Aon Broker John Baines Recognized as a 2019 Employee Benefits Power Broker

John Baines, FIA, FFA
Aon, Birmingham, UK

John Baines, Partner, Aon

When PA Consulting considered a buyout on its billion-pound UK pension scheme in late 2017, a consultant told the company it was £150 million and a decade away from securing an insurance deal. “The numbers looked bleak,” said Dan Baker, pensions manager.

John Baines disagreed. “He looked at the insurance industry’s pipeline and saw a lot of appetite for our deal,” Baker said. Baines ran a few exercises to persuade the skeptics, including Baker, and concluded that £850 million was realistic and achievable in the short term.

The scheme’s 2,000 members now enjoy more secure pension benefits, and the company saves more than £100 million in premiums. “He looked at the problem a different and creative way,” said Baker.

In 2015, the Kingfisher PLC Pension Scheme was pleased with Baines’s team’s handling of a medical underwriting buy-in — a risk transfer insurance mechanism — and when market conditions were again competitive for another buy-in, the trustees reengaged him for a £230 transfer, completed in January 2018.

“Baines and his team delivered again,” said Dermot Courtier, head of group pensions.He said Baines read the market timing accurately, negotiated pricing and completed the transaction in a remarkable four to five weeks. But what distinguished him were his extraordinary communications skills.

“Insurance isn’t the trustees’ day job,” Courtier said.

All 2019 Power Broker Winners

2019 Employee Benefits Power Broker Winners and Finalists

What is a Power Broker?

A Risk & Insurance Power Broker® is an individual who stands out among their peers for the exceptional client work they delivered over the past year. While brokers play many key roles in the insurance industry and risk profession, a Power Broker® award recognizes problem solving, customer service and industry knowledge.

Our goal is to broadly recognize and promote outstanding risk management and customer service among the brokerage community.

Who selects the winners?

Power Brokers are selected by Risk Managers based on the strength of the testimonials they provide to a team of 15 Risk & Insurance editors and writers.

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance