from Brendan McCafferty, Chair
I am so delighted that you have taken the time to open this candidate
pack – the first step in becoming a non-executive director at Nest! All too
recently, I was doing exactly the same thing. Earlier this year on
February 1st, following a process similar to the one you are about to embark
on, I was appointed Chair of Nest Corporation. What has struck me the most
since joining Nest is the calibre of people working at Nest, the social purpose
which underpins everything they do, and how they bring that social purpose to
solve complex issues with social, political and economic elements. I feel
Nest’s mission of “helping millions enjoy a better retirement” infused in every
project that comes before me at Board meetings. If you share these same values
and are seeking to contribute to Nest’s success in an oversight and governance
capacity -- whether as an experienced or first time non-executive
director-- I would strongly encourage you to keep reading, to join our
webinar on 29 November 2022 at 2pm to learn
more about us and the selection process, and to complete the application
process outlined later in this pack.
Nest, the National Employment Savings Trust, is a workplace pension
scheme established by an Act of Parliament (the Pensions Act
2008) to help support the introduction of auto enrolment. The Nest
Scheme is authorised as a master trust by The Pensions
Regulator. A master trust is used by two or more employers to provide benefits
in retirement based on the members’ contributions into the Scheme and the
returns after charges on the investment of that money. Nest Corporation
is the Trustee for the Scheme. We are a public corporation which operates at
arm’s length from the government and are accountable to Parliament through the
Department for Work and Pensions.
Nest’s purpose is to help millions enjoy a better retirement.
Thus far, 1 million employers have signed up at some point with Nest. It
currently has 11.4 million members. And Nest currently has £27.4 billion
in assets under management.
Nest enables its members to save into a high-quality pension scheme at
a low cost. Due to our scale, we are able to offer them a sophisticated
investment strategy and easy-to-use services while keeping our charges low. We
pride ourselves on our approach to responsible investment. Any employer,
however large or small, can use the Scheme, and we have a public service
obligation to accept any employer that wishes to use the Scheme to meet its
employer duties under auto-enrolment. Self-employed individuals can also
use Nest to save for their retirement.
Nest Corporation is comprised of up to 15 Board members and the
corporation’s employees. We refer to our Board members collectively as the
Board of Nest Corporation, or simply the Board. This candidate pack was
collated in respect of our 2023 recruitment drive to fill certain vacancies on
Appointment of Board Members
I was appointed by the Secretary of State as Chair of Nest Corporation
in February 2022 for a term of five years, succeeding Otto Thoresen. I am
delighted to be leading the board of such a purposeful organisation. I have a
background in the insurance sector and have led a number of large and complex
financial services businesses as CEO. I have been passionate about the role of
business as a force for good in society for many years.
People and businesses are experiencing economic and wider uncertainty.
Inflation and interest rates are rising. Public investment markets have been up
and down. Events such as the war in Ukraine and disruptions in the global
supply chain for raw materials and manufactured goods have had, and will
continue to have, a significant impact on all of us.
As economies continue to recover from the worst days of the Covid-19
crisis, we’re also beginning to see changes in the types of work people are
doing, where and how they’re doing their work and the areas of business
activity which are growing versus those which are shrinking. The need to
transition to a low-carbon economy is increasing in urgency, and that will
reshape industries as well.
The current economic pressures also have an impact on the work we do at
Nest Corporation as Trustee of the Scheme. When prices go up, it affects how
the Scheme’s investments perform against our objectives, since we seek to
achieve returns that beat inflation.
We recognise that our members are looking to us to help them grow their
retirement savings enough to outpace the increasing cost of living.
We centre everything we do on our purpose – to help millions enjoy a
better retirement. This has provided direction for us, to make progress towards
all of our strategic priorities and deliver value for our members despite the
economic environment which framed our activities in 2021/22.
This is thus an
exciting and challenging time to be joining the Nest Board. We are
seeking up to three new Board Members to support us. In addition to
the skills and experience set out within this pack, I would personally like to
emphasise the importance of diversity of thought to Nest and its
Board. We recognise the many benefits this can bring to Nest and
its Board. We know that diversity of thought around the Board table
produces more robust discussions and ultimately better outcomes for Nest and
its members. We are determined to ensure that no applicant receives less
favourable treatment because of their age, belief, disability, gender identity,
marital status, national origin, pregnancy or caring responsibilities,
socio-economic background, sex, sexual orientation, religion, or race or any
other legally protected status. We very much encourage applicants from a
diverse pool of candidates to apply for these important roles. We want to
get our message out to as many as possible, and so for the first time, we are
hosting a live webinar on 29 November 2022 to explain the process and to offer
opportunities for questions about the role and the selection process.
This is explained further in this pack, and I hope that if you might otherwise
have hesitated to apply, that you will be encouraged to join the webinar and
learn more and ask any questions you may have.
I look forward to working with the successful candidates.
McCafferty Nest Corporation Chair