Darren Whitley is Managing Director of Sovereign Pension Services Ltd (SPS), Gibraltar’s largest pension provider. Darren has worked for Sovereign in retirement planning both in Gibraltar and Malta and in 2023, celebrates 15 years with the Sovereign Group. Darren has a depth of knowledge and experience in the pensions business and has helped to develop the SPS Gibraltar into the thriving local business that it is today. Here he shares some insights from his journey so far.
How has your role evolved and developed at Sovereign?
When I joined Sovereign we had just entered in to the pensions market with the launch of QROPS. I joined a relatively new breed of Sovereign employees focusing purely on retirement planning. 15 years later, we have tripled our number of employees in that space. I have been at the forefront of our strategy ever since and now am delighted to be in Gibraltar running our largest pensions book with around 6,000 members. Personal Pensions had been the focus primarily but Occupational Pensions now take the lead as our core service offering. We are relishing the opportunity to get to know local businesses and find solutions that suit the needs of them and their employees.
Why do you like working for Sovereign?
The people and the values without question. Sovereign recruits strongly on personality which I had never experienced before. Get the right people following the right values and it’s a strong recipe for success.
What have been the main challenges as MD?
I think the biggest challenge has been getting Sovereign’s name out locally that we are here to support the local market. Whilst a force in the offshore world for over 30 years, we had done little locally until our Occupational Pensions offering was launched. Letting Gibraltar know we are open for local business was a big challenge that we are now winning at thankfully.
Why are pensions important?
I love working for Sovereign but I don’t want to work forever. A pension means I can choose to retire when I want. It’s a simple concept and everyone should have one. Auto Enrolment in Gibraltar makes it even more beneficial to save for your retirement as employers are also contributing.
What are you excited for in the future for SPS Gibraltar?
We are fast becoming the number one choice for pensions locally so seeing that continue to take shape with the people around me makes for exciting times ahead.