Lifestyle Article - First Actuarial appoint new Head of Risk Transfer

First Actuarial has appointed longstanding partner Declan Keohane FIA as Head of Risk Transfer. His actuarial skills and specialist risk transfer experience make him the ideal business leader for this expanding area.

 As increasing numbers of trustees explore options such as buy-out, Declan will further develop the firm’s risk transfer function to meet demand and deliver the best possible outcomes for clients.

 Declan says: “I’m looking forward to growing our services to support every scheme that needs it. With so much demand for insurers’ buy-out services, preparation counts for a great deal. So I’m building a strong project management capability to add to our risk transfer expertise. This is making every risk transfer project as efficient and organised as possible. We’re also training and developing junior colleagues as we expand the team, which is how we like to work at First Actuarial.”

 Declan has over 30 years of pensions consulting experience, and has been spending more and more time advising on buy-ins and buy-outs in recent years. Since studying actuarial science at university, his employers have included Aon and Lane Clark & Peacock. He joined First Actuarial in 2007 and became a partner in 2011.

 His appointment as Head of Risk Transfer comes at a time when improvements in scheme funding and increased governance responsibilities make risk transfer an attractive and achievable option for many trustees.

 Declan says: “We look at the full range of risk transfer options. With more alternatives becoming available, we’re supporting many schemes through the decision-making and selection process. Following the Mansion House reform discussions, I’m expecting more employers to consider alternatives to winding up their scheme.”

 Declan believes that in the short- to medium-term, buy-ins and buy-outs will remain the most suitable route for smaller schemes.

 He says: “The buy-in and buy-out market is extremely buoyant and everyone expects it to remain so for the next few years. A growing number of insurers offer streamlined processes for smaller schemes, which work very well. We help trustees with the preparation work needed to meet stringent requirements as busy insurers assess whether or not to quote.”

 Declan concludes: “We’re growing our team, developing the resources and expertise to lead clients of any size through a risk transfer project. We’ve pulled together a multidisciplinary team – covering actuarial, investment, defined contribution, project management and scheme administration – which are all impacted by risk transfers. This will give clients the end-to-end support they need. I’m confident that we can find a home for any scheme that wants to go to market.”

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