Trustee profiles

UUKPF Trustee

Virginia Holmes

Independent Chair

I started my career in investment management, and through this became involved in UK pension schemes. I’ve previously worked with the Universities Superannuation Scheme and the Railways Pension Scheme. Most recently, I completed a five-year term as Chair of the two British Airways Defined Benefit pension schemes.

I was appointed Chair of the Board in June 2022. As a Board our mission is deceptively straightforward: to pay the right benefits to the right people at the right time. And we strive towards this mission even if we operate in a complex world that’s full of economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

I’m confident your Trustees, guided by a strong set of values, will embrace the challenges ahead.

UUKPF Trustee

Alex Aquino

Active-member Trustee

I have worked in the Supply Chain at Unilever for 17 years - currently in the Global Engineering team. Before that, I worked in various roles in factories, research and development, and in the construction industry.

I have long been interested in pensions and how important they are to people’s futures. It was partly this interest that led me to become involved in the last two pension consultations — an experience that helped to build my knowledge of the Fund and pensions in general. During these consultations, I valued the opportunity to shape the best outcome.

I joined the Board in May 2021. I have always enjoyed working as part of a team, so I’m looking forward to working alongside my fellow Trustees to help represent the Fund’s members.

UUKPF Trustee

Catherine Stromdale

Deferred-member Trustee

I worked as a solicitor in Unilever’s Legal team for over 10 years. I left to join Nomad Foods Group, looking after European frozen food brands such as Birds Eye, Iglo and Findus.

I joined the Board in May 2022. I have many fond memories of working for Unilever, so it’s exciting to be involved with the company again. I’ll be using my legal training and commercial skillset to help make sure we’re making the right decisions for the Fund and for members.

UUKPF Trustee

Laura Davies

Company-appointed Trustee

I currently work as Finance Director for Transformation Projects in Uniops. That’s the part of Unilever that’s focused on capabilities, technology, and employee and stakeholder experience. Before that I had been Investor Relations Director, Global Finance Director across Nutrition and Personal Care, and Global Controller for the Pepsi Lipton Joint Venture.

I have been on the Board before, in 2017-2018. I stepped down when I moved to a role in Unilever that posed a potential conflict of interest to my role as a Trustee. When I found myself in a non-conflicting role, I was delighted to be able to put myself forward to be a Trustee again, and re-joined the board in June 2023.

I’ll be bringing my 20 years of experience in finance, strategic investment decisions and operations across Unilever to the Board.

UUKPF Trustee

Stuart Hawthorn

Company-appointed Trustee

I started my finance career in Unilever back in 1997 and have held various managerial roles since then. I’m currently working as Corporate Supply Chain Finance Director, working with the Divisional SC teams.

I joined the Board in 2018. As a member of the Fund for over 20 years, I was keen to join and play my part in safeguarding it for the future.

UUKPF Trustee

Ian Lawrence

Company-appointed Trustee

I joined Unilever in September 1980 as part of the UK audit team. Since then I’ve held lots of different roles, like Head of Mergers & Acquisitions and Chief Financial Officer of Unilever UK. After nearly 40 years of working for the company, I retired as Deputy Chief Auditor at the end of 2022.

I joined the Board in April 2022. I’ll be using my background in audit to make sure we’re managing our risk well, and making great decisions to protect the Fund’s future.

UUKPF Trustee

Thomas Lingard

Active-member Trustee

I joined Unilever in 1999 as a trainee in IT and finance, before moving to corporate affairs and sustainability. In my current role, I work on projects relating to climate change, the environment, and sustainable development. In 2016, I used my knowledge in this space to help the Unilever UK Pension Fund start to integrate climate risk thinking into their investment approach.

I joined the Board in May 2021. I was keen to become a Trustee because pensions are hugely important, but for many people they can be complicated and confusing. I’m especially interested in working with the Trustees to make it easier for members to find out more about how their money is invested, and the options that are available to them.

UUKPF Trustee

Matthew Powell

Company-appointed Trustee

I've worked in various roles at Unilever, and I currently work as a Corporate Audit Director. My team’s job is to reassure the Company that the key risks are understood and being managed effectively.

I joined the Board in July 2019. I’d always known pensions were important, but the changes to the Fund made me think more deeply about how the changes will affect not just me, but other Fund members and our families.

UUKPF Trustee

John Cryer

Pensioner-elected Trustee

I joined Unilever in 1973 as an Electrical Apprentice. I spent all my working career at Unilever, mostly at Port Sunlight with brief spells at Warrington. I also led a team of European Electrical Engineers working to improve electrical safety and share best practices across our European sites. I finished my career managing the Port Sunlight site from an electrical perspective as well as managing the Site Services team.

I served as an active member of the trustee board for over 3 years until I retired in December 2018. I joined the Board again as a pensioner-elected trustee in May 2023.

I've always been passionate about supporting people with their retirement. I feel very privileged to be a part of the Board and to continue to be able to help members as a pensioner-elected trustee.

UUKPF Trustee

Chris Winn

Pensioner-elected Trustee

My Unilever career spanned three decades and several different roles, including in HR, IT, and as PA to a main Board member.

I joined the Board in May 2019. Part of the reason I joined was because I'm interested in helping people feel confident about their pensions. It’s a subject many people feel nervous about, and as Trustees it’s our job to help build members’ confidence in making decisions that will affect their future.