There are currently 6 directors on the board of Ensign Retirement Plan Trustees Limited, the corporate trustee of Ensign, whose sole purpose is to govern Ensign in accordance with its Trust Deed and Rules. Three directors represent our members and three directors represent the employers that participate in Ensign. This ensures that the Trustee acts in the best interests of its members whilst also taking into account the needs of its employers.

All directors are also non-affiliated, meaning they have been appointed via an open and transparent process and are independent of any business which provides advisory, administration, investment or other services to Ensign.

The directors come from a range of backgrounds and experience, bringing a wide range of skills and expertise to the Board.

Rory Murphy

Rory Murphy

Chair, Employer Representative

“Auto enrolment means more people have a pension, but not necessarily a good one. By educating members as early as possible and putting control back into their hands, schemes and employers alike need to do their bit to ensure employees are heading towards secure, comfortable retirements.”

Rory is Chair of Ensign and an Employer Director, having been appointed as a Trustee Director in May 2015. We are proud to have Rory on our Trustee Board. He is one of the emerging figures in the pensions industry, and is a well-known voice championing the improvement in quality standards and performance of pension trustees and the funds they represent.

As Chair of two maritime industry pension schemes, the MNOPF and the Ensign Retirement Plan, Rory is experienced in the challenges facing trustees with both defined benefit and defined contribution pension provision. He has also fulfilled roles on the trustee board of four other pension schemes over the past three years.

Outside of pensions, Rory advises companies in understanding, engaging, consulting and negotiating with trade unions and their employees, helping them to develop and implement strategy. He provides training and mentoring, working in conjunction with company HR teams to complement their existing resources.

As a former trade union General Secretary Rory has over 30 years’ experience across the public and private sectors in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Mike Jess BEM

Mike Jess BEM

Vice-Chair, Member Representative

“Planning for the future can be daunting, especially if you’re a seafarer. Research has shown seafarers are still among the least visible of UK workforces and face many challenges unique to their occupation. But help is at hand. A good, affordable pension plan geared to your sector is a step in the right direction.”

Mike is Ensign’s current Vice-Chair and has been nominated by members to champion the interests and challenges facing today’s UK maritime professionals. He joined the Trustee Board in May 2015.

He has also served as a member-nominated trustee of the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund since 2011 and its Vice-Chair from September 2014. He has also fulfilled the role of trustee director on the trustee board of three other pension schemes over the past three years.

Mike is committed to improving working conditions for seafarers and for those who have retired or fallen on hard times. He is Senior Policy Adviser of Nautilus International (and former Assistant General Secretary), Director of the Seafarers Hospital Society and former Secretary of The Nautilus Welfare Fund. He is also a former Trustee Director of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and Maritime Charities Funding Group, and former Chair of the Maritime Education Trust. Mike has been with Nautilus since 2001, before which he held a range of senior HR and management development posts in both the private and public sectors.

Mike was awarded the British Empire Medal in 2017 for his contribution to seafarer welfare services.

Mark Dickinson

Mark Dickinson

Member Representative

“So much good work is being done to champion the rights and interests of the UK maritime industry; looking after the needs of our seafarers when they retire is an essential part of that mix. Being a seafarer doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of a stable, high-quality pension scheme.”

Mark has been an Ensign Trustee Director since August 2015. Having been nominated by members, Mark has a keen eye on seafarer welfare, which is just as well really given he is also General Secretary of Nautilus International, Director of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and Director of Seafarers UK.

He makes it his business to ensure maritime pensions are fit for purpose for members. In addition to his role on the Ensign board, he was also appointed to the trustee board of the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund in 2001 and has served as a trustee director on the trustee board of three other pension schemes over the past three years.

John McGurk

John McGurk

Employer Representative

“Employers face many challenges when it comes to pensions, which can pose a serious drain on internal resources. Yet employers can find it hard to let go of their in-house schemes. Ensign is rooted in the maritime industry, meaning it has the best interests of members, your employees, at heart.”

John has been a Trustee Director for Ensign since July 2015. He was nominated by fellow maritime employers to fulfil the role of Employer Director, looking out for the needs of the organisations we serve and ensuring our plan does what it says on the tin.

He has also served as a trustee director on the trustee board of four other industry-wide pension schemes.

John is currently Head of Pensions at Maersk Company Limited, a position he has held since 2005. John has extensive experience of both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes, as pensions manager and as a trustee. Prior to his work at Maersk, John was Pensions Manager for P&O from 1986 to 2004.

Val Milne

Val Milne

Employer Representative

“Pension schemes help members build financial security in retirement over their working lifetime, a goal worth being part of. Many employers today are willing to support their staff by providing a well-managed pension arrangement. I am sure one day you’ll be pleased you did.”

Val joined the Trustee Board in March 2020, having been nominated by fellow maritime employers to fulfil the role of Employer Director. Val has extensive knowledge of the maritime industry and is Group Pensions Manager at Associated British Ports.

Val also has extensive experience of serving on pension trustee boards, also holding the position of Trustee Director for the Associated British Ports pension scheme, the Pilots’ National Pension Fund and the MLC Pension Scheme. She is also a former Trustee Director of the Port Employers and Registered Dock Workers Pension Fund and the SCT Pension Scheme.

Val is also a Fellow with the Pensions Management Institute.

Olu Tunde

Olu Tunde

Member Representative

“We all worry and face various challenges as we age, and pensions is right up there. What a relief it is for our seafarers to know that they are part of a well-run pension scheme that’s managing their investment for the future. Ensign is a name that employers and members can trust.”

Olu joined the Trustee Board in March 2020. Olu was nominated by our members and has gained extensive maritime experience in his role as Assistant General Secretary for Nautilus International.

Olu has been a Trustee Director for the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund since 2014 and was formerly Chair of its Audit Committee. His role as Assistant General Secretary for Nautilus International includes oversight of a number of operational responsibilities such as Finance, HR and IT.

The Trustee is supported by a team of pensions professionals who deliver a range of services. This includes our executive and secretariat services provider, Rock Pensions, who look after the day to day running of Ensign:

Andrew Waring

Andrew Waring

Chief Executive

“A pension provider is only as good as its people. As well as our highly experienced Trustee Board, there’s an incredible team of pensions experts working behind the scenes to help deliver on promises to members and support the trustees in ensuring good governance at every turn.”

Andrew is Chief Executive of Rock Pensions as well as Ensign’s Chief Executive.

Andy was previously Chief Executive of the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund (MNOPF) and guided the MNOPF through a series of landmark industry initiatives including innovative investment governance arrangements, cutting edge deficit management and market leading insurance solutions.

Andrew helped to establish Ensign as a new defined contribution scheme available to all employers in the UK maritime sector.

Annabelle Hardiman

Annabelle Hardiman

Director

“We know it’s a challenge for people to contribute to a pension scheme, opting instead to put their money in the bank to save for special purchases. But pensions are a much better investment option than the bank. We all have a responsibility to increase general understanding and engagement around the subject.”

Annabelle is a Director at Rock Pensions has been involved with Ensign since its origins in 2015. She has extensive experience of working closely with participating employers – on-boarding almost all of our current Ensign employers – and has managed several bulk transfers of members and members’ benefits into the scheme.

She also supports the Trustee, ensuring it has all the relevant information, knowledge and understanding to make decisions that are in the best interests of scheme members.

Annabelle managed Ensign’s successful application for Master Trust Authorisation, achieved in September 2019. Annabelle is an Associate of the Pensions Management Institute having gained the Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provisions.

Ivan Laws

Ivan Laws

Director

“Only one in three of us knows what we need for a decent retirement. That’s not good enough. Auto enrolment is only the start of the pensions story. Employers and pension providers alike have a moral responsibility to ensure schemes remain fit for purpose and members know the value and potential of what they’re buying into.”

Ivan is a Director at Rock and has over 30 years’ UK and international pensions industry experience. So, you can guarantee that whatever your issue, Ivan will be able to help.

Ivan is a highly experienced relationship manager, both as a service provider representative at executive level regularly liaising with Trustees, and as a client, managing relationships and contract negotiation with actuarial, legal and technology providers not just here, but previously on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi!

Ivan is a frequent commentator on pensions issues both in the UK media and industry events. He is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and a TPAS Dispute and Complaints Adviser.

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