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Board Members

Nest is a trust-based workplace pension scheme run by a Trustee, the Nest Corporation. The Trustee is comprised of up to 15 Board Members and the employees of Nest Corporation. The Board Members are collectively referred to as the Board of Nest Corporation, or simply the Board.

The Chair and Board Members set the strategic direction and objectives of Nest. They also have a number of legal duties, including making sure that the scheme is run in the interests of its members.

Board Member profiles

Brendan has worked as a chief financial officer and chief executive officer of several regulated financial institutions within the insurance and private equity investment sectors. He’s been at the forefront of public body collaboration between industry and government and has an unusual blend of experience across the full spectrum of insurance businesses, including in life and pensions.

Most recently, Brendan led the transformation and sale of an insurance broking business for its private equity shareholder. Before then, he served as chief executive officer of AXA Insurance UK. He was also the founding chief executive officer of Flood Re, an innovative venture between the UK government and the insurance industry that was set up to help households at risk of flooding. He’s well known within the industry for successfully leading major transformational strategic change, including deploying leading digital technologies and data analytics.

Brendan is a qualified accountant and lives in the north west of England. He’s been a Trustee of two registered charities for many years – with Blueprint for Better Busines, which encourages businesses to be a force for good in society, and the Catholic dioceses of Salford.

Register of Interests

In addition to her role at Nest, Jill is Chair of the Judicial Pensions Board for the Ministry of Justice and also of the Northern Ireland Judicial Pensions Board. She’s Chair of the Trustee Board for the National Assembly for Wales Assembly Members’ pension scheme and is also Chair of Trustees for the Legal Services Commission pension scheme. Alongside this Jill is a non-executive director at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust.  

Prior to her non-executive appointments, Jill enjoyed an accomplished 25 year career in a range of senior leadership positions in the commercial sector, focusing on large scale transformation projects, HR, finance shared services and operations in blue chip organisations such as Virgin Media and Lloyds Banking Group.

Jill has wide sector experience and has delivered the employee proposition, including pensions, in both large and small companies. As such, she has a keen interest in service delivery and customer and member experience. Jill is a long standing fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Register of Interests

Helen Dean CBE, CEO of Nest Pensions, is one of the architects of auto enrolment and responsible for bringing 9 million UK workers into pension saving. During her time at DWP Helen was tasked with coming up with a solution to the UK’s chronic under-saving in pensions. Her degree in psychology led Helen to behavioural economics. Finding compulsion too extreme, Helen and her team started to explore nudge theory. Fast forward and having designed and built the policy that would change the face of pension saving in the UK, Helen moved to PADA, Nest’s predecessor. Here she moved from policy to delivery. Helen and the PADA team were faced with a blank piece of paper and a big challenge – to build a low-cost, high-quality pension scheme from scratch. 

In the last 8 years Helen has led the product, marketing and operations arms of Nest, before her appointment as CEO in September 2016. Since then, Helen has been at the helm of one of the largest pension schemes in the UK. Using her position to support women in pensions, Helen is a mentor to female pensions and non-pensions professionals, offering guidance and coaching. Helen has signed the Women in Finance Charter on behalf of Nest, overseen the creation of Nest’s first diversity group and published Nest’s gender pay report despite not being required to. Helen is committed to bringing more diversity to Nest’s senior team and is working with her board to establish a senior leadership programme to cultivate the next generation of diverse leaders for Nest.

Register of Interests

Chris Hitchen re-joined the Board of Nest in 2018, having previously served as a Board member from 2010 to 2015. Chris has over thirty years’ experience in investment and pensions, and is Chair of the Border to Coast Pensions Partnership, investing money for twelve LGPS pension funds with assets totalling £43 billion, as well as Chair of Scheme Committees for The Pensions Trust’s industry-wide housing association pension schemes totalling £5 billion. Previously Chris led the 350,000 member UK Railways Pension Scheme for almost twenty years, first as CIO then as CEO. 
Chris is a Board member for the Toronto-based International Centre for Pensions Management (ICPM), and for the UK’s Investor Forum, which promotes strategic dialogue between companies and investors. He chaired the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) from 2007 to 2009 and was the inaugural Chair of the Pensions Quality Mark, raising standards in DC pensions.  
Chris is an Actuary and an Honorary Fellow of the CFA Society of the UK.

Register of Interests

Clive is an independent director of National Grid Gas plc and of National Grid Electricity Transmission plc, and a member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. He is a former Board member of the Environment Agency, where he chaired their pension fund.  He is a past chair of the Confederation of British Industry for the North West of England, and is a former Board Member of a UK Department of State, of a Regional Development Agency, of a Utility Regulator and of the National Museums of Liverpool.

From 1991 to 2009 Clive worked for United Utilities Group plc, most recently as Managing Director of Asset Management and Regulation. Prior to joining United Utilities, Clive qualified as an accountant with ICI and then worked as a management consultant with Deloitte.

Register of Interests

Martin has 37 years’ experience working in Financial Services across Barclays and Lloyds. He has covered a broad range of roles in his career from front line customer service and relationship management through to strategy and transformation and IT and Operational Services both in-house and outsourced. More recently Martin has worked in the 2nd Line Risk Function with group level accountabilities for Operational Risk, Regulatory Compliance, internal risk reporting and external risk disclosures, and significant structural reform programmes driven by regulatory and legislative requirements. 

Martin retired from full time executive roles at the end of 2016. He is currently a non-executive with AQA Education, chairing their Audit and Risk Committee, and is very much looking forward to working with Nest Corporation. His interests include walking, golf and skiing. Martin and his wife Valerie split their time between London and Devon.

Register of Interests

Mutaz is the Chief Executive Officer of Squirrel. Mutaz has extensive financial services experience with a career spanning 20 years both as an investment banker in the US and the UK as well as an established entrepreneur in UK FinTech space.

Prior to founding Squirrel, Mutaz began his career as a fixed-income trader at Morgan Stanley in New York, a published global researcher, lecturer and sales/trader at Credit Suisse in both New York and London, and an account manager at PIMCO’s London practice covering Sovereign Wealth Funds and High Net Worth Individuals in the Middle East.

Mutaz’s educational background includes both a dual degree from MIT in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as well as a Masters in Finance from London Business School. Mutaz also serves on the board of the latter as an alum contributor to the development of LBS’s Master’s program.

Register of Interests

Richard is a Chartered Management Accountant with broad financial experience and extensive knowledge of corporate governance, commercial business partnering, strategic planning, M&A activity and system improvements.

His experience over the last 20 years includes leading financial roles in a number of blue-chip UK retail and consumer product companies, such as Home Retail Group, BAA, Kingfisher, Whitbread and BP.

Register of Interests

In addition to her role at Nest, Karen is Professor of Digital Transformation Design at the University of Brighton and the Professorial lead for Connected Futures research & enterprise, including Digital Economy, Digital Health, Immersive, Simulation & Virtualisation and Complex Systems. As part of this, she is also Academic Lead of the Digital Catapult Centre 5G Brighton project, a named part of the UK Government's 5G Strategy. 

Karen is an internationally recognised expert in user experience design and engineering behaviour change. Her research concerns designing for persuasion, emotion and trust and she specialises in the digital transformation of values and ethical practice. She has a 25 year career in human centred digital design and build with clients including PlayStation, Diesel, ITV, Top Shop, Which?, EY and WhatIf! Innovation. 

Karen has worked in eCommerce, games, health and care, arts and heritage, eLearning, FinTech, military and defence. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Register of Interests

In addition to her role with Nest, Myfanwy was appointed as a Non-Executive Director at The Pensions Ombudsman in May 2021.

Myfanwy is a qualified accountant (CPFA) and her executive career was in public finance. She was Corporate Director of Finance at Harrow Council and, more recently, Managing Director of Corporate Services at the House of Commons. She has experience of leading a wide range of services, including the MPs’ pension scheme and the Local Government Pension Scheme, strategic planning, people, and portfolio management.

Myfanwy now works as a Non-Executive Director. She is on the board of Ocean Housing, Chair of the Tate St Ives Members Committee, and Treasurer of Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, and Morrab Library.

In all these roles she has significantly improved governance, developed the financial strategy, and championed diversity and inclusion.

In 2018 Myfanwy was awarded the CB.

Sarah is a seasoned non-executive director. She holds board and advisory roles which reflect her experience in financial services, technology, data and digital, government, higher education and international development.

Sarah is a Non-Executive Director of United Trust Bank (UTB), a customer focused specialist lender, and of Local Pensions Partnership Investments, the in-house investment business of the LPP Group which manages over £19.8 billion in assets. She is also a Director of CG Pension Trustees Ltd, the Trustee for the management of Citi (UK) Pension Plans. Sarah is a member of the Board of Advisors of, a US based cloud-native enterprise data catalogue company. Sarah has been a Visiting Executive at the London Business School, and has acted as an independent panel member for US-UK Fulbright Commission and for Cabinet Office Public Appointments. 

Sarah has held two Public Appointments. As a Civil Service Commissioner, Sarah served a five year term, chairing open recruitment competitions for the most senior posts in the Civil Service for HM Government amongst other responsibilities. She was also a two-term Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner. Sarah was previously a Non-Executive Director of Valoot Technologies, a Hong Kong based financial technology company specialising in payments. She was also a member of the Advisory Board of PixelPin Ltd, a technology company which provides businesses with a new authentication service.

Sarah previously enjoyed an executive banking career at Citigroup, managing businesses across developed and developing markets. Most recently, she was Managing Director, Industry Head for the Public Sector for Citigroup’s Transaction Services business for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (GTS EMEA). Here she served as a member of the Executive Committee of GTS EMEA, which directed the $3.6bn regional business. She has worked around the world in Russia, Latin America, Asia and Africa.  

Sarah holds an MBA in Strategic Management from the Wharton School, an MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, a BA in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and The Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma. She is a dual UK-US national.  

Sarah has been recognised as one of ‘100 Women to Watch: The Female FTSE Board Report 2018’, an annual benchmarking report and supplement published by Cranfield University. She is also an Ambassador for Women on Boards UK.

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Nest Corporation annual report

Our annual report outlines what we’ve done over the last financial year.

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How Nest is run

Nest’s Board Members have been selected for their wide range of experience, skills and pensions industry knowledge.

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Board Committees

We have a number of committees, each chaired by a Board Member, which focus on key aspects of monitoring and control. These include audit, risk, investment and remuneration.

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Our policy and procedures

What Board Members do and how their meetings are run are defined in documents called the Nest terms of reference. We’ve also outlined appropriate ethical behaviour in our Board Members code of conduct.

Find out more about our policy and procedures

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The executive team

Day-to-day management of Nest Corporation is delegated by the Board to the executive team.

Find out more about the executive team