Trustee profiles

Tony Ashford

Tony Ashford

Independent Chair

During my career, I held several roles spanning IT, operations and management at Thomas Cook, Midland Bank and HSBC. Towards the end, I was responsible for UK Personal Banking at HSBC.

After I stopped working full-time, I took on a number of non-executive roles, including Chair of the HSBC Pensions Scheme in the UK, as well as non-executive director of both Allied Irish Bank UK and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. I also sat on the board of a small disability charity called the Jubilee Sailing Trust. These roles – including my current position in the Fund – have given me valuable opportunities to work with different organisations, in different industries and alongside different people.

I was appointed as Independent Professional Chair for the Fund in June 2014. My measures of success as both a Chair and a Trustee include leading the Board in improving the Fund’s financial position and giving members clear information so they can make the right choices for them. We’ve improved on both counts over the past few years, thanks to the work of the UK Pensions Team and the Trustee Board.

Neil Bertram

Neil Bertram

Deferred-member Trustee

I left my job of 12 years as Finance Director, Technology at Barclays to embark on a career change. I’m now building a portfolio career made up of non-executive directorships and consultancy roles across different sectors.

I became a Trustee in May 2018. The role appealed to me because of the diverse range of subjects involved, and the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people too – from actuaries and lawyers, to company directors and members themselves.

I'm currently a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

David Bloomfield

David Bloomfield

Pensioner-elected Trustee

I worked as an accountant for Unilever for 38 years — the last 23 in the Financial Group in London. My role increasingly involved being the pensions accounting expert, so I learned a lot about the Fund. Because of that, and because of my interest in my own pension, I decided to stand for election.

I joined the Board in May 2011. Unilever had just announced its plans to close the final salary plan. This gave me a steep learning curve in my role as a Trustee — it was quite an introduction!

In my work as a Trustee, I’m part of two committees: the Appeals and Discretions Committee, and the Audit and Risk Committee.

Beth Farrar

Beth Farrar

Company-appointed Trustee

I joined Unilever in 2013 as part of the Unilever Future Leaders programme, and I’ve been in HR ever since. I'm currently HR Director for Global Beauty and Personal Care, but my previous roles include HR Business Partner for our UK business as well as for Research and Development, Supply Chain and Customer Development.

I joined the Board in February 2020. As someone who’s at a relatively early point in their career, I believe I can offer a different perspective and play an important role in helping to protect the future of the Fund.

I currently sit on the Defined Contributions Committee.

Stuart Hawthorn

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.

As part of my work as a Trustee, I'm a member of the Defined Contributions Committee.

Bill Hodgson

Bill Hodgson

Active-member Trustee

I've been a trade union convenor for over 10 years. I represent people in disciplinaries and grievances, and negotiate with the Company over issues like restructurings, policies and procedures, and pay.

I joined the Board in May 2012. Like a lot of people, I hadn't paid a lot of attention to my pension. But my eyes were opened in 2012 when the changes happened to the Fund. I realised how valuable it was, and this made me want to get involved.

I'm the Chair of the Appeals and Discretions Committee, as well as a member of the Investment and Funding Committee.

Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

Company-appointed Trustee

I worked in various roles in finance in Unilever for nearly 30 years — 12 of those abroad, including as the National Finance Director in South Korea.

I accepted the Company’s offer to become a Trustee in September 2013. At that time part of my work was in pension review, which made me appreciate the role of the Trustee Board and how important it was for pensions to be properly governed.

I've sat on all three committees during my time as a Trustee and am currently a member of the Defined Contributions Committee.

Charles Nichols

Charles Nichols

Company-appointed Trustee

I worked at Unilever for 31 years, taking on a variety of roles including Treasurer and Group Controller. In January 2016, I retired and joined the Board.

As a pensioner myself, my first thought on seeing the Board in action was one of gratitude. It was reassuring to know that my own pension is in the hands of such a professional, knowledgeable and committed team.

As part of my Trustee work, I'm currently Chair of the Investment and Funding Committee.

Matthew Powell

Matthew Powell

Active-member 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. So, when the Company asked me to become a Trustee, I was pleased to accept.

As part of my Trustee role, I'm currently Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Roger Reed

Roger Reed

Company-appointed Trustee

I currently work as an HR consultant, but I worked in supply chain and HR roles at Unilever before leaving in 2009. After I left, the Company asked if I’d like to become a Trustee and I joined the Board in June 2010.

The learning curve when you join is steep, and you’re soon in the thick of complex issues. Taking on the position of Chair of the Defined Contributions Committee has been especially challenging, but interesting and enjoyable too. I’m also a member of the Investment and Funding Committee.

Chris Winn

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.

I sit on two committees: the Appeals and Discretions Committee and the Defined Contributions Committee.