A dedicated defined benefit team to focus on you

We know that implementing defined benefit pensions risk management solutions can be complex and we recognise that specialist experience and knowledge is a critical requirement. That’s why we have a dedicated DB business unit to deliver our defined benefit proposition.

Read about our DB management team and their experience. From a standing start in 2012, they’ve completed over 200 transactions. So you can rely on their track record of expertise and experience to do what’s right for you and your members.

Tim Coulson - Director of DB Solutions

Tim has built and leads our dedicated DB de-risking team.

A qualified actuary, he’s one of the most experienced individuals active in the de-risking market. He joined Prudential’s bulk annuity business in 2000, was part of the team that established Paternoster and developed the longevity offering for UBS.

Since his appointment in 2012, Tim has built the dedicated DB business unit with a mission to be the provider of choice for small to medium transactions. We’re achieving this by providing innovative solutions like DB partnering and expert administration.

Outside work Tim is a keen road cyclist and has represented Great Britain at elite amateur events in Europe.

Rob Mechem – Director of DB Business Development

Rob leads the business development, transition and marketing teams. His team are the initial point of contact for trustees, their advisers and our clients. You can read about the members of this team on our website.

He joined Aviva in 1998 and led their bulk annuity pricing team prior to joining Just in 2014.

A qualified life insurance actuary, Rob’s actuarial expertise helps ensure we’re asking the right questions to focus our expertise so we maximise value for trustees and advisers.

Rob views transition as an extension of the new business process, so the tender and transition process to true-up are controlled by his team. He’s active in the pensions media ensuring trustees understand the importance of rigorous preparation of their member data before approaching the market, especially if they’re smaller schemes.

Outside work Rob is a keen marathon runner.

Phillip Sturgess - Director of DB Commercial

 Phillip Sturgess

Phil leads our proposition and pricing team. Prior to joining, he held a number of senior actuarial roles at de-risking specialist Lucida covering pricing, longevity and reporting. He has also worked at Guardian, Milliman and Aviva in roles that often had an annuity focus.

The proposition team are responsible for product innovations in response to trustee and adviser needs. For example, the team completed our first DB Partnering transaction in early 2020 and have recently enhanced our deferred member proposition to strengthen our buy-out capability in response to demand from trustees.

The pricing team manage development of quotations and when we’re appointed, they calculate the ‘true-ups’ that are required.

Outside work Phillip enjoys a range of sports including snowboarding, golf and running.

Laura Pertile - Head of DB Operations

Laura leads our operations and administration functions. Prior to joining in 2020, she held senior operations roles at Equiniti, was head of customer services at Retirement Advantage and worked at L&G.

Following completion of the transition process, her team deliver a comprehensive package of ongoing support including managing the monthly payment cycle at buy-in, the implementation of buy-outs and the management of our administrator Mercer.

Outside work Laura enjoys sailing, travelling and cooking having discovered a recent passion for gardening.

Heather Vaughan - Director of DB Operational Developments and Strategy

 Heather Vaughan

Heather joined us in 2012 to establish our operations and administration functions, handing-over to Laura in 2020.

Prior to joining she held senior operations roles at Prudential, Paternoster and Rothesay Life.

She has extensive industry experience in managing pension schemes of all sizes and has managed operations for 200 transactions at Just, ensuring a great experience for our trustee and individual policyholders.

As more schemes approach their end-games, her current focus is to deliver scalability at the same time as maintaining service quality.

Outside work Heather enjoys travelling, skiing and mountain biking.

Suhasini Gunasena - Lead Legal Counsel, DB


Suhasini joined in 2015 and leads our specialist DB legal team.  

She has significant pensions experience gained from top tier law firms including Allen and Overy, Freshfields and Mayer Brown.

Her team have specialist expertise in the complex legal issues surrounding de-risking and so they’re able to identify the legal requirements of each transaction early on, allowing us to manage any issues quickly and bring contract negotiations to a swift conclusion.

Outside work Suhasini enjoys travelling, theatre and ballet.

Asset Sourcing and Investment Team

This team support DB Solutions by investing the premiums from bulk annuity transactions and managing the assets.

They are responsible for asset sourcing, asset allocation decisions and the operation of our £22bn annuity asset portfolio to meet the requirements of Solvency II. They help ensure we can meet our liabilities to policyholders whilst delivering returns that enable us to offer attractive bulk annuity pricing to trustees.

Our portfolio of investments are selected and managed against a set of ESG criteria to ensure they’re sustainable which is important given the relatively long duration of DB liabilities.