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McPhail ‘top of anyone’s list’ says lang cat’s Polson

Tom McPhail: ‘giant of the sector’

Independent platform, pensions and investment consultancy the lang cat has appointed industry titan Tom McPhail as director of public affairs.

Mr McPhail joins the Edinburgh firm on 2 September and will add a new dimension to the lang cat’s strategic communications offering, said the company.

He will lead on various strategically important reports, share his expertise and insight on the regulatory and political landscape with subscribers of the lang cat’s platform analyser software, and support clients on public policy, pensions, and PR.   

Mr McPhail spent 20 years at Hargreaves Lansdown, as its head of policy and lead spokesperson on pensions issues. In addition to his high-profile role at HL he has also been an active participant and force for good in various industry bodies and initiatives such as TISA, the ABI the STAR Transfers project and lobbying for reform of the annuity market.

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Since leaving HL in early 2020 he has spent some time working on transport policy for an electric scooter and bicycle business and most recently, he conducted an independent review of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) for the Department for Work and Pensions. 

Mark Polson, principal and founder of the lang cat, said: “From the beginning of the lang cat, I’ve tried to build a business that has deep-rooted subject matter expertise and the ability to communicate difficult stuff in a way that people can read without lapsing into unconsciousness.

“That’s not an easy thing to pull off at a business level let alone a personal one. But if you’re looking for someone who exemplifies both these characteristics, Tom would be right at the top of anyone’s list.

Mark Polson grinning cat 2

Mark Polson: ‘absolute honour’ (pic: Terry Murden)

“He is very tall, but that’s not what makes him a giant of the sector, and the fact that he’s coming to work with the lang cat is an absolute honour for us and a validation of what it is we’re trying to do.”

Mr McPhail said: “I’ve known Mark Polson and Mark Locke since before the lang cat business existed.

“They’re widely respected across the industry for the insightful consultancy and communications work they do and the high-quality team they’ve put together; I know it’ll be a pleasure to work with them and I’m very much looking forward to it.”



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