Meet the team

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

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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

Education:

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’

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Roger Urwin, Co-founder of the Thinking Ahead Institute

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

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Paul Deane-Williams, Director, Thinking Ahead Group

My career in three bullets:

  • Managed the Institute since 2016
  • Led the global PR programme for WTW’s Investments business from 2002-2016, which included seven years of also leading WTW’s PR function in EMEA
  • Worked in corporate affairs and as communications consultant to the investment, professional services and mining industries since 1995.

Education:

National Diploma in Photography

Relevant memberships:

Harlequins RFC, Kew Gardens, RHS

A fact about me:

Started my career as a professional photographer

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Jess Gao, Associate director | Research, Thinking Ahead Group

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

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Isabella Martin, Senior associate | Research, Thinking Ahead Group

My career in three bullets:

  • Joined Thinking Ahead Institute in early 2022
  • 4 years working in and researching corporate social responsibility, impact investing and impact measurement and management
  • Prior experience working in corporate events, marketing, and sales

Education:

Master of Development Practice (MDP), University of California, Berkeley

A fact about me:

I am passionate about the environment and the power of storytelling and so in my free time I help to run the Climate Crisis Film Festival and Climate Crisis Hub, where we are trying to bridge the gap between knowledge and empowering action

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Isabella Martin headshot

Anastassia Johnson, Lead associate | Research, Thinking Ahead Group

My career in three bullets:

  • 3 years of experience working as a project manager providing environmental research, training and advice services to the food and drinks industry
  • 6 years as research analyst at climate change and environmental data and analytics company providing research, risk assessment and benchmarking services to financial institutions, corporations and governments
  • I joined the Thinking Ahead Institute in 2022

Education:

BSc in Chemistry and Environmental Technology from Tallinn University of Technology

A fact about me:

The topic of my university thesis was “The technology of biodiesel production from rapeseed oil”. I researched first-generation biofuels production and produced transportation fuels from rapeseed oil on a laboratory scale.

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Anastassia Johnson headshot

Jodie Forster, Business Support Specialist | Administration, Thinking Ahead Group

My career in three bullets:

  • Joined Willis Towers Watson in 2019
  • 12 years in financial services sector working in a range of roles within banking, legal, compliance and now Investment.
  • Joined Thinking Ahead Institute in 2021

Education:

National Diploma in Media Studies

A fact about me:

I have a diploma in Canine Behaviour (currently working on my next qualification – Canine Communication) & I am a qualified personal trainer

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Jodie Forster headshot

The Thinking Ahead Institute seeks collaboration and change in the investment industry
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Thinking Ahead Group