I met Hayley Jaggers at a recent Capacity Crunch Conference and linked in with her. We agreed to meet at our Tonbridge offices and we had a business meeting yesterday. She has re-defined my expectation of what can be achieved by a dedicated and professional independent financial advisor providing help to small employers auto-enrolling their staff.
Hayley is accomplished, her CV lists her qualifications, she is quietly spoken but authoritative. Obviously well organised, she is personable and she has a grasp of the key aspects of what matters not just for employers, but the workers for whom auto-enrolment matters the most.
Like Nigella Lawson, she has the complete enthusiasm for what she does that makes her compelling listening. I don’t mind admitting I was blown away.
Auto Enrolment Solutions
Her service is not expensive. £700 gets you started with a choice of workplace pensions and a full report on what is best for organisation’s circumstances. There is conviction in the report and it comes with the authority of a regulated entity (Automatic Enrolment Solutions). That means the advice being given to you as an employer has special status.
Her ongoing service costs between £35 and £55 per month (with extras where there are special needs). Importantly, she understands payroll and has payroll literate colleagues. In our discussions I felt confident that she can find solutions, even where it means reaching beyond the comfort zone (hence the meeting).
So far, Automatic Enrolment Solutions has helped 70 organisations through auto-enrolment, the largest having over 1000 employees. I have no doubt that any client contracting with Hayley, Automatic Enrolment Solutions and its parent Holden Holcroft, would receive a high level of service.
As good as Pension PlayPen? – Better!
Pension PlayPen won’t be doing business with Automatic Enrolment Solutions any time soon. She does what we do (almost as efficiently) and with a greater eye to detail on issues such as salary exchange. Her work on workplace provider analysis is of a high standard and she has a semi-automated manager selection tool that (other than ours) is the best I have seen on the market.
Hayley’s is a different business model to ours. We aim to help hundreds of thousands employers and Hayley hundreds. Her service is bespoke , our commoditised. The quality of our work is similar but – as I say again and again – there is something that Hayley can offer which Pension PlayPen cannot.
If you can find a great IFA – and I have no doubt that Hayley is one – hang on to them! They are rare and brilliant and inspirational. Hayley doesn’t know this, but she raised my bar and she will be a touchstone for me going forwards.
Many people think that actuarial firms are arrogant and dismissive of IFAs, I think many are. But I’d like to think that we (First Actuarial) aren’t. They bring an emotional intelligence to finance that cannot be delivered through a computer algorithm or a utility function. They are the bedrock on which people build their financial plans and -when they are as good as Hayley – they are the most important cog in the financial machine.
It doesn’t surprise me that others put their faith in what she and her firm do. She has access to the support of firms like Royal London (and keep their favours special). I can admit that we do not have that support for the reasons mentioned above.
An unequivocal endorsement
So I am happy, humbled and deeply in awe. I hope that I will continue to meet the likes of Hayley Jaggers as we go through the staging of the 1.8m and that her business goes from strength to strength. She is doing something I cannot do and were there more of her, you would hear less of me!