Head of Retirement Strategy

Head of Retirement Strategy

Jon has over 30 years’ experience in Life and Pensions, designing and implementing business and technology solutions for the UK’s largest pensions and benefits providers in the face of the many challenges posed by regular legislative change.

What was your background before joining Altus?

I started my career developing and implementing systems for employee benefit consultancies, before specialising in data migration in life and pensions.  Then after a short stint outside of financial services migrating pharmaceutical data, I launched a start-up company which was to have been the pension dashboard before dashboards were a thing.  Things didn’t work out but the experience was valuable and Altus saw the potential in me to turn me into a consultant.

What attracted you to Altus?

The Altus role appealed for a number of reasons.  I was free of any ties at the time so I could literally move anywhere for work, but I’ve always been drawn to the South West.  Altus being based in Bath was a big draw, while a trainee role in consulting meant I could use my pensions expertise while learning an exciting new skillset.

Tell us a bit about your team.

There is noone in the team who I couldn’t go to if I needed help on something.  Altus Consulting is not just a collection of individuals – when our clients hire us they recruit the power of everything we know.  That said, nobody takes themselves too seriously and there are no “egos” to skirt around – this goes from the top down.

What do you do in your role?

In a typical week I will be leading one or two client assignments, directing small teams of consultants to analyse our clients’ needs and recommend solutions.  A lot of what I do is defining changes to how organisations should work, so I get to speak to experts right across clients’ businesses.  Alongside this I might be responding to requests for comment from the financial press, writing blog content and generally helping other colleagues with their requests for help (usually about pensions).

What do you enjoy about working here?

It’s a bit like working lots of contracting work, only better.  There’s more security as a permanent consultant, and whereas a contractor has to keep one eye on the next opportunity, we are bonused for identifying sales opportunities.  If we’re good at that we can influence our own workload, and no two jobs are ever the same. Salary and benefits are generous and there is a very active health and wellbeing committee continuously looking to improve how the company looks after colleagues.

How has your role changed since being here?

I started as a trainee consultant, working alongside Martyn (who is now Consulting Director) on client sites.  At the time about 70% of our work originated from one cornerstone client.  Now we work across 50+ firms in any given year, and I’ve progressed to Principal Consultant, often leading and mentoring new joiners who are just starting out in consulting.  I still love delivery and being the “expert in the room” – Altus recognises that being a top salesman is not the only way to earn promotion.  Of course the pandemic has changed the way we work – our model is hybrid – but I still prefer to be in the office at least some of the time to feed off the energy and ideas of others in the team.

What has made you stay?

Culture is a big part of it.  The Altus culture is one of integrity where everyone is committed to doing the right thing for the client and each other.  The work itself has always been interesting and on occasions pushes me outside of my comfort zone, which has helped me to develop.  Finally, we’re a sociable bunch and enjoy a few drinks outside of work hours – I’ve made some great friends here.

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