Michael is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) and a Director of Embrace Success Ltd, specialising in the field of coaching and cultural change. He trained with JP Morgan in New York and, after 21 years in investment banking, joined Towers Watson, the actuarial consultants. Subsequently he was responsible for the running of David Cameron’s Economic Competitiveness Policy Group, working with Oliver Letwin, John Redwood and Lord Wolfson (CEO of Next plc). The Group examined some of the main barriers to prosperity, focussing on deregulation, energy, public sector effectiveness, retirement savings and pensions, skills, STEM and transport.
Michael is the author of Don’t let this crisis go to waste (CPS, 2009), in which he proposes a radically simplified State Pension structure and amendments to the (flawed) NEST. This was followed by Simplification is the key (CPS, June 2010), backed by Conservative and Labour peers, which highlights the ludicrous complexity of our pensions and savings arena and promotes the idea of unifying the ISA and pension worlds. The paper goes on to visualise the long term savings Holy Grail, namely a single, unified tax regime for ISAs and all pensions products.
Subsequently Michael focused on the challenge of reforming public sector pensions, with Self-sufficiency is the key (CPS, February 2011), again backed by Conservative and Labour peers. The paper concludes that a pure DC framework is inevitable, after an interim period of (politically palatable) CARE-based DB. This was followed by The £100 billion negotiations, (CPS, September 2011), which describes how the Government is being out-manoeuvred by the unions in the public sector pensions negotiations. It goes on to propose a way forward.
More recently he wrote Pensions: bring back the 10p rebate, and goodbye higher rate relief (CPS, March 2012), and then Put the saver first; catalysing a savings culture (CPS, July 2012), which makes 104 proposals, predominately concerned with how the industry itself could put the saver at the centre of everything it does.