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Bonus: UK Public Fund Special – Doug Heron CEO of CERN (formerly CEO at Lothian) – Cycling Through Pensions the World Over

Doug Heron is Chief Executive Officer at CERN pension fund based in Geneva, a role he assumed in August 2021. He was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Lothian Pension Fund, and prior to that held a number of finance industry roles throughout banking and asset management. He’s a trustee director of the NatWest group pension funds and was a Member of the Business Council of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland for five years.

Bonus: UK Public Pension Fund Special Series – Chris Hitchen, Chairman of Border to Coast – Building an Institution for the Long Haul

Chris Hitchen is Chairman of the Border to Coast pension partnership, as well as the Pension Super Fund and Trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee at Nest, the National Employment Savings Trust. He holds a number of other Board and director roles and was formerly chief executive of RPMI representing over £27 billion of pension arrangements for the UK rail industry.

140. Robin Powell – Evidence Based and Value-Driven – Myth Busting across the Investment Landscape

Robin Powell is a journalist, investor advocate, financial educator and content consultant.  He is Head of Client Education at RockWealth, as well as Editor of The Evidence Based Investor, and executive director of Regis Media and Ember. He is a frequent commentator on investment management and behavioural finance,  often probing the purported value added by active managers and advocating for better transparency and investor education.

Raymond Onovwigun – How Recycling Metal is Key to Achieving Each of the E, the S and the G

Raymond Onovwigun is founder and CEO at Romco Group, which trades and processes non-ferrous metal. Founded in 2015, it now employs over 180 people in Nigeria, over 50 in Ghana, and another 15 in the UK and is on track to have revenues of £40m by the end of this year. Ray has a fascinating journey that has taken him from South London, to founding a successful plumbing business while still at university to his current quest to help to close the sustainability gap in Africa.

Our conversation starts with his Nigerian heritage, how he learned the meaning of hard work through following his mother around in her cleaning business in London, what interested in him in plumbing and how he perceived a business opportunity. 

The Next Chapter Episode 2 – Success in Portfolio Careers – Dr. Margaret Casely-Hayford, William Bourne, Sandra Urie and Julian Tregoning

In our second podcast of our Fiftyfaces Focus Next Chapter Series we hear from four more seasoned voices who are all pursuing a rich and diverse set of roles. First we meet with Margaret Casely Hayford, CBE, Chancellor of Coventry University, Special Trustee at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Chair at Shakespeare’s Globe, among other board roles. She talks about the steep learning curve in gaining familiarity with the mission and purpose of each organization as well as the importance of learning to listen and for a Board to be a supportive Board. We speak also about the current levels of Board Diversity and the pace of change.

Carolyn Saunders – The Art of Playing Many Parts

Carolyn Saunders is a Partner and Head of Pensions at Pinsent Masons, one of the largest specialist pensions law teams in the UK. She focuses not just on traditional areas of pensions law, but also on issues at the cutting edge of current discourse, particularly around areas such as sustainable investing, climate risk governance and trustee fiduciary duties in this respect. She is an active participant in affinity groups such as the Fawcett Society and has a passionate interest in theatre and the arts.

Our discussion tracks Carolyn’s career, her love of London and her passion for theatre, the return of life to lockdown London and her thoughts on diversity in the profession.

Johara Farhadieh – Setting the Expectation for Progress in Public Funds

Johara Farhadieh is Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of The Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI), in which she oversees a $20 bn defined benefit fund and a $5 bn dollar defined contribution plan with over 150,000 beneficiaries. She has been at ISBI for over 13 years, and prior to that was a financial analyst. She was named an All-Star Chief Investment Officer by Trusted Insight and ISBI was ranked number one in private equity returns among public pension funds in 2020 by the American Investment Council.

A story about resilience and a refusal to accept “no” for an answer when it comes to building diversity in an institutional portfolio.

Mark Steed – Out of the Box and Data-Driven – A Vision for Pension Funds of the Future

Mark Steed is Chief Investment Officer at Arizona PSPRS Trust, a US public defined benefit fund with over $13 bn AUM, where he has spent over 14 years. He previously worked as a banker and prior to that as a financial analyst, and has a Masters in Predictive Analytics. He describes himself as an “investment ideas” guy and an out of the box thinker at that.

An out of the box thinker and public fund CIO takes us out of the box to discuss his current investment ideas and what it takes to motivate a retain a team.