The Spence Johnson Team

Magnus Spence

Managing Director

After graduating from the London School of Economics in 1982, Magnus worked in corporate finance, private equity and management consulting before setting up his first independent research firm in 1994.  

He has 25 years of experience in providing research-based advice on the distribution challenges faced by asset management firms in Europe. Magnus was the first to measure the market for third party fund managers in Europe in the 1990’s and most recently he was the first to measure the size and growth of the DC pensions market in the UK.

In 2008 Magnus co-founded Spence Johnson with Nils Johnson to concentrate on providing data based research services to asset managers and insurers and today he is Chief Executive.

Magnus is a regular speaker and moderator at conferences, in demand for his authoritative insights into, and forecasts of,  asset management client opportunities in Europe.

Outside of his day job, he has illustrated several books, and was a cartoonist for the Sunday Express for 3 years. He lives with his family in Suffolk.


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Philip Robinson


After graduating in Modern History from the University of Oxford, Philip became a portfolio manager at Barings before joining Watson Wyatt as an investment consultant.

Since joining Spence Johnson in 2013, Philip’s knowledge and practical experience of the sector has enabled him to regularly assist asset management companies on a variety of consulting assignments

Philip is Director, Client Management across the Retirement and Institutional Practices at Spence Johnson and uses his experience of more than 25 years in the asset management industry to guide and assist clients with their particular service challenges relating to client research.

Philip previously trained as a professional tenor at the Royal Academy of Music and has performed nationally and internationally. He is also a published author in spirituality and business decision making.

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Nils Johnson

Senior Director

Nils came to the UK from New York in 1987 where he started his career with Chase Manhattan Bank. After a 13 year stint in capital markets sales and institutional marketing, Nils re-tooled with an MBA from Henley Management College and launched a new career consulting to strategic marketers in asset management, life and pensions.

In 2008, he co-founded Spence Johnson with Magnus Spence to specialise in data based research services to European institutional asset managers and insurers.

In 2011 Nils was responsible for launching the DC Investment Forum, a non-profit trade association, on behalf of a group of asset managers dedicated to improving the outcome of savers in UK DC pension schemes. Today Nils is based in Boston and focused on working with Spence Johnson's clients based in the US.

In his spare time Nils is an open water swimming enthusiast

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Louise Ashmore

Head of Client Relationships

Louise is Head of Clients at Spence Johnson. Her role is to develop and coordinate client relationships across the firm and among all our Intelligence and Data products. 

Louise has a background in client management and marketing. Her last role was at IPE international Publishers on PFPP – The Institutional Investors programme, where she helped create and manage one of the largest benchmarking studies on service standards of institutional investors across Europe. 

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Sam Dunne

Senior Analyst

Sam joined Spence Johnson as an Analyst in March 2015. Previously he worked at Bankhawk Analytics, a Dublin-based financial analytics company where he assisted in the development of the company’s new business model and conducted data analysis and research. Sam graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in Economics and Philosophy.

Outside of the office, Sam enjoys playing tennis. He also enjoys playing a variety of musical instruments and has performed as a violinist on stages across Europe.

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Hal La Thangue


Hal joined Spence Johnson in May 2017. In July last year, he completed the MSc Economics programme at LSE having previously graduated from the University of Edinburgh. His research has focussed on the roles of technology and institutions in the economic growth process in both the developed and the developing world. Since completing his studies, he has worked with several start-ups in the biotech and pharmaceutical space as a market researcher in addition to teaching economics undergraduates at LSE.  Hal’s spare time is spent touching up on his French, indulging his long-running baking hobby and attempting to play golf as well as numerous other sports.

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Helen Mackay

Finance and Operations Manager

Helen graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Management Honours) degree from Rhodes University (South Africa) and is CIMA qualified. She has ten years of experience in the asset management/hedge fund space, where she has performed a variety of roles beginning in operations and progressing to finance. She has well-rounded business knowledge which together with a balanced approach has strengthened her commercial understanding of streamlining processes and creating efficiencies.

There is no sporting challenge that will not entice and excite Helen, she loves adventure and a little friendly competition! She has a keen interest in renewable energy, recycling initiatives and one day would like to be a proud owner of a Bee farm. 

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Deanna Smith

Knowledge Manager

Deanna has over 20 years of research experience in the asset management industry. At Spence Johnson she takes the role of Knowledge Manager, where she sources and organises the information that forms the basis of our research reports. Before joining Spence Johnson she was part of the EMEA Strategy team at BlackRock. Outside of the office, she spends her time on house renovation and blog writing about afternoon tea.

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Fionntan O'Hara


Fionntan joined Spence Johnson as an Analyst in October 2017 after completing an MSc in the History of International Relations at the LSE. Here his studies focused on the global Cold War and his dissertation examined the politicisation of refugees in Cold War Central America. After graduating with a BA in History and Maths from NUI Galway, during which he spent a year studying abroad at Boston College, Fionntan worked as a claims advisor with Aviva Insurance before studying at the LSE. As well as being a keen windsurfer, Fionntan enjoys cooking during his spare time, with sometimes mixed results

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Nigel Birch

Senior Director

Nigel has been working in Investments for over 10 years. After studying Psychology at Nottingham, Nigel began his career at GE Capital and since has worked with some of the world’s largest asset managers, investment consultancies, and pension funds.

Nigel heads the client side of our business globally and is Managing Director. Since joining Spence Johnson as a Director in 2009, he has focused on global Institutional investment and launched our award winning Institutional asset and flow consortium – Money in Motion. Nigel is a regular speaker at key industry events and is a regular on the Institutional Investor and Fund Forum circuit. Nigel believes that the closer people are to the truth – the better decisions they will make. With this is mind his work has focused on putting data and intelligence as the heart of successful asset management businesses.

Nigel has a truly global perspective fuelled by a passion for travel and enjoys world literature, photography and swimming in his spare time. 

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Will Mayne

Senior Director

Will joined Spence Johnson in 2012 and now acts as Senior Director responsible for Content globally.

He has worked on a broad range of strategy/insight projects in asset management, predominantly focused on multi-asset solutions and European institutional distribution. He has also led the development of Money in Motion, a multi-trillion global asset and flow tracking platform supported by 100 asset managers.

He holds an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge and studied Management at the Judge Business school. 

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Yoon Ng


With over a decade of experience in asset management research, Yoon has spent time working in both London and Singapore. In her most recent role as Managing Director, Asia of Cerulli Associates, she was in charge of all business activities relating to the Singapore office and led a team of analysts responsible for the firm's Asia Pacific research. Economist by training, Yoon graduated from Singapore Management University and spent a semester in China's Nankai University as part of her exchange program.


She spends her spare time watching and playing tennis. When she's not outdoors with her dogs or climbing some mountains, she loves to paint and draw. 

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Thomas Marsh


Thomas has been involved in the asset management industry since the 1990s and has seen it evolve in the institutional and retail channels around the world. He believes this is the most dynamic time in the history of asset management as firms grapple with the challenges and opportunities brought on by social, demographic, exponential technology and regulatory change.


He has covered US Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plan mandates and the global private banking industry as a Managing Editor for Institutional Investors’ news group. As a Director at Cerulli Associates, he held various roles from consultant to head of business development where he helped the research firm establish a global presence. He examined FinTech trends in asset management and assessed the impacts of regulatory trends, such as the US Department of Labor’s Conflicts of Interest rule while at Deloitte.


Spence Johnson’s focus on big data and analytics aligns with Thomas’ belief that asset management firms need to make more evidenced-based decisions to become top-tier performers.


Based in New York City, Thomas lives in Forest Hills with his wife. He enjoys writing, reading, and exploring the black and white keys to hit on his piano. 

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Linus Gustaffson

Senior Database manager

Dedicated to IT for over 15 years, Linus is experienced in the fields of database technology spending over 10 years in ERP implementations and from there specializing into SQL DBA and SQL Developer on mainly Microsoft Platforms. Linus has contributed to over 30 larger system replacements in industries including Media, Automotive, Logistics, Film and Gaming.

Before moving to London in 2011 his Linus was a senior partner at InfoCube AB  (now Jeeves Enterprise) and saw that company grow from early beginnings to over 80 employees.

Linus spends most of his spare time digging through the world of film and music.

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Jonathan Libre

Senior Analyst

Jonathan joined Spence Johnson as an Analyst in January 2015. He previously worked as an analyst for GlobalData, a business intelligence provider, where he was responsible for building and maintaining financial models, data analysis and conducting research. Jonathan graduated with an MA (Hons.) in Economics from the University of Edinburgh, and is a holder of the Investment Management Certificate (IMC).

Outside the office Jonathan enjoys a variety of outdoor sports including cycling and skiing.

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Rob Kelly


Rob joined Spence Johnson in May 2016. Previously he worked at a London-based international law firm on the strategy team, where he conducted data analysis and research into market size and areas of growth for the firm, and helped develop business plans. Prior to this, Rob graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.

In his spare time, Rob enjoys a variety of sports including as a goalkeeper at football, plays the saxophone, and also enjoys watching and writing about films.

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Jordan Lee

Sales Manager

Jordan joined Spence Johnson as a Sales Manager in January 2016, bringing with him 5 years of experience in the institutional marketplace.  

Having graduated from Oxford Brookes university with a degree in Business & Management in 2005, he held various sales jobs in publishing and events before joining Professional Pensions in 2010.

Here he was able to develop key relationships in the institutional marketplace working on the commercial side of the business including the website, magazine and events.

This was developed further when he joined Clear Path Analysis in 2013 where he was able to use his experience to successfully bring new clients into the business and significantly boost revenue.

Outside of work Jordan enjoys eating out, travelling and follows both Formula 1 and football. 

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Support Team

Our combined services, proprietary datasets and expert team place Spence Johnson at the cutting edge of data analytics and market intelligence in the institutional space

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