Helen Dean

Helen Dean



Helen Dean became a non-executive director of the Scottish Government in 2024.

Helen has spent her working life working in government and in financial services, where she has focussed on improving financial resilience for individuals and families across the UK. 

After studying Psychology Helen started her career at DWP where she developed the policy and legislation for the pension reforms that led to auto enrolment and the establishment of Nest.  She then moved to Nest to set up the Nest pension, becoming its CEO between 2015 and 2024. In this period Helen lead Nest through a period of substantial and rapid growth where the membership of Nest rose from 2 million to over 13 million people and pension assets grew from £600 million to over £38 billion.

Helen cares deeply about delivering great outcomes for savers through sustainable and responsible investment, connecting with the new cohort of savers generated by auto enrolment and about promoting diversity across financial services industry. She is a mentor to younger professionals, offering guidance and coaching. Helen’s early life, growing up on a council estate in Newcastle Upon Tyne, followed by several years working in local benefit offices across London left her with a passionate interest in addressing financial inequalities and promoting financial resilience across society. 

Helen left Nest in May 2024 and has now moved to a new role as Chair of the Standard Life Master trust pension scheme. Helen is also a Trustee and Board member of Step Change, the largest debt charity in the UK and is Chair of the Your Island Pension, the scheme which the government of Guernsey has established for their new programme of auto enrolment into pensions saving. 

Helen was awarded a CBE in the 2021 New Year Honours list for her services to pension saving.

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