The fine line between “patronising” and “paternal”.


Last week Tom Mcphail (Hargreaves Lansdown) had a go at Teresa Fritz (financial Services Consumer Council and MAS) about the need for advice.

You’d expect the two to clash, FSCS and MAS are not much loved by advisers who see it as an incompetent policemen and Hargreaves are every advisers least favourite adviser (mainly because they are usually right).

The Money Marketing version of events is here .

I’ve disagreed with Tom a few times recently – but I’m right with him here and I wrote to thank him for standing up for people who want to do things themselves.

He wrote back this morning

Lots of people need help managing their money, some need advice; a minority need no help at all. By suggesting everyone needs to be told what to do, the FSCP is obstructing the important work which should be going on right now to establish good minimum standards in how we engage and communicate with the millions who just want a bit of help.

With Hargreaves’ Vantage product, set to scoop the pool of non-advised money, there will be plenty of cynics muttering “Tom would say that”, but that is precisely the point.

If advisers aren’t happy with Vantage, there is nothing to stop them setting up an alternative.

I’m watching Saturday Kitchen as I write this so I’m being dragged into a culinary conceit.

Recipe for a successful drawdown service

  1. Find yourself an amenable bank or insurance company to provide you with a personal pension licence

  2. Get yourselves a funds platform – probably from the above (but other platforms are available)

  3. Find a sensible administrator capable of managing records and providing feeds to your customers so they can engage, get educated and be empowered to manage their drawdown)

  4. Organise your interfaces so customers get on with things as they see fit, contacting you when they need to.

  5. Market this to your clients and anyone else’s clients and to all the employers and trustees who have lots of staff and members who need your help from April 2015.

All this need not be very hard, you only need to understand the way people like to spend their money and be expert in the technicalities.

Alternatively you could join First Actuarial and enjoy the journey we are on!



I know and like Teresa, and good consumerists such as Mick McAteer. Tom says of them “They are actually a danger to the financial wellbeing of this country” I  know where he is coming from.

Yesterday I wrote about Nutmeg and and how we can use the new technologies to engage, educate and empower people to manage their income in retirement.

I will keep you informed about our journey. I suspect we’ll be calling off at various stops near you and I wouldn’t be surprised if our terminus is CDC central – where a lot of defaulters will pull in (or hit the buffers)!

I hope that Tom will spend some of the journey with us, we should be grateful that he spoke out at the reading of the Pension Taxation Bill (as we did at the Pension Schemes Bill).

I am proud to associate the names of Hargreaves Lansdown and First Actuarial who may be on differing trains and maybe parallel rail tracks – but taking people to the same (good) places.


me worry



About henry tapper

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