Monty Panesar at Cricketforce Launch, Upminste...

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There have been a few times in my life that I have felt completely happy, the birth of my son, winning a scholarship to Bryanston and a telephone call received yesterday evening are three that spring to mind. Moments when my sense of self-worth is captured completely in the realisation that something wonderful has happened.

I can’t explain the details but as I’ve just written to my colleagues, I couldn’t sleep for happiness because of the trust put in our company by a group for whom we can and will make an enormous difference.

It’s to do with Popcorn Pensions, inspiring people to get back in love with the pensions they’re due and the companies that sponsor them. We were told we were given this work because we wanted it more. I am sure that we will deliver beyond expectations because we want that just as much as the value of the work to our company.

You may not know much about First Actuarial. We were formed 7 or 8 years ago by some very bright people who couldn’t find a way of expressing their talent through large consultancies but decided to go it alone and build a business around some simple principles like plain speaking, professionalism, pragmatism and productivity (the last one’s mine!).

I took the decision to join about two years ago because I’d never met a group of people so wedded to doing the right thing and so free of the dead hand of corporatism that tells you “it cannot be done”. If you follow my blog, though it often gets the detail wrong, I hope you sense some of the passion that we enjoy within our business. I am so happy I cannot sleep and it’s not just because I will do very well out of what happened yesterday. It’s because it makes sense of the decision I took two years ago and for the 150 odd people who earn their living because of First Actuarial, it is a vindication for what they do. Most of all it is a vindication for the bold decision of the Founders of the company who put their own  capital on the line to set the business up.

My old college friend Henry Stewart “Happy Henry” as he calls himself on twitter, is bang on when he  preaches the value of happiness at work. Popcorn Pensions is my expression of the way we go about things between ourselves, with the companies who pay our bills and with the members of the pension schemes for whom this is all about.

If you’re still reading, I hope it is because you are picking up on this hugely wonderful vibe that’s flowing through me, and if the mails that keep pinging into my in-box are anything to go by, all of my colleagues. I hope that the people on the other side of yesterday’s decision get to read this too. Thanks for your trust – we will not let you down.

Now it’s back to the cricket. Strauss out for 56 . England 30 runs ahead with one wicket remaining – enter Monty Panesar!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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