Murphy-Coles brings in Portus’s Gray as PES targets mid-size employers

Tobin Murphy-Coles has taken over the role of CEO at PES, taking over from PES founder Ian Rummels and bringing Stuart Gray on board in a non-exec role.

Gray, who was founder and chairman of Portus Consulting, which was acquired by Aon 2017, joins the business as non-executive chairman this month.

PES is majority backed by Chiltern Capital and has ambitious plans for growth providing employee benefit technology, consultancy and broking coupled with pension, wellbeing and HR consultancy to the mid-market.

Murphy-Coles, ex CCO of Lorica, which was acquired by Aon 2014, is also co-founder of wellbeing tech provider Earthmiles, and recently supported Cushon with the launch of its workplace pension proposition.

Gray, a serial entrepreneur, has seen success with employee benefit consultancy and tech firm Portus and a portfolio of other start-ups.

Both will be bringing their respective skills and expertise to evolve and grow PES in the mid-market they say has become underserved due to consolidation of other employee benefit consultancies (EBCs) in the sector.

Murphy-Coles says: “There is a substantial opportunity for an ambitious EBC like PES to respond to the real needs of businesses in difficult times. Mid-sized firms still want to offer market leading reward and benefit offerings. However, they need to counter-balance this with financial pressures due to volatility caused by the pandemic.

“The consolidation of other similar EBCs into global consultancies has left many firms wondering where they can go for clear, simple reward benefit strategies underpinned by effective technology.

Gray says: “PES, under the guidance of Tobin and his leadership team, is strongly placed to provide a creative solution to the mid-market. I firmly believe the global pandemic has opened all of our minds to new ways of working and new approaches to employee benefits, I look forward to helping Tobin and the team realise our shared vision.”