Global business insurance and consulting firm Gallagher has appointed three executive leaders to its Benefits & HR Consulting Division in the UK.

These include Lee Cook, now managing director of pensions administration services, John Deacon, head of corporate consulting, employee benefits, and Vishal Makkar, managing director, UK wealth consulting.

Furthermore, all three names come to the firm through its purchase of Buck in 2023.

Cook, Deacon, and Makkar will draw upon a wealth of knowledge to help expand the business’ expertise in benefits and HR.

The news follows the transition of David Piltz from UK Managing Director at Buck to CEO at Gallagher’s UK Benefits & HR Consulting Division last year, and the recent appointment of Alistair Dornan as Chief Revenue Officer.

Gallagher reaction

“The UK economic environment has changed massively over the last few years, not least decades of high inflation and economic uncertainty driven by uncontrollable global factors. Trustees will depend on robust and clear guidance now more than ever. Whether it’s advice on scheme funding, investment strategy, risk transfer or governance, our consultants offer immense value through their expertise. It was with that in mind that Gallagher acquired Buck, and it is what will propel the business to setting the benchmark on wealth consulting over the coming years,” said Makkar.

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“Gallagher is rightly committed to offering an outstanding customer experience to pension schemes and their associated members. Through our excellent delivery teams, complimented by our suite of digital solutions and our market leading communications teams, we are providing a valued combination of high-quality member engagement and strategic support to pension fund clients. It’s a privilege to lead the team as we rapidly approach 500,000 members who benefit from our leading solutions,” continued Cook.

“In a time where employee retention is an increasingly pressing challenge, companies must not underestimate the value of an employee benefits programme. Steady change management and intuitive benefits design will be key to ensuring employees remain actively engaged with their benefits. At Buck, we built up a considerable client base who trust us to deliver on-time and at a consistent level of quality. The opportunity to take this expertise to my role at Gallagher and to lead strategic thinking on our Corporate Consulting arm is a professional highlight,” added John Deacon.

David Piltz concluded: “As the Buck team officially integrates into the Gallagher family, I’m delighted to welcome my colleagues into the next phase of our growth. Lee, Vishal and John’s leadership skills, work ethic and combined experience will be a welcome addition to the Gallagher team. Each of them offers a vast breadth of expertise that will provide a foundation for our growth as we continue to roll out fresh innovations across our pensions, administration, employee benefits, communications, and workplace culture offerings.”

In addition, Gallagher further expanded its national presence with the acquisition of Florida-based Specialty Risk Management Services and its affiliate, Private Client Insurance Services.  

The consideration paid for the deal was not divulged. 

Specialty Risk Management Services specialises in managing a property insurance programme tailored for businesses in Florida.  

Private Client Insurance Services focuses on commercial risks, condominium associations and personal lines. 

Elaine Hawkins, Wes Brewer and their team will continue to be based at their existing location.