Bernie C Knobbe

Head of Global Benefits, Well-being & Compensation

AECOM

Bernie is Head of Global Benefits, Well-being & Compensation, with AECOM, the world’s premier infrastructure firm delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle by designers, engineers, consultants and construction managers to deliver a better world.

AECOM has 60,000 employees in 100 countries worldwide. He is the Corporate COE leader responsible for health care, retirement, group, voluntary, lifestyle, perks and wellness/well-being benefit plans and benefits communications, benefits compliance and M&A benefits activities globally, and the global compensation processes.

Previously, he was Sr. Director, Global Benefits & Mobility with Yahoo!, in Sunnyvale, CA and Vice President, Strategic Benefits with ACS, A Xerox Company, in Dallas, TX, He was also Senior Director, Global Benefits with Hilton Hotels and Senior Vice President, Benefits with Countrywide Financial/Bank of America, both headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.  Bernie was also Senior Director, Global Benefits/Total Rewards with Gap Inc. headquartered in San Francisco, CA.  Previously, he was Senior Manager, Global Benefits with Accenture, headquartered in Chicago, IL.  Prior to that, he held Benefits Leadership positions with Morton International, CT&T, Continental Bank and AM International, all located in Chicago, IL.

He has been the Chair of The Corporate Board of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) and has attained his Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) designation.  He also served on the Board of the Council on Employee Benefits (CEB) and member of the Annual Conference Planning Committee.  He was a faculty member for World at Work and has attained his Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) designation.  He was elected to both the Council on International Compensation and Benefits and the Council on Employee Benefits of The Conference Board and has been a Speaker at many of their sponsored Conferences on Health Care, Benefits Communications and Executive Compensation.

He has acted as a Moderator, Speaker and Panelist at sponsored Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Conferences managed by Euromoney/Institutional Investors, both in the U.S. and Europe (UK, Spain, Italy and Hungary).  He has been a judge for both the Pensions & Investments Eddy Awards and the Business Insurance EBC Awards and has been a Speaker and Moderator at several of their sponsored Defined Contribution Conferences, US and The Hague, Netherlands. He has served on Employer Councils for the NCQA and the HR Policy Association and on Advisory Councils for United Healthcare, Cigna, Aetna, Anthem, Merrill Lynch and Ameriprise, and the Canada Pensions Benefits National Forum in Canada.  He was a Speaker at the Mobile Health Conference at Stanford University, and several Workshops at the CEB Annual Conferences.  He has also presented at the Willis Towers Watson Client Conferences, Aon Empower Client Days, Mercer 101 and the Employee Benefits News Annual Benefits Conference.He also served as Co-Chair for the McDermott, Will & Emery Benefits Innovator Roundtable events. (See Biographical Resume Supplement for Awards, Publications, Speaking at Industry Events, etc.).

He holds a BS in Accounting from Truman State College and served an internship with the US Department of the Treasury, IRS.

Speaker Questionnaire
What is the biggest thing you learned in 2020?

Well-being is top priority for global benefits professionals.

What do you feel are the two most important benefits or areas that need to be a top priority in 2021?

Well-being, equality, diversity, and Inclusion.

Can you share a story on an area of your healthcare program or employee benefits where you were able to create significant savings or stop costs from rising?

If you could automatically receive a 10-20% reduction in costs in three areas/programs, what would your dream list be?

U.S. medical plans, disability plans, international expat medical plans.

What is the most innovative program you will focus on in 2021 and/or 2022?

Equality, diversity, and Inclusion aspects of global benefits program.

How are you re-imagining corporate culture & well-being?

Freedom to grow initiative to allow for FWA's.

What virtual care solutions did you roll out during the pandemic? How valuable were they and why?

Mail-order biometrics screening, expanded .tele-medicine program, expanded global EAP.

If you look at our 3 Moonshots - Costs, Culture, and Care; In one sentence, tell us what would be something positive for us to take from 2020 and bring into this new year?

Well-being culture can be supported virtually and globally by focusing on a caring approach with mental health-focused efforts to support employees and families.

1 Conference. 3 Moonshots.

Costs

Moonshot #1​

Reduce employer healthcare and benefits costs by 25% by 2025.​

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Culture

Moonshot #2​

Reimagine engagement and well-being.

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Care

Moonshot #3

Provide 40% of healthcare services virtually and through technology by 2025.​

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