For those managing personal or institutional money, the world is becoming more Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.
I am co-CEO of Redington, we advise 10 of the top 25 pension funds in the UK and we are building Redington into a global force in the pensions industry. Our objective is to ensure the next generation can continue to be better off than the last.
Pension funds face an eternally difficult process of setting goals and then making sure they reach them. It doesn’t sound complicated, but it is.
Pensions has always been a tricky business. But perhaps never more so than in 2013. The regulation changes of the early 2000’s rewrote the rulebook for those running pension funds, and a survey of the key challenges of that time would have produced, it seems logical to assume, a set of concerns about changing regulations, accounting issues that accompany them, and governance. Today, the landscape has changed. Pension funds, on the whole, got to grips with those systemic changes in pension infrastructure only to be faced, in 2008 onwards, with the greatest seismic economic shift of our lifetimes. It wasn’t just that markets plummeted and equities didn’t turn out to be the knight in shining armour pension funds had hoped and planned they would be; it was that the very foundations of modern economic markets changed. Everything we thought we knew about risk, return and the relationship between the two, was called into question. Now, in 2013, we are all still acclimatising to our new normal.
Last Tuesday 21st May 2013 was KPI Pitch Fest the last part of the Daniel Priestly Key Person of Influence Course. The judges were led by the iconic Mike Harris, Daniel Priestly, James Paton-Philip from Pinsent Masons, Sally Preston Founder & Managing Director at The Kids Food Company ltd, Jenny Campbell CEO at YourCash and Steve Henry Co-founder at Decoded. Thank you for an incredible opportunity and a great evening. Well done to pitch fest winner – Liz Marsh and fellow runner-ups Hannah Foxley, Karen Bailey and Viv Grant and A Rafael Dos Santos. Below I have shared my pitch from pitch fest.
Happy Birthday Team Redington! Seven years ago on 16th May 2006 Redington was founded.
Teams are essential in solving the world’s most complex challenges. And solving the global pensions challenge is, without a doubt, one that requires collective action. One could even say, because of its scale and gravity, that it requires a ‘Super Team’.
Since George Osborne’s autumn statement in 2011, pension funds and their advisors have been discussing the idea of investing in infrastructure. And the logic for this investment is sound: pension funds need low risk, long dated inflation-linked cash flows. They always have, they always will. Happily, the UK needs new infrastructure, much of the funding for which is long-dated and inflation-linked. Banks, which previously funded these endeavours, are no longer funding them, and pension funds seem to be the natural rebound relationship that might just turn steady. Why, then, has making this partnership happen been so tough?
Seven years ago, today, on Friday 31st March 2006 I resigned from Merrill Lynch. I loved my time at Merrill Lynch; I loved the work, the energy, my colleagues and the challenge of investment banking. In fact, I had only just been promoted to Director in the Insurance & Pensions Solutions Group and I certainly didn’t know there was an inbound “Global Financial Crisis” around the corner. So why resign?