Gerard Francis, FIA
Gerard Francis, FIA
Head of UK Design & Strategic Risk
Schroders Solutions

In addition to being the lead investment advisor to a broad range of fiduciary and advisory clients, Gerard has responsibility for designing investment strategies for pension clients, including:

  • Developing strategic solutions to help clients identify suitable funding and investment objectives that satisfy risk and return constraints over both the short and long-term;
  • Designing investment portfolios that meet these objectives whilst satisfying ongoing governance needs, such as efficiently generating cash to pay member benefits;
  • Setting how portfolios evolve towards Cashflow Driven Investing (CDI) or ‘buyout targeting’ portfolios through the use of integrated de-risking frameworks, and;
  • Helping clients to become ‘transaction ready’ and ultimately buyout with an insurer.

In his previous role Gerard was Co-Head of Clients at River & Mercantile Solutions. He was responsible for the firm’s delivery of services to clients, ensuring appropriate investment strategies are in place, client teams are suitably resourced and high levels of client satisfaction are maintained. In addition, Gerard led the development of the firm’s strategic thinking, particularly around Integrated Risk Management, long-term funding targets and innovative ways to manage risk.

Before July 2019 Gerard was Head of the ‘Retirement & Investment Consulting Group’ at Willis Towers Watson. In that role, Gerard combined being a scheme actuary with responsibility for investment consulting for smaller and mid-sized schemes. This included evolving Willis Towers Watson’s fiduciary management capability into a service that was appropriate for schemes of all size, not just the largest clients. He also developed the firm’s Integrated Risk Management service, bringing together the often competing demands of funding, investment, covenant and liability management to deliver coherent strategies for clients.

Outside of the office, Gerard shares his passion for football and motorsport with his wife and two children