Smart U.S. board member Anne Lester named Lillywhite award recipient at Pensions & Investments Defined Contribution conference

Lillywhite Award symbolizes outstanding contributions to Americans' employee benefits and economic security

Smart, a leading global retirement technology provider, today congratulates Anne Lester, a member of Smart's U.S. Board of Directors, for being named the Lillywhite Award recipient, bestowed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

The award was presented to Anne at the Pensions & Investments Defined Contribution Conference in San Diego. The award acknowledges outstanding service in enhancing Americans' employee benefits and economic security and was named after Ray Lillywhite, a pioneer in the pension field who guided state employee pension plans for decades.

The recognition was well-deserved as Anne has spent 30+ years helping Americans achieve a safe and secure retirement. Most recently, Anne served as portfolio manager and Head of Retirement Solutions for Global Asset Management Solutions at J.P. Morgan. Anne developed J.P. Morgan's SmartRetirement target-date funds and their post retirement SmartSpending funds. Before joining J.P. Morgan in 1992, Anne spent over a decade managing Public, Private, and Multi-Employer Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plan assets before focusing exclusively on Defined Contribution research, product development and management.

Hailed as a "pioneer and innovator" by Morningstar, Anne has accomplished remarkable feats in the retirement industry including founding the Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings in partnership with AARP. The forum's goal is to find breakthrough solutions to Americans' far-reaching problem of inadequate savings.

“We could not think of anyone more deserving than Anne,”

said Jodan Ledford, CEO of Smart USA.

“For the same reasons we found her to be instrumental in guiding Smart's vision and direction, the EBRI could not deny she last left a mark on the American employee benefits landscape and has improved financial security for many Americans.”
“We congratulate Anne on this accomplishment and thank her for her dedication to reforming the future of retirement so that every individual has a more equitable chance at achieving a secure retirement”

said Mark Zinkula, Chair of Smart USA Board and Independent Director on the Smart Board.

About Smart

Smart is a global savings and investments technology provider. Its mission is to transform retirement, savings, and financial well-being, across all generations, around the world.

Smart partners with financial institutions (including broker-dealers, RIAs, retirement providers, insurers, asset managers, banks) and financial advisers to deliver retirement savings and income solutions that are digital, customized, and cost-efficient.

Smart, founded in the UK, operates in the USA, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East with over a million savers and over $5 billion in assets. Smart saw over 2,000% growth in assets on its platform since 2018.

Legal & General, J.P. Morgan, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, Link Group, Barclays, Natixis Investment Managers, Chrysalis Investments, DWS Group and Aquiline Capital Partners are all investors to date in Smart.

For more information, please visit

Media contact for Smart:

Maria Stenina
VP of Promotions Marketing – US