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About The Thinking Ahead Institute

The Thinking Ahead Institute seeks collaboration and change in the investment industry for the benefit of savers.

The mission and vision of Willis Towers Watson’s investment business specifically calls on us to serve the wider needs of society and not just those of our clients and our people. The Thinking Ahead Institute aims to ‘change investment for the better’ which will benefit all participants.

The Thinking Ahead Institute was established in January 2015 by Tim Hodgson and Roger Urwin, who have dedicated large parts of their careers to advocating and implementing positive investment industry change. It is a global not-for-profit innovation hub made up of engaged institutional asset owners and service providers committed to changing and improving the investment industry for the benefit of the end saver. It has over 40 members around the world, who pay an annual subscription, and is an outgrowth of the Thinking Ahead Group which was set up in 2002. 

The Institute aims to: 

  • Build on the belief in the value and power of thought leadership to create positive change in the investment industry 
  • Find and connect people from all corners of the investment world and harnesses their ideas
  • Work to bring those ideas to life for the benefit of the end saver.

It does this by identifying tomorrow’s problems and investment solutions through:

  • A dynamic and collaborative research agenda that encourages strong member participation through dedicated working groups
  • A global programme of events including seminars and key topic meetings, webinars and social events
  • One-to-one meetings between Institute member organisations and senior representatives of the Thinking Ahead Group.

These solutions fall into three overlapping areas:

  • Better investment strategies
  • Better organisational effectiveness 
  • Enhanced societal legitimacy.

The Institute has a governance board comprising both Institute members and Thinking Ahead Group representatives. 


Joining The Thinking Ahead Institute

The Thinking Ahead Institute seeks support from, and collaboration with, like-minded organisations to achieve the aim of better serving the end investor. In asking for financial support, the Institute and Willis Towers Watson understand the need to steward it responsibly. The Institute pledges that while Willis Towers Watson is a major sponsor, it will not make a profit from members' financial contributions, and commits to providing transparency to satisfy members that is the case. The membership currently comprises 45 asset owners and service providers with collective responsibility for over US$12 trillion worth of assets and includes:  

Asset owners
AMP Capital, Aptitude Investment Management, BT Financial Group, Compagnia di San Paolo, DHL Group Retirement Plan, FirstRand, First State Super, Future Fund, HSBC, Intel Corporation, LGIA Super, Local Pensions Partnership, National Employment Savings Trust, Oak Pension Asset Management, Old Mutual Group, OPTrust, Pensions Caixa 30, Pensioenfonds PGB, QIC, QSuper, Railways Pension Trustee Company and TCorp.

Service providers
Affiliated Managers Group, Amundi Asset Management, AXA Investment Managers, Baillie Gifford, BlueBay Asset Management, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Coronation Asset Management, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Epoch Investment Partners, Fidelity Investment, Global Thematic Partners, Investec Asset Management, Lansdowne Partners, MFS International, PGIM, Public School & Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri, S&P Global, State Street Global Advisors, Wellington Management International and Willis Towers Watson. 

The subscription year runs from 1 January to 31 December of each calendar year. For details about the subscription rate for Institute membership and any other details, please contact:

Paul Deane-Williams, Director, Thinking Ahead Institute

For further information please download our brochure.

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Thinking Ahead Institute




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