Our Team

Key Facts

Founded in 2000
Today 200+ people
Working across the UK & Ireland
Working with 250+ pension schemes

Since our foundation in 2000 by our owner directors, we have grown to become a 200 plus team of colleagues based in seven locations around the UK.

We currently work with over 250 pension schemes, ranging in size from £5 million to £60 billion.

Until October 2022, 3173 was privately owned by its founders Brian Spence, Neil Copeland and David Davison. At that point a partnership with growth investor Synova was created, in order to consolidate the group’s existing market-leading positions in pension scheme trustee services, unique pensions software, consultancy, administration, governance, actuarial and investment services and facilitate the next phase of the group’s growth in an increasingly competitive pensions and financial technology industry.

Group Directors

Alan Collins
Brian Spence
Kerry Stafford
Mike Selby
Chris Roberts
Geoffrey Farmer

Alan Collins

Alan worked for a number of large multi-national consultancies before joining 3173 in 2010.  Alongside his role as a director of 3173, he is also managing director of Spence & Partners.

Having achieved a 1st class honours degree in Mathematics and Physics from Glasgow University, Alan has now worked in the pensions industry for over 15 years.  Alan became a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in 2006 and has held a Scheme Actuary Practicing Certificate since 2008.

Alan provides actuarial, funding and investment advice to the trustees and sponsors of numerous ongoing defined benefit schemes, of various asset sizes with assets of up to around £200m.  He focuses on asset allocation advice and on modelling future outcomes based on various investment scenarios and future cashflows in and out of the schemes.  Alan has a particular interest in diversified growth strategies and liability driven investments and has recently completed a number of insurance company buyout projects.

Among other areas, Alan is interested in the benefits that the application of technology can bring to the pensions market, releasing actuarial, and consultancy expertise to work collaboratively with sponsors to focus on planning for the real challenges that schemes face in future.

In his role prior to joining 3173 in 2010, Alan provided advice in relation to the schemes of a number of large PLCs and multi-national organisations.

Brian Spence

Brian has been working in pensions since 1987 and qualified as an actuary in 1990. Prior to setting up 3173, Brian had a senior role in a major actuarial consulting firm where his role included acting as Managing Director of an in-house professional pension scheme trustee company.

Brian is Accredited as a Professional Trustee by the Association of Professional Pension Trustees

Brian holds a UK Scheme Actuary Practising certificate and has provided a wide range of advice to pension scheme sponsors and trustees.

Brian has particular expertise in acting as a Professional Trustee during restructuring including mergers and acquisitions.

Kerry Stafford

Kerry joined 3173 in 2002.  Kerry is company secretary and has director responsibility across the Group for offices and resourcing.

Prior to joining the Group, Kerry worked for a multi-national management consultancy and an NI FTSE PLC.

In her spare time Kerry likes travelling, skiing, swimming and running whilst trying to keep up with her three children.

Mike Selby

After graduating from Oxford University in 2002, Mike enjoyed a successful spell with a major benefits consultancy, playing key roles in actuarial, consulting and data management disciplines.

Mike started to develop pensions modelling software, Mantle, in 2002, using his strong background in data management, systems and software development. He joined 3173 in May 2014 and concentrates full time on the Mantle proposition.

Chris Roberts

Chris is accredited as a professional trustee by the Association of Professional Pension Trustees.  Alongside his role as director of 3173 he is managing director of Dalriada Trustees.

Chris set up our Manchester office in June 2015.  Chris previously worked for two large benefit consultancies and as administration manager for a large in-house pension scheme in the charitable sector.  A strong project manager, his experience includes mapping and training all administrative processes to an overseas service centre.  Chris understands all aspects of pension provision from the ground up.

A member of the Pensions Management Institute, his wider experience includes complex investment strategy reviews, scheme wind-ups, PPF transitions, defined contribution trusteeship, working with overseas parents and negotiating complex recovery plans.

He acts as lead trustee representative or trustee chair on multiple trustee appointments ranging from sub £5 million to £500 million of assets.  This includes global corporations, family businesses, FTSE250 companies and not-for-profit organisations in a wider area of sectors.

Geoffrey Farmer

Geoffrey is chief financial officer for 3173, and joined the business in 2022. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, having qualified in 1997. He is experienced and commercially driven and has worked in Finance Director roles across many industry sectors during his career, including regulated financial services, software development and distribution.

Prior to joining the 3173 Group Geoffrey held the role of Finance Director within Hughes Insurance, one of Northern Ireland’s leading Insurance Broking businesses and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group.