EBRI is pleased to recognize Anne Lester as the organization’s 2020 winner of the annual Lillywhite Award. Named after Ray Lillywhite, a pioneer in the pension field, the award honors employee benefits professionals for extraordinary lifetime contributions to Americans’ economic security.
“Anne Lester has set the standard for innovation and thought leadership in the retirement space for much of her career,” says Lori Lucas, President and CEO of EBRI. “Through harnessing data and empirical analysis—and also through her many collaborations—she has advanced the understanding of how Americans save for, and spend in, retirement.”
A 29-year veteran of JPMorgan Asset Management, Anne was Head of Retirement Solutions for over a decade prior to her retirement. Known as an innovator, she holds patents for her progressive design to simplify and automate the retirement planning process. Since retiring from JPMorgan last year, Anne has been working on a book which will help younger savers understand how to overcome their own behavioral biases and set out on the path to long-term savings success.
Anne’s policy-related work includes testifying for the US Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission. In partnership with AARP, she founded the Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings. The Forum’s goal is to find breakthrough solutions to Americans’ far-reaching problem of inadequate savings. She is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies and Princeton University, and was awarded a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellowship, where she was based in Japan.
The Ray Lillywhite Award celebrates contributions by people who have had distinguished careers in the retirement and investment management fields and whose outstanding service has enhanced Americans' economic security.
The award is presented by EBRI as merited by individual and group excellence and is named after Ray Lillywhite, a pioneer in the pension field who for decades guided state employee pension plans. Award winners are honored at EBRI Board Meeting dinners and at Pensions & Investments Defined Contribution conferences.
In 2019, the award went to Howard Fluhr, Segal.
Other recipients include Anna Rappaport, Anna Rappaport Consulting (2018); Karin Brodbeck, Nestle USA (2017); Olivia S. Mitchell, executive director of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (2016); Christine C. Marcks, president of Prudential Retirement (2015); Mary Nell Billings, director of Global Retirement Programs for Hilton Worldwide (2014); William F. Sharpe, Stanford University (2012); and Keith Ambachtsheer, president of KPA Advisory Services (2010).
Mr. Lillywhite helped found numerous professional organizations and educational programs. He retired from Alliance Capital in 1992 at age 80 after a 55-year career in the pension and investment field.
Ray Lillywhite exemplified not only excellence but also innovation in lifelong achievements, teaching, and learning.