Are we there yet?

So the holiday season is well and truly over, those couple of weeks where we look forward to visiting family and friends in different parts of the country to catch up and reminisce on the ups and downs of the year gone by.

You know how the story starts – get the other half and the kids into the car and then set off for an hour or two car journey. Get to the end of the road, turn right and then you hear those four dreaded little words…”are we there yet?”

Keep calm, that’s your little pride and joy just showing his excitement, mutter a “not quite son” and continue driving on. Second left and then onto the main road and Bang! There he goes again…”are we there yet?” a little bit frustrating to put it politely.

Now I am in no way saying that pension scheme trustees are like little children – far from it, but as managers and advisors to the schemes we do have a huge responsibility on our shoulders – that is to make sure that our clients are kept fully informed of where they are along their journey. Reporting in LDI space has traditionally taken the route of quarterly reporting (some weeks after quarter end) showing the trustees where they were at some weeks back. If questions are raised more often than not we bamboozle them with added numerical information and technical detail, all very correct no doubt but hardly inspiring or helpful!

Surely we will better serve our clients if we keep them informed how they want and when they want whilst still keeping them aware of things that are happening in real time that may be interesting to them.

Bring on the live portals with simple, clear concise forward looking LDI reporting.

Just think of the information (and the flexibility with how you access that information) available to you as a personal shopper/investor – expect to see the institutional industry providing the same level of service where Trustees can shape and tailor the information they receive rather than receiving a standard “pack”. This will be painful for providers but make for a more productive environment for Trustees.

Try it next time you are with the kids, give them control of the Sat Nav, with the information at their fingertips they will work things out for themselves, at the same time give them a running commentary and point out various things to them along the journey. It is really hard work for what seems to be very little reward but the kids will love it.

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