05th Nov 2020

20-20 Trustees acquires Steve Southern Trustees Limited in addition to new senior hires

20-20 Trustees, one of the UK’s leading independent trustee firms, is continuing to deliver on its ambitious growth strategy with the acquisition of Steve Southern Trustees Limited (SSTL) and the further recruitment of several leading industry figures.

Founded in 2012, Manchester-based SSTL has become a widely respected and fast-growing professional trustee business, currently supporting over 50 clients including several household names and Fortune Global 500 clients. Steve Southern himself is one of the leading names in the professional trustee world and will materially strengthen 20-20’s impressive brand nationally as well as its pre-eminence in the North.

Steve is accompanied by his talented and experienced team comprising of Rebecca Wood, Catherine Williams and Mark Johnston, who, between them manage a great many of SSTL’s important client relationships.

Steve Southern, Founder of SSTL said: “20-20 Trustees is widely recognised as one of the most innovative and professional trustee firms in the UK. They offer an impressive range of client solutions and the opportunity to join them was one that I welcomed. SSTL has always put professional expertise and exceptional client service at the heart of our offering and that makes 20-20 Trustees a perfect partner.”

The acquisition comes off the back of a number of recent hires made by 20-20 Trustees as they look to cement their position as one of the strongest brands in the UK professional trustee market.

In September, Martin Collins and Adrian Spann joined the team as a Trustee Director and Associate Director respectively. Martin has worked in pensions for 30 years, in a variety of roles and most prominently played a key role in the recovery of Lloyds Banking Group, joining them as a Treasury Director during the global financial crisis. Adrian brings with him more than 10 years of pension industry experience, managing a broad range of issues as in-house scheme secretary of multi-billion pound DB and DC schemes, a leading Master Trust and Independent Governance Committee.

Dana Day also joined the team as Head of Business Development in September. Dana was previously a Business Development Director with Cardano where she spent much of her time working across covenant and investment disciplines to create a compelling integrated risk management proposition for the Cardano Group. At the same time, Sean Richmond joined 20-20 as a Trustee Consultant following previous roles in the administration departments of MyCSP and Isio.

Previously Head of Pensions for Wincanton plc, Stuart Walters joined in October as a Trustee Director. Stuart currently chairs a Trustee Board for the UK’s largest Housing Association and has many years of experience leading trustee service teams and has also successfully represented a corporate trustee on over 40 defined benefit schemes.

Jim Robson, the most recent recruit, joining just last week from his role as Pensions Manager at Boots, brings over 35 years of pensions experience in both consultant and in-house positions.

Commenting on the acquisition and the recent new hires, 20-20 Trustees Managing Director, Naomi L’Estrange, said: “Our growth plans for the year included investing in people to support the organic growth we have achieved over the past couple of years, but to also take advantage of opportunities to grow via acquisition where we felt those businesses complement our dynamic and commercial culture. By acquiring SSTL and with these new hires we welcome some of the finest pension professionals in the UK to our growing team and they will contribute hugely to our continuing growth and success.”

20-20 Trustees’ growth and success has not gone unnoticed in the industry, with the firm winning ‘Independent Trustee Company of the Year’ at this year’s Pension and Investment Provider Awards, ‘Team of the Year’ at the Professional Pensions Rising Star Awards and Trustee Director Julia Yates winning ‘Trustee of the Year’ at the same event.

The team were also finalists for ‘Independent Trustee of the Year’ at the UK Pension Awards and Naomi L’Estrange has been nominated for ‘Trustee of the Year’ and ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the Women in Pension Awards, alongside fellow Trustee Director Aimee Denham who is nominated for ‘Most Inspiring Returner’.