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The Trustees

The Trustee Board represents members and employers. They come from a wide range of backgrounds including lawyers, accountants, HR professionals and cost draftsman. The full board meets once a quarter and has monthly conference calls in the intervening months. There are Committees for Finance, Investment, Legal, Strategic and Funding, which consider issues in depth before making recommendations to the full Board.

Sir Derek Morris

Chairman and Chair of Strategic and Investment Committees

Derek joined the Board as Independent Chairman in April 2017. He was for many years the fellow and tutor in economics at Oriel College, Oxford University, specialising in industrial, investment and financial economics. From 1997 to 2004 he was Chairman of the UK Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets

Authority). From 2004 to 2013 he returned to Oxford as the Provost of Oriel College. He currently leads a multi-disciplinary team advising the Chinese Government on further stages of economic reform in China.

In the pensions field he was from 2006 to 2012, Chairman of Lucida plc, a pension buy-out company; and from 2006 to 2016 the Independent Chairman of the Oxford University Press pension scheme. In 2004-5 He conducted the Government’s Morris Review of the Actuarial Profession, and chaired the Treasury’s 2009 Working Party on addressing the consequences of the financial crisis for the pensions industry.

Ian Gault

Vice Chairman and Legal Committee Chairman

Ian joined the board in July 1992 as an employer nominated trustee. He was appointed as the Vice Chairman on 1 January 2014.

Ian was a partner and is now a consultant at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. Ian specialises in all aspects of pensions law and brings more than 30 years of experience to support Cheviot’s Trustee Board. He chairs the Legal Committee.

John Berry

member representative

A Law Costs Draftsman with offices in Essex. Joined the pension scheme more than forty years ago. Elected as a members representative in 2008. Joined the Legal & Strategic Sub Committees. Wishes to further the aims of members and improve communication between the Board and membership.

Diane Elliott-Smith

member representative

Diane joined the board in January 2019 as a Member Nominated Trustee.

Diane is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and began her career working in senior HR roles within the manufacturing and engineering sector. Diane then moved into the legal sector, working with the national law firm Thompsons Solicitors in both regional practice management roles and as part of the national HR team.

As a Member Nominated Trustee, in addition to safeguarding the interests of members, Diane has a particular interest in maximising engagement with current and deferred members through effective communication.

Gerald Kidd

employer representative and finance committee chairman

Gerald joined the board in June 2014 as an employer nominated trustee.

Gerald trained and has continued to work at Pothecary Witham Weld, a medium sized firm based near Victoria. He specialises in advising charities about governance and investment matters and also private individuals about Trusts. Both as a trustee and adviser he has been involved in considering many aspects of investment management. In recent years he has been involved in advising some of the firm’s charity clients about their pension schemes. Gerald is a trustee of a number of charities and approximately twenty family Trusts. In his spare time Gerald is a keen theatre goer and supports a number of arts organisations.

Frances Longmore

member representative

Frances is a member nominated trustee, appointed in January 2019.

With a strong professional background in HR, having significant experience across several sectors (Local Government, charity and legal), she brings experience of different schemes from both a member and employer perspective. While at Thompsons Solicitors she was a key member of their Auto Enrolment project team. She has also supervised in-house payroll and dealt with pension issues and queries.

While taking an initial interest across all sub committees, some of Frances’ specific interests include communications, strategic issues, systems and processes.

Frances is looking forward to this new role and playing an active part in supporting the Cheviot’s existing strong governance, thereby continuing to give members and employers confidence in it as a provider of choice.

Elspeth McKinnon

co-opted director

Ellie has overall responsibility for The Cheviot Trust, including the day to day operation of the office in Southend and all strategic and tactical issues facing the Trustee Board. Ellie joined Cheviot in October 1992. Prior to this, she spent four years with a top London law firm as a pensions lawyer. Ellie is a member of the Master Trust Committee of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.

Ellie has been responsible for the management of Cheviot since 1993 during periods of significant change, including the stock market challenges in 2002 and 2008 and the re-classification of one section from DC to Cash Balance. This involved detailed consideration of legislative changes and engagement with the DWP and the Regulator over a long period whilst also dealing with some five hundred firms of lawyers who unexpectedly had DB type obligations.

Ellie’s focus on member outcomes is reflected in the award winning Money Purchase Section which was an industry leader in introducing flexible options at retirement.

Investment strategy and implementation is another key focus area. The average funding level of the Cheviot’s 15 final salary schemes and cash balance scheme is significantly above the industry average reflecting the Trustee’s focus on stable returns and risk management.

Communications are a particular area of interest and Cheviot won awards for communications in 2015 (Best Retirement Communications) and 2016 (Best Report to Members).

Giles Orton

co-opted director

Giles was co-opted to the Board in 2018.

Giles was a partner and is now a consultant with Eversheds-Sutherland, specialising in pensions litigation. He has over 20 years' experience of trusteeship of a wide range of pension funds and is a former President of The Association of Corporate Trustees. He is also a priest and non-stipendiary curate in the Church of England.

Martin Poore

employer representative

Martin joined the board in 2013 as an employer nominated trustee and is currently a member of the Legal Committee. He is familiar with all the key documents identified in the Trustee Knowledge and Understanding definition in the Pensions Act 2004.

Martin graduated with an MA (Oxon) and qualified as a solicitor in 1995. He is a partner in the Newcastle office of Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP and heads the UK pensions Law team.

Martin is a regular speaker at trustee training and other external seminars, whether covering topical developments or bespoke projects such as scheme merger or closure exercises and he is an editor and co-author of Blackstone’s Guide to the Pensions Act 2004.

Vineeta Smith

employer representative

Vineeta is an employer nominated trustee. She joined the board in 2008.

Vineeta worked as the Head of HR for the national law firm Thompsons. Her involvement as a Trustee Director stems from a desire to ensure that members of the Cheviot pension schemes get the best pension benefits possible for their contributions. So, as well as investment returns, Vineeta also has a keen interest in the management of the schemes and their costs, and also in improving communication to both members and employers.

Before joining Thompsons, Vineeta had worked since 1996 outside of the legal sector. As a result of that, and her involvement in mergers and acquisitions, she can draw on knowledge and experience of a variety of different forms of pensions schemes and arrangements.

Maralyn Thomas

member representative

Maralyn joined the Board in June 2017 as a member-nominated trustee. She was formerly head of pensions at a large Midlands law firm, and managing director of their subsidiary trustee company, which she founded.

Maralyn has been a trustee for nearly 20 years, her first trustee appointment having come from OPRA, the predecessor of the Pensions Regulator. She has specialised in pensions for over 30 years.

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