Robert Thomas


What our clients say

Paul Hopkins, Pensions Director, Xerox Ltd

Through his clear-sighted and patient leadership Robert was able to transform the trustee board into an effective and efficient governance body that operates at the right strategic level. The changes he led have given it a robustness that has allowed a significant turnover of trustees to take place without loss of effectiveness

Areas of expertise

Robert brings extensive experience of chairing trustee boards coupled with deep insight into the workings of multinational companies, gained through key finance roles at Xerox and Pfizer.

His broad-based pensions expertise, including defined benefit and defined contribution schemes, equips him to identify priorities and get the best out of advisors.

As a trustee and as chair of trustees he has brought stakeholders together to find solutions to complex and challenging pension situations, using his practical, problem-solving approach.

He has served on committees dealing with all key areas, including Investment, Governance, Covenant & Funding, Audit and Sponsor Relations.

Notable successes

  • Led trustee board through the complexities of a corporate demerger, securing corporate actions to support the employer covenant through collaboration and detailed negotiation with the sponsor
  • Implemented effective investment decision-making process by ensuring Board owned strategy and empowering investment committee to manage within that strategy. This reduced frustrations and enabled progressive changes to be made to the scheme’s investments
  • Collaborated on establishing risk management framework including implementation of liability driven investment strategy and other de-risking measures
  • Agreed valuation and solutions to scheme’s material funding gap by bringing focus to key trustee and sponsor issues, clear and direct communications and collaboration with sponsors
  • Completed two large scheme mergers having identified opportunity to overcome major barrier of the schemes having significantly different funding levels

Current appointments

  • Chair of trustees of four schemes ranging from £100m to £3bn assets
  • Board and investment committee member of a £4bn scheme
  • Advisor to Chair of Trustees and LawDeb peer for an £800m scheme
  • Board member of a £250m scheme

Robert's case studies

Building an effective trustee board

Robert in the news

Robert Thomas joins LawDeb

Pensions Expert - TPR naming and shaming aims to boost trusteeship

Professional roles and qualifications

  • Trained as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen, specialising in tax, before moving in-house
  • Worked with two major multinational companies in roles including tax, treasury, company secretarial, pensions and benefits, and corporate finance
  • Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales
  • Pension Management Institute’s Level 3 Certificate in Pension Trusteeship (Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Schemes) in 2016
  • BSC and PhD, University of Bristol
  • Immediate previous chair of International Chamber of Commerce’s UK Tax Committee and sat on its Council