Who we are
With offices in Basingstoke, Leeds, Manchester, Peterborough and Tonbridge, First
Actuarial offers a local service, nationally. We have no external shareholders and
are owned and managed by our 9 founders, all of whom are qualified actuaries with
many years' pension consulting experience. Brief profiles of our founders, partners and directors are given
Michael is a qualified actuary with 20 years’ experience in the pensions field.
He advises trustees of defined benefit schemes in his capacity as Scheme Actuary,
as well as employers in relation to benefit design, funding negotiations, liability
management and accounting for pension costs. He is appointed as a professional trustee
to a scheme based in Derbyshire. Michael jointly manages the
Leeds office and has responsibility for company secretarial matters.
Away from work, Michael is a keen skier and also enjoys the occasional round of
golf, mountain biking, photography and driving fast cars, in the vain hope that
this will keep him looking younger for longer.
David has worked in the pensions field since graduating in 1991, qualifying as an
Actuary in 1995. David holds a number of Scheme Actuary appointments spread across the UK.
David helps manage the Leeds office and is
responsible for the national financial management of the firm. When not thinking
about pensions, David spends his time being run ragged by his two children or catching
up with all things sporting. David is an avid sports fan, and tries to stem the
onset of middle age with the occasional game of tennis, badminton or golf.
Chris started his actuarial career in 1992 and is a qualified Scheme Actuary in
our Tonbridge office.
Chris jointly runs the office and is also responsible for Operations within the
The majority of Chris’ clients are ongoing where Chris holds the Scheme Actuary
appointment and focuses on providing actuarial and general pensions advice in an
easy to understand way.
Chris also regularly speaks, as a guest speaker, at lawyer seminars on topical actuarial
Outside of work, Chris enjoys keeping fit in the gym and learning to play the piano.
Mark Riches is a qualified actuary who first started out in the pensions industry
straight from University in 1990. Mark jointly runs the
Leeds office of First Actuarial and is responsible for business development.
He acts as Scheme Actuary to some 15 schemes and also advises a similar number of
employers on their defined benefit schemes. Mark heads up our team specialising
in advising Universities about their pension commitments and will speak on pensions
wherever anyone will listen.
Outside work, Mark enjoys going to the gym to get fit (rather than to keep fit),
is learning to play tennis and also to speak Spanish. All of this is to fill the
gap in his life left by the current decline of Middlesbrough football club. Still,
"El Boro poderoso puede levantarse de nuevo" as they might say in Spain.
Hilary Salt is a qualified actuary, runs the Manchester
office of First Actuarial and is our Senior Actuary.
Her work covers traditional actuarial consultancy including acting as a Scheme Actuary
advising the trustees and advising employers on their final salary schemes. She
also acts as an independent trustee.
In addition, Hilary works extensively with trade unions assisting in collective
bargaining situations, running training courses and advising on the pension schemes
run by trade unions themselves.
Hilary has written for a number of pension scheme publications and is a regular
speaker at conferences.
Peter jointly manages the Basingstoke office.
He holds a Scheme Actuary certificate and advises both employers and trustees about
the management of their pension schemes. Many of his recent projects have related
to helping employers manage the risks associated with their pension schemes.
He also leads the First Actuarial Social Housing
team and is a regular speaker at National Housing Federation and other events.
Peter graduated from Cambridge University in 1991 with an honours degree in pure
mathematics and started his actuarial career with Towers Perrin in the same year.
He set up his own firm in 1999 and co-founded FIrst Actuarial in 2004.
Away from work Peter enjoys flying, golf and is closely involved with his local
church. He is also a keen amateur astronomer.
Alan Smith is a qualified actuary with 30 years’ pension experience and runs our
Peterborough office.Alan helped found First Actuarial, in 2004.
Alan chaired the Institute of Actuaries Wind Up seminars in 2003 to 2005 and spent
two years on the Pension Board’s Current Issues Committee. Alan now acts as a Principal
Pensions Lecturer on the Institute of Actuaries Professionalism Courses for newly
As well as acting as Scheme Actuary to a number of schemes Alan has extensive experience
in advising employers on their pension strategy and has clients in the private and
not for profit sectors.
Outside work, Alan enjoys the theatre and martial arts.
James Smith is one of the founders of First Actuarial and jointly manages the Tonbridge office. James is a Fellow of the
Institute of Actuaries and advises trustees and employers with a range of final
salary and money purchase schemes.
James is a consulting actuary primarily in the occupational pensions field, where
he specialises in consulting for smaller and medium sized companies. James has a
particular experience in winding-up pension schemes.
James is the chairman of the NAPF South East Group, a speaker for the NAPF on investment
strategy and chairs the Institute of Actuaries’ seminars on winding-up pension schemes
Outside of work James likes to play squash (reasonably well) and golf (reasonably
Keith qualified as an actuary in 1986 and is based in our
Basingstoke office. He has held senior management positions with both consultancies
and insurance companies and is a Scheme Actuary.
For most of his working life, Keith has helped both trustees and sponsoring employers
to understand the finances of their pension arrangements and to manage the associated
risks. Keith’s clients really appreciate the fact they can understand his advice!
In addition to working with his clients, Keith is a frequent speaker at seminars,
including those run by the Actuarial Profession. He is also a former member of the
Society of Pensions Consultants’ Personal Pensions Sub-Committee.