Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

January 9, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Annual Investment Strategies for Dutch Pension Funds

January 22, 2020


Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

February 13, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Nordic Institutional Investors' Conference

March 4, 2020


Local Authority Pension Fund Investment Issues

March 19, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Seeking Income & Stable Returns for Pension Fund Investors

April 2, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Fiduciary Management & Investment Governance for Pension Funds

April 23, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

ESG & Impact Investing for Pension Funds

April 23, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Irish Pension Fund Investment & Current Issues

June 10, 2020


Annual DC Investment Strategies & Current Issues

June 17, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Investment Strategies & Cash Flow Management for Maturing Pension Funds

July 9, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Adding Value through Credit & High Yield Investing for Pension Funds

September 3, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Innovative Investing for Pension Funds

September 17, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Dutch Pension Fund Investors: Focus on ESG & Impact Investing

September 23, 2020


Nordic Institutional Investors: Focus on ESG, Impact & Sustainable Investing

October 1, 2020


Property, Infrastructure & Real Asset Investment Strategies for Pension Funds

October 8, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Current Investment Issues for Pension Funds

November 5, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

LGPS Investors: Focus on ESG, Responsible & Sustainable Investing

November 12, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London

Annual Northern Investment Conference for Pension Funds

November 19, 2020


SPS Private Market Investors' Annual Seminar

December 3, 2020

Le Meridien Piccadilly, London