The PPI Team
Chris Curry, Director
Chris Curry is the Director of the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) with overall responsibility for leading and managing the PPI. Chris originally joined the PPI as Research Director in July 2002 and was responsible for the research programme for eleven years. At the PPI Chris has authored and presented a number of research reports analysing pensions (including state, private and public sector pensions), pension reforms and other provision for retirement income. Chris is experienced in presenting research findings to a wide range of audiences and to the media.
Chris started his career as an Economic Adviser at the Department of Social Security (now the Department for Work and Pensions). Work at the DSS included analytical support for the Pension Provision Group, and working on the subsequent Pensions Green Paper published in December 1998.
After working as part of the Poverty and Social Exclusion Team, Chris joined the ABI as Senior Economist in August 2000, where his pension background led to work on the analysis of stakeholder pensions, the Pension Credit and annuities.
Chris has a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Warwick, and an MSc in Economics from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.
Sarah Luheshi, Deputy Director
Sarah Luheshi is the Deputy Director of the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI). She has overall responsibility for the PPI's Research Programme and supports the PPI's Director.
Prior to joining the PPI in January 2015, Sarah spent four years living and working in Singapore. She worked as a management consultant to the insurance industry, mainly leading on projects involving post-merger integration.
Sarah has nearly 30 years experience in the financial services industry which includes extensive international strategic and management consultant experience with Towers Watson and NMG Consulting as well as a number of senior roles within the Guardian Royal Exchange Group. Much of her client work centered around pensions, specifically product development and testing with consumers and distributors.
She has a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Manchester and an MBA in International Business and Corporate Finance.
If you are interested in finding out more about the PPI's current research plans or interested in commissioning research, in the first instance, please contact Sarah.
Danielle Baker, Head of Membership & External Engagement
Danielle is Head of Membership and External Engagement and joined the PPI in February 2014. Danielle is responsible for events, PR and ensuring our members receive continual support and a beneficial and valuable membership experience.
Danielle works closely with the PPI Funding Sub-Committee, to develop and implement a strategy for keeping members informed and up-to-date with PPI developments, and exploring new ways in which the PPI can engage with members. Since joining the PPI Danielle has delivered a new Members Newsletter and developed our presence on social media, including Twitter, Linked-in and Mallowstreet. In July 2015 Danielle also launched our new level of Membership, Associate Membership is designed to engage with smaller DB/DC schemes, LGA’s, Independent Governance Committees and smaller organisations that have an interest in pensions policy. In the coming months Danielle will be working to develop the Members only area of the PPI website.
Prior to working for the PPI, Danielle worked for a Professional Body managing the London Branch, she brings a wealth of experience of supporting members, delivering membership services and developing the membership experience. She also developed a schedule of events delivered to members for circa 100 people.
For events, press related queries or if you are interested in membership and would like to find out how we can support you or you are a current member and would like to share your ideas for enhancing your membership experience, ideas for events, or require information on the current activities of the Institute then please contact Danielle in the first instance.
Maritha Lightbourne, Head of Finance and Operations
Maritha is Head of Finance and Operations and joined the PPI in June 2005. Maritha is responsible for the day to day operational duties of the Institute, accounts and HR. Maritha also works closely with the Board of Council and Senior Management on Governance.
Before joining the PPI, Maritha worked closely with the Management Team in a voluntary youth organisation constructing life skill programmes for youth workshops, managing various projects and youth events within the organisation.
Maritha started her career as a Junior Accounts Assistant at Chrysalis Music while volunteering her time to assist in the administration of a not for profit organisation.
Maritha has a FdA Business and Management qualification from Greenwich University, a NVQ3 in Business & Administration and a NVQ2 in the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians). Maritha is currently studying a MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management with Cass Business School, City University London.
For general enquiries or finance related matters, in the first instance, please contact Maritha.
The Policy Research Team
Daniela Silcock, Head of Policy Research
Daniela is Head of Policy Research at the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI), and she leads the PPI Policy Research team. She is an experienced project manager and also has a wealth of experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative research, writing articles for journals and national press, and presenting to a variety of domestic and international audiences, including radio appearances.
Daniela has conducted research into automatic enrolment, state pension reform, early access to private pensions, international pension trends, and the use of different retirement income products in retirement among other topics.
Daniela originally joined the PPI in 2008 as a Researcher and then a Senior Policy Researcher. In 2012 she left for just under two years to work as a pension specialist at the House of Commons, Work and Pensions Select Committee. Prior to working in research and policy Daniela was a social worker with vulnerable adults and children.
Daniela has an MSc in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics.
Melissa Echalier, Senior Policy Researcher
Melissa joined the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) in October 2012 and led the report writing for the PPI’s research into tax relief for pension saving in the UK. Melissa has since been involved in research around financial education, the single-tier pension, automatic enrolment, the new Budget freedoms and research around regulation and pensions adequacy. She is currently conducting research around value for money.
Prior to working at the PPI, Melissa worked at Action on Hearing Loss where she led a research project around hearing loss in care homes, conducted a literature review around the management of hearing loss and other long term conditions and a review of models of hearing service provision. She was also the organisation’s policy lead on social care.
Prior to this Melissa worked as part of the Social Research Team at the Inland Revenue (now HM Revenue and Customs). Work at the Inland Revenue included the provision of research support to the Revenue Policy Team, and management of research around Self-Assessment. Previously Melissa worked in personal tax at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Melissa has a BA (Hons) in French with International Studies from the University of Warwick, and an MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Surrey.
Sumayya Allam, Policy Researcher
Sumayya joined the PPI in September 2015 as Policy Researcher and supports the policy research team. She is currently working on a survey for IGC's and research on the Local Government Pension Scheme investing in infrastructure.
Prior to joining the PPI, Sumayya graduated from Newcastle University in BSc Biomedical Science. Her interest in the ageing population first stemmed from her final year undergraduate research project at the Centre for Ageing and Vitality at Newcastle University. This provided her with an in depth understanding of the biomedical model of ageing. On completion of this project Sumayya was inspired to seek out an understanding of the social, psychological, cognitive and political aspects of ageing to which she applied and successfully gained admission on the MSc Gerontology course at King’s College London. This course has led her to develop a keen interest in policy relating to pensions.
Jennifer Summers, Policy Research & Admin Officer
Jennifer Summers is the Policy Research and Admin Officer, assisting the research team, the Head of Finance and Operations, and the Head of Membership and External Engagement. She is currently restructuring the Pensions Primer and working on a Briefing Note around behavioural economics.
Prior to joining the PPI in September 2015, Jennifer achieved a first class BSc (Hons) Developmental Psychology degree from University of South Wales in 2014, being awarded the Welsh Branch British Psychological Society Prize for the Best Final Year Dissertation. She also completed a MSc Gerontology degree from King’s College London in 2015.
The Policy Modelling Team
Tim Pike, Head of Modelling
Tim is the Head of Modelling of the PPI responsible for delivering the models and modelling to support the PPI’s current research program.
Tim joined the PPI in July 2015 from Legal and General where he spent nearly ten years contributing to a wide variety of actuarial modelling projects, from financial reporting to annuity pricing.
Tim has an MA (Cantab.) having studied mathematics at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge.
John Adams, Senior Policy Analyst
John has been the PPI’s Senior Policy Analyst since 2008 and he leads the quantitative analysis and modelling research. In his time at the PPI John has worked on a number of PPI modelling projects on public sector pension reform.
In addition John has led on the PPI's research into the role of housing in supporting retirement (which involved developing modelling of tenure and the size of housing wealth in the UK), and worked on research sponsored by AEGON that considered simultaneous reforms to pensions tax relief, state pensions and access to private pensions.
John joined the PPI in 2008 from Hewitt Associates. At Hewitt he worked within the Pensions Actuarial Services team, overseeing the modelling of standard and non-standard pension scheme calculations for the consultants to present to the clients.
Prior to joining Hewitt John worked for the Government Actuary's Department for 8 years in the Occupational Pensions directorate, during which time he designed their investment roll-up model and designed models for the use of other Government departments.
John has a BSc in Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics from Heriot Watt and a Post Graduate Diploma in Actuarial Management from Cass Business School.
Shamil Popat, Policy Modeller
Shamil is a PPI Policy Modeller and joined the PPI in October 2014. Shamil is responsible for using and developing the PPI's suite of actuarial pension models.
Before joining the PPI, Shamil held the position of Actuarial Pricing Analyst at Direct Line Group working with pricing models and undertaking analytical projects for the motor renewals pricing team. Prior to that he worked as an Assistant Researcher at Barclays Corporate.
Shamil has a first class masters in Natural Sciences from University College London and is currently studying for the actuarial qualification.