Robert Thomas

Director

Robert brings deep trustee knowledge to his clients, acting as chair of trustees, as co-trustee and leading a large corporate sole trustee engagement.  He has a commercial outlook and understands the corporate perspective.  He was Tax Director for Xerox and a Corporate Finance Director for Pfizer before joining LawDeb in 2017.

He is well acquainted with the latest thinking on DC, working with the flagship Legal & General Workplace MasterTrust as well as leading LawDeb’s corporate sole trustee engagement on a large own-trust DC plan.

In the DB world Robert has guided fellow trustees to focus on long-term strategy and strong governance with member considerations at the centre.  He observes that other matters frequently fall into place where there is a strong and considered framework. In 2021 he worked on completion of a full buy-in, meeting ambitious deadlines in an involved situation. He has brought trustees, advisers and sponsors together to find solutions to complex and challenging pension situations, using his practical, problem-solving approach.  He considers clear and simple communications to be a key factor in all the work of trustees.

Robert is a member of LawDeb’s Pensions Management Group, focussing on business development and marketing.  He sits on the Council of the Association of Professional Pensions Trustees and was heavily involved in the establishment of the accreditation framework that supports professional standards for trustees. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Bristol and is a Chartered Accountant.

Outside work Robert has been learning the ancient craft of hedge laying which he has been putting into practice.

What our clients say:

Robert has been Chair of our UK pension schemes (DB and DC) for four years now and has successfully led the Trustees through some significant projects including a pension-increase exchange exercise, a move of our DC scheme to a master trust and most recently a key strategic project for our DB scheme. Robert is very knowledgeable and experienced and his patient and inclusive leadership style was a key factor behind the success of these projects.

Robert has demonstrated a strong understanding of the workings of a multinational company which has helped establish a good working relationship with the Scheme sponsor and he has added value by identifying win-win solutions balancing the interests of members, the Trustees and the Company. Overall I would have no hesitation in recommending him.

Paul Wales, Global Pension Asset Management Director, Japan Tobacco International (Gallaher Pension Schemes)