Words like 'honoured’ and 'awesome' are often overused and, as a result, can lose their meaning. Perhaps no words can express how privileged I feel to be the newly appointed CEO of Thomsons.
What co-founders Michael Whitfield, Chris Bruce and everyone at Thomsons have achieved over the last 17 years is astonishing. They have not only revolutionised employee benefits by creating award-winning technology in Darwin, they have actually created the UK and global market for benefits technology itself. Now combined with Mercer’s world class consulting and broking, we are uniquely placed to accelerate the pace of transformation in benefits technology.
By any measure the acquisition by Mercer has been a huge success, and Thomsons continues to go from strength to strength. Our culture thrives, our products and services are constantly evolving, our clients are winning awards and we have welcomed some of the world’s most respected and admired companies globally as new clients. And it is to all our clients that I feel a great sense of responsibility – we will relentlessly focus on delivering value and insight and never be complacent about our commitment to you.
As I take on the mantle of CEO from Michael – it’s fantastic to know that in his new role as Founder and Chief Culture Architect, he is as committed to the next phase of Thomsons as he has always been. Chris Bruce also continues on our journey with us as one of the most influential and visionary people in the benefits industry. With our CTO Pete Craghill who turns vision into award-winning software, Tina Shah our new CFO with vast experience of scaling businesses, and Tony Anello who succeeds me as CCO, bringing incredible insight to every internal and client conversation, I am surrounded by the most capable, dynamic and fun-loving leadership team imaginable.
I joined Thomsons for two key reasons, both of which I believe in even more now than I did two and a half years ago. Firstly the benefits market is ripe for transformation. My three (nearly grown-up) children will expect their employers to provide an instant, fully technology-enabled experience that they can access anywhere, anytime – and one that’s truly personalised to them and their stage in life. Despite what many employers believe, benefits are not a hygiene factor, they are an investment in people that differentiates their employee value proposition.
Secondly, I love Thomsons’ people and our unique culture – this place feels like home. Thomsons is a company that genuinely lives its values, and the people all ooze our characteristics – we are can-do, brave, dedicated, caring, passionate, fun and PINK (the last one is harder to explain, but anyone who spends a couple of days or more with us will get it). Whether you are an employee, a partner or a client you will experience the difference.
Our vision is to ‘Change benefits. For good’. It sounds like a catchy phrase, but it has a deep-rooted meaning for us. We will change benefits for the good of employers globally, delivering ROI on their investments. We will change benefits for good, in perpetuity – once you have Darwin, our constantly-evolving software, you will never look back. And we will change benefits for the good of employees - people like us. People who want the best for themselves and their families, who want to be healthier, be happy at work and happy at home. That’s a vision well worth pursuing, and I’m delighted to lead Thomsons on our journey to achieving it.