Our Management Team

Jon Taylor - Managing Director

Jon Taylor, Ascentric Managing Director

Jon Taylor became Managing Director of Ascentric in January 2015.

He joined Royal London’s executive team in July 2013 as part of the acquisition of CIS, the Co-op’s life insurance business. He held a number of roles within the Co-operative Group, including Head of IT Strategy, Director of Business Transformation in the General Insurance Business, and latterly CEO of Royal London (CIS) and Chair of Royal London Unit Managers (CIS).

Before joining the Co-op Jon held the position of Principal in IBM's Consulting Group, and previous to that held a lectureship in Computer Science at the University of Manchester.

Jon has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.

Heidi Johnson - Finance Director

Heidi Johnson - Ascentric Finance Director

Heidi joined Ascentric in July 2016 as Finance Director. She is responsible for the financial performance and control of the company, and oversight of the company's compliance with the FCA's CASS regulations.

Before joining she was a Director in PwC’s London Assurance practice covering statutory audits, control reporting and CASS audits within the asset management industry (including traditional wealth and asset managers, private equity managers and pension schemes).

Heidi has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Sheffield and is a Chartered Accountant with ICAS.

Justin Blower - Head of Sales

Justin Blower, Ascentric Head of Sales

Justin joined Ascentric in November 2014 to head up the Business Development function and was subsequently promoted to Head of Sales in April 2015. He is responsible for both intermediated sales on the Ascentric platform as well as managing institutional partners.

Justin has over 15 years’ experience within the Financial Services sector working for both financial planning businesses and wrap platforms. Before joining Ascentric, Justin was at AXA Wealth for 12 years where he held roles in Compliance, Finance and Sales.

Justin has a degree in Economics and Geography from the University of Portsmouth.

Mike Brakes - Chief Information Officer

Mike Brakes, Ascentric Chief Information Officer

Mike joined Ascentric as Chief Information Officer in July 2016 assuming responsibility for the Information Technology and Change functions as part of an alignment with the Group Technology and Change function within Royal London.

He spent his early career in the aerospace and industrial control software industries before switching to financial services IT in 1991.

Since then he has worked for several of the major institutions in the UK including ING Barings, Aon, RBS, and Direct Line, while most recently he was CIO of Allied Irish Bank in Dublin.

Gary Clapham - Programme Director

Gary Clapham - Programme Director

Gary transferred to Royal London from the Co-operative Insurance Society, where he was Commercial Director, on the back of the 2013 acquisition. Prior to CIS, Gary held a range of roles including director of a partnership development specialist; and he has worked with / in multiple financial services companies including: Prudential, Aviva, M&G and Bank of Ireland over too many years!

Since joining Royal London Gary initially looked after Strategic Partnerships before taking on the Head of Operational Risk role prior to taking on the Accelerator Programme Director challenge.

Andy England - Head of Risk & Technical

Andy England, Ascentric Head of Risk & Technical

Andy joined Ascentric in April 2016 and is our Head of Risk & Technical. He is responsible for ensuring the business has robust processes in place for identifying and managing risks, and that our products are designed and operate in line with regulatory requirements.

Andy has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 25 years. He began with Allied Dunbar, which subsequently became Zurich Insurance. Andy took on the responsibility for developing and implementing Zurich UK Life’s first coordinated IT risk management framework.

In his last role for Zurich, Andy headed their Risk Business Partnering team, in which he was responsible for implementing a new risk management system.

Sarah Lyons - Head of Marketing

Sarah Lyons, Ascentric Head of Marketing

Sarah joined Ascentric in 2014 as Head of Marketing, and is responsible for our proposition, all communications, our digital strategy and working with our advisers to ensure we understand them well and continue to deliver market leading services that meet their needs.

Sarah has worked in financial services for over 20 years, predominantly in investments and pensions. She was part of the original proposition team that built AXA’s Elevate platform and also led the communications team for the platform for a number of years.

Sarah is a Biological Science graduate and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

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