Our team

Willis Towers Watson Media 

Tim Hodgson
Co-Head of the Thinking Ahead Group

My career in three bullets:
  • Eighteen years of full-time research including twelve years in the Thinking Ahead Group
  • Five years in asset-liability consulting, advising clients, running implemented consulting programmes, doing manager research and general research
  • Five years at asset-only consultant, running portfolios of managers
Education: Master of Arts, Economics, University of Cambridge
Relevant memberships:

Associate of the CFA Society of the UK (old UK IIMR exams)

A fact about me:I am a qualified PADI Divemaster 
Willis Towers Watson Media 

Marisa Hall
Co-Head of the Thinking Ahead Group

My career in three bullets:
  • Eleven years as an investment consultant to asset owners, providing advice on investment strategy, dynamic de-risking, manager selection and liability hedging
  • Joined the Thinking Ahead Institute in October 2016, driven by its mission to improve the investment industry and help secure a sustainable future
  • I am on a number of industry boards and committees, including London Women’s Forum, Investment 20/20 and #talkaboutblack, a powerful movement sponsored by The Diversity Project that aims to improve the conversation on ethnic diversity

CFA UK Level 3 Certificate in Investment Management (IMC)
MSc (Distinction) – CASS Business School, London
BSc (1st class) – University of the West Indies, Jamaica

Relevant memberships: Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (FIA)
A fact about me: My first journal publication was at the age of 14 for a poem that I wrote on plane curves called ‘The Cry of the Parabola’ 
Willis Towers Watson Media 

Roger Urwin
Global Head of Investment Content

My career in three bullets:
  • Twenty-five years as asset consultant, two years as an asset manager
  • Twenty years as leader of investment businesses
  • Thought leadership innovations include three global firsts: the origination of the first target date DC funds (in 1988), the risk budget framework (in 1999) and the governance budget framework for assessing asset owner organisational effectiveness (in 2007)
Education: Masters in Applied Statistics, Oxford University
Relevant memberships:

Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries
Member of the CFA Institute

Willis Towers Watson Media 

Paul Deane-Williams
Director, Thinking Ahead Institute

My career in three bullets:
  • Fourteen years leading the global public relations (PR) programmes for the Investment business, including over six years leading Willis Towers Watson's EMEA PR function
  • Over six years as a corporate affairs / communications consultant to the investment, professional services and mining industries
  • Over a year as the group professional photographer for a large mining house
Education: National Diploma in Photography
Willis Towers Watson Media 

Liang Yin

My career in three bullets:
  • Joined Thinking Ahead Group in November 2007 as a research analyst
  • And stayed ever since…
  • Four years of full-time research at the University of Bath (for my PhD degree)
Education: PhD in finance – University of Bath
Relevant memberships: CFA charterholder

James Price

My career in three bullets:
  • Joined Willis Towers Watson's manager research team in 2006
  • Since then I have researched investment approaches ranging from fund managers that invest in ten stocks based on fundamental company analysis through to quantitative multi-strategy hedge funds investing in all asset classes
  • As well as researching asset managers James works with asset owners helping them construct portfolios or designing bespoke strategies where existing products do not meet an asset owner's needs
Education: MSci Physics - Imperial College London
Nikki Brown head shot  

Nikki Brown
Investment Consultant 

My career in three bullets:
  • Six years within financial services, moving from protection to investments
  • Four years within marketing, specialising in digital marketing
  • A member of the Institute since 2019 
Education: Bachelor of Science in English - University of Kent, Canterbury 
A fact about me:I am a huge fan of camping and try to go every month during the summer
Willis Towers Watson Media 

Jess Gao
Investment Consultant

My career in three bullets:
  • Joined Thinking Ahead Group in July 2011
  • Worked in the International Consulting Group on corporate pension consulting
  • Joined Towers Watson in 2008 as a graduate
Education: Master of Research, The University of Nottingham
Relevant memberships: Student of the Institute of Actuaries
Nicky Cowan 

Nicky Cowan
Assistant to Roger Urwin and Tim Hodgson

My career in three bullets:
  • Joined TAG in 2016
  • Previously worked as a PA for film company actors
  • Has also been a logistics manager with a telecoms company
Education: BSc (Hons) Sports Science, Manchester Metropolitan University
Martin Goss

Martin Goss
Senior Investment Consultant, Head of Client Consulting, Australia

My career in three bullets:
  • My first job, which was a filler between finishing school in the UK and starting university six months later in Australia, was as a calculation clerk in an insurance firm, where I experienced the 1987 crash and its impact on investors desperately surrendering their savings policies at the bottom of the market
  • Post university I spent three years in a life insurance company in the actuarial and management reporting areas
  • In 1996 I saw the light and moved into investment consulting, some manager research but mostly general client consulting, and haven’t looked back since
Education: Bachelor of Economics (Actuarial major) at the University of Melbourne, Masters in Commerce (Actuarial) at Macquarie University, Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance from Finsia
Relevant memberships: Fellow of Finsia
Willis Towers Watson Media 

Andrew Povah
Senior Investment Consultant

My career in three bullets:
  • Andrew Povah is a senior investment consultant with Towers Watson, having joined the firm's Sydney office in 2008. He is primarily involved with advising institutional clients on a range of investment issues including strategic asset allocation, manager structure and selection.
  • Prior to joining Towers Watson, Andrew worked at Aon Consulting both in Australia and the UK for nine years, consulting to a large range of institutional investors including both defined contribution and defined benefit clients.
  • Andrew graduated from the University of Nottingham (UK) in 1999 with an honours degree in Mathematics and qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 2006, specialising in Investments.
Education: Mathematics, University of Nottingham
Relevant memberships: Fellow of the institute of Actuaries, specialising in investment

Related links

  • The Thinking Ahead Institute seeks collaboration and change in the investment industry
  • Learn more about the Thinking Ahead group
    Thinking Ahead Group