Meet the speaker – Dr Thomas Mathar

Dr Thomas Mathar of Aegon UK will return as a keynote speaker at the IFW Conference taking place at the Bristol Hotel on 23rd May 2023.

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Non-member tickets are available here.

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Thomas heads up Aegon UK’s Centre for Behavioural Research, supporting internal and external stakeholders with behavioural research and the application of nudge-theory to help people live their best lives, now and in the future.

Thomas has been with Aegon since 2016, having previously worked in research agencies and government, health, consumer industries and in finance.

At the IFW Conference, Tom will deliver his talk:

Guiding Clients to Their Future Self.

Your key learning points will be:

  • The impact of long-term mental time horizons on financial wellbeing
  • Tried and tested ways to help people develop future-oriented behaviour
  • Aegon’s new tool / approach for advisers to guide clients to their future selves

I asked Tom to share some insights to his keynote, as well as his passion for financial wellbeing.

We’re delighted you’re returning to the IFW Conference 2023. What are you looking forward to most? 

Meeting peers as well as advisers and planners and learning how they embed Financial Wellbeing / Behavioural Finance insights into their practice.

What can delegates expect from your keynote talk, ‘Guiding Clients to Their Future Self’? 

I’ll be presenting new approaches that help advisers’ clients – e.g. when the adviser is meeting a prospect or in a client-review meeting – to meaningfully and concretely connect with their future selves. This approach will consider fresh insights from Behavioural Science and Positive Psychology, gathered as part of our partnership with the University of Edinburgh.

How did your career lead you to head up Aegon UK’s Centre for Behavioural Research?

That was in part an organic evolution of Aegon’s Insight team, in part a consequence of my interest in behavioural science and in part sheer luck (it’s great that Aegon embraces the fact that money is an emotionally charged topic – many FS firms don’t)

How would you summarise your passions, both in and out of work? 

I’m interested in new stuff. But not way-out-there new stuff. It’s got to be grounded in something solid. At work, I’m excited at any new insights that consider some latest findings from behavioural science or psychology and in finding ways to make them applicable to advisers (or end-customers). Outside work, I enjoy discovering new musical harmonies that build on established standards from jazz or folklore.

What’s your happiest memory? 

My student years in Berlin were amazing: it was a wild place but perfect for someone who needed to learn to follow his nose.

What’s your understanding of financial wellbeing and why it matters? 

It’s about resilience now and in the future; about living a meaningful and enjoyable life now and in the future; and – as a result – about money and mindset. Often we think in false dualisms. But all of it is important at the same time.

What do you wish you’d been told about finance when you were 15? 

That it’s not just about the future. Having a good life today is important too.

Who is your favourite wellbeing guru? 

I love the Hamburg-based singer-songwriter Bernd Begemann. No one celebrates Present Bias better than he does.

What are you doing to advance your own financial wellbeing? 

I’m making sure that the way I spend (and earn!) money is in line with what gives me pleasure and purpose.

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