Nest Corporation Board Member – Board and Pensions Skills

Body: Nest Corporation
Appointing Department: Department for Work and Pensions
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Regulation
Location: London (Currently working remotely due to Covid 19 restrictions. This will be reviewed alongside changes in the restrictions)
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £19,050 Per Annum
Time Requirements: Approximately 30 days commitment per year


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

New appointments to the Nest Board
Published: 27 July 2021

Sarah Laessig and Myfanwy Barrett have been appointed to Nest’s Board by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Myfanwy Barrett has been appointed with effect from 1 July 2021 and Sarah Laessig from 1 September 2021, for a period of five years.

Appointed for her broad Board and Pensions experience, Sarah Laessig has a portfolio of roles across the public and private sectors. Following an executive career in corporate banking at Citigroup, Sarah is currently a Director of CG Pension Trustees Ltd, a Non-Executive Director of United Trust Bank, a Non-Executive Director of Local Pensions Partnership Investments Ltd (LPPI), part of the LPP Group; and a member of the Board of Advisors of Sarah has served as a Civil Service Commissioner and a Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner. She has also been a Visiting Executive at London Business School.

Myfanwy Barrett CB brings a wealth of experience in finance and audit. She 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 local government pension scheme, strategic planning, people, and portfolio management. In her career as a Non-Executive Director, her focus is on improving governance, developing financial strategy, and championing diversity and inclusion. She has recently joined the board of the Pensions Ombudsman, and sits on the boards of a housing association in Cornwall and various arts organisations, including as Chair of Tate St Ives Members Committee.

In 2018 Myfanwy was awarded the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Companion (CB) for exemplary civilian merit.

Ron Jarman and Ian Armfield have stepped down from the Board on 30 June, following the conclusion of their terms.

Commenting on the new Board composition, Otto Thoresen, Chair of Nest, said:

“Strong governance is key to ensuring good outcomes for our members and the employers who use Nest as their pension scheme.

“Myfanwy and Sarah bring with them many years’ experience in finance and knowledge of the important role a Trustee Board plays in ensuring good governance. I look forward to the depth and breadth of knowledge they will bring to the Board.

“I would also like to thank Ron and Ian for their hard work and dedication during their tenures.”

Date: 27/07/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    29/01/2021 at 17:00

  • Panel Sift

    TBC - Wednesday 10 February 2021

  • Final Interview Date

    TBC - Wednesday 24 March - Thursday 25 March

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) is a workplace pension scheme designed around the needs of employers and workers to support automatic enrolment. Nest offers a high quality, easy to use way to save for retirement and is now the largest defined contribution pension scheme in terms of members. Nest currently has 9.5 million individuals saving with it and it is currently looking after £14.5 billion on behalf of those members.

 Nest Corporation is the Trustee of the scheme and a Public Corporation based in London. Though Nest Corporation is independent from government, it is accountable to Parliament through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Nest Corporation is the Trustee of the Nest scheme. As a public corporation it is independent of government but accountable to Parliament through DWP.


About Nest Corporation

Nest’s Strategy

  • Nest’s strategic priorities

Nest currently has five strategic priorities which describe how it works towards its mission:

Support strong member outcomes

Nest will grow members’ assets sustainably and keep their data safe. Nest will deliver a targeted approach to increasing member engagement, including at retirement, while continuing to ensure that the right retirement options exist to meet their needs.

Deliver a good service to our customers

Nest will deliver a sustainable, high-quality service to all its customers – members, employers and intermediaries such as advisers and payroll providers.

Grow the business, in the right way

Nest will ensure that it has a broad customer base while also remaining fully focused on the needs of its target membership of people on a low to moderate income.

Deliver a sustainable business model

Nest will agree and implement a new approach to service delivery following the expiry of its current scheme administration contract. Nest will maintain a cost-efficient business model to ensure it can repay the loan from government.

Deliver a corporation fit for the future

Nest will develop the corporation to ensure it continues to have skilled and motivated employees, and strong standards of governance and management.

  • What makes Nest, Nest?

In addition to these, Nest has identified six guiding principles that define its member-focused approach and calls these principles the things that make Nest, Nest. They’re threaded into everything Nest does as an organisation.

Built around customers’ needs and behaviours

Nest will build and deliver a product based on research and an expert understanding of the needs and behaviours of its customers – members, employers and intermediaries such as payroll providers and advisers. Nest will use technology and best-in-class communication techniques to engage its customers in a timely, relevant and personal way.

 Excellence in investment practice

Nest will provide excellence in investment practice and governance. Nest designs and oversees expert investment strategies and invests responsibly and sustainably.

Low charges, and open to all employers

Nest uses its scale to keep charges to members as low as possible. Nest ensures the Nest scheme is available for any employer that wants to use it.

Not for profit

Nest aspires to operate as a not-for-profit business over the long term. Once its loan from government has been repaid, Nest’s aim is that any surpluses generated should be reinvested in the interests of its members.

A broader social purpose

Nest is here to help millions enjoy a better retirement. Its responsibility is to its members, but also to a broader population of mass-market savers including those already automatically enrolled as well as anyone who could benefit from saving for retirement but currently falls outside of auto enrolment legislation.

An organisation that lives its values

Nest shows the same level of care to its employees as it does to its customers. It champions the scheme’s values inside the organisation, making Nest a great place to work.

Further information on Nest and Nest’s strategy can be found on the Nest website:


The Role of Nest Board Members

Nest Board Members will be expected to:

  • Contribute to Nest’s Board meetings and discussions, drawing on their field of expertise;
  • Contribute to and review the strategic direction of the Corporation and the scheme;
  • Oversee the performance of the Chief Executive and her team in delivering Nest’s functions efficiently and effectively;
  • Monitor the extent to which the Board is meeting its objectives and targets;
  • Ensure effective reporting of the Board’s activities to the Secretary of State in the annual report;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of Nest’s internal financial controls;
  • Act as a confidante and counsel to the Nest Chair, balancing a challenging approach with being supportive;
  • Contribute through ad hoc involvement with the executive team on specific areas of interest/priority on behalf of the Board;
  • Where appropriate, represent Nest with external stakeholders, and help it build relationships with key private and public sector players;
  • Contribute their own professional experience to guide the development of Nest in a way that is supportive, collegiate and adds value.

Board Members may also be asked to participate in one of the sub-committees of the Board outlined below:

  • Audit Committee
  • Risk Committee
  • Investment Committee
  • Nominations and Remuneration Committee

Information about these sub-committees can be found at


Person Specification

Essential Criteria

All Board Members will be asked to demonstrate top level:

  • Strategic skills, including an ability to analyse complex issues across sectors and industries, maintain independence of view and to guide and facilitate the resolution of complex debates;
  • Influencing and communication skills, including an ability to develop relationships quickly and sustain them when dealing with disparate views and agendas, communicating clearly and effectively to a wide range of audiences to gain engagement and buy-in;
  • Adaptability and pragmatism, including an ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and be comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty;
  • Team working and collaboration skills, including strong focus, perceptiveness and sensitivity to people issues, having had senior level management experience, as well as proven experience working with other Trustees/non-executives, executives and external stakeholders to solve collective problems;
  • Motivation, being pro-active and results orientated, including an energy, drive and resilience to continue to move forward to achieve planned goals, while ensuring everyone is on board. 
  • We are seeking to recruit an experienced Board Member who has operated at Board level and can demonstrate:
  • Specific criteria for the Board member role with Board experience and Pension skills:
  • Strong skills and demonstrable experience operating as a non-executive directorship, with a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities, including the boundaries between Executive and Board Members;
  • Experience of chairing a Board level committee or decision-making governance forum;
  • Clear knowledge and experience of the Defined Contributions pensions sector;
  • Experience in working within financial services at a senior level.


Desirable skills (not essential):

  • Knowledge and experience of public procurement/contract law;
  • Awareness of fiduciary duties;
  • Customer focus and service knowledge and experience;
  • Diversity issues, use of reward and incentives, succession planning; and
  • Willingness to develop knowledge of the environment within which the public sector operates including a good understanding of the role and working of parliament.

As we have set out above, we welcome and encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates.


How to Apply

In order for us to progress your application please submit the following completed documentation:

1. A CV (maximum 2-3 pages) with your education and professional qualifications and full employment history;

2. An accompanying Supporting Statement (maximum 2 pages, font 12.  Please state the post that you are applying for at the top of the statement). This is this is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria set out in this information pack. The initial sift is based on this information so it is important to fully address the criteria. You should aim to provide specific examples that demonstrate how your knowledge and experience matches each of the criteria, and which describe what your role was in achieving a specific result.

Please ensure that you clearly state your full name at the top of your CV and supporting statement;

3. Personal Information Form. Most of the information requested is not seen by the panel assessing your application (though the panel may consider your declaration of interests);

4. Diversity Monitoring Form. Collecting and analysing candidate data will help us to improve our diversity strategy. It will allow us to run more successful recruitment exercises in the future and ensure that competitions are fair for all. This form is not part of the selection process and will be treated in strictest confidence. It will be kept separate from your application and will not be seen by the selection panel.

The closing date for applications is 17:00 hours, Friday 29 January 2021.
Late applications will not be accepted.

Please email your application to:

If you have any difficulty in sending your application or need the application pack in an alternative format (e.g. Braille, large print, audio CD, tape or e-text), please contact the ALB Public Appointments Team.

Personal Information Form (NEST Board and Pensions Skills Board Member)
Diversity Form (NEST Board and Pensions Skills Board Member)
NEST Board Member - Board and Pensions Skills Candidate Pack 2021 - Final
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