From frustration to disruption – how SMEs prosper!

David and Goliath 3

Over the weekend I got a passionate note from a regular correspondent.

Here it is – with the target of his frustration omitted!

  • The concept of a TPA being paid twice is very common.
  • The main culprit is Cxxxxx
  • They have a subsidiary called Cxxxxx TRACING.
  • Cxxxxx work as tpa for many and when the data needs cleaning they are in the trustee board meeting and always push to get the tracing and cleaning done by Cxxxx TRACING

It is an absolute disgrace and total conflict of interests. The more they underperform they more they get to charge to fix their own failings.…Clearly my company misses opportunities in this situation.

How, politically and morally can I raise the double payment /charging without it being seen as company posturing?

Posturing? – Or standing up for what is right?

This is a problem faced by most small businesses and it gets more acute the smaller and less well known you are. This is David and Goliath stuff; David won by being smart and looking at the problem from the left field.

Goliath, like Cxxxxx was a giant, but unwieldy and pretty stupid. He expected everyone to do what he said because he’d set the rules of military engagement. Nobody told David that he couldn’t hit Goliath “point blank- right between the eyes” with a slingshot. Goliath never guessed that anyone would do that to him – David did – Goliath kicked de bucket!

The other good bit about David was that he didn’t whinge, he didn’t spend a couple of years assembling a troop of supporters (I guess he didn’t wait for second round funding!).

David just went out there and took on Goliath toe to toe, and won it for himself (and Israel).

Which is where my correspondent has got to go. He cannot get the Pension Regulator, or PASA or the Pension PlayPen or me to fight this battle for him. He’s got to get to those lazy incompetent trustees and tell them straight.

“Look guys, that money that you are throwing at Cxxxxx is dead money, you’ve already spent it, either get Cxxxxx to put things right for nothing or let me do it for you.”

And I’d make the point that the road to the PPF is paved with bills paid to the likes of Cxxxxx, just look at recent cases.

DAvid and Goliath

Call fiduciaries  if they are failing – no one else will.

One of the worst crimes you can commit is to stay silent , when an atrocity is being committed. As the great poet Ezra Pound wrote

Here error is all in the not done,. all in the diffidence that faltered . . .

David -if he missed – would have been mauled to death by Goliath, my correspondent if he misses may be dissected by lawyers, but surely- if he knows himself to be right – my correspondent must call it as he sees it.

Nowhere is this more important that when it is “other people’s money”. Would those trustees have reappointed Cxxxxx if it had been their private wealth that had been maladministered? Would they have written out the check a second time if they had not been thinking of circumstances where but for the grace of God, they might too have been called for incompetence?

In my experience, the problem that my correspondent is facing is not just with Cxxxxx but with the club of trustees and other stakeholders of occupational schemes who- for very good reason- want to run a closed shop.

The good that SMEs do

David and Goliath2

Cxxxxx must have been a small business once, once it broke down doors and threw stones at its Goliath and it won because it was more sincere, more direct and did a better job. Then it grew into Goliath’s clothes.

SMEs are here to be disruptive, for without disruption, we will be trampled by Goliath. If we play by Goliath’s rules we will be beaten up and we will close. David won because he had the Lord on his side (which I take to mean “he was right”).;

Whether my correspondent is right and Cxxxxx is wrong I don’t know. But my advice is that he reads this blog, takes up his sling and walks out to fight. For nobody is going to fight his fight for him. Not even me!

The good that SMEs do is down to the Davids.


For further inspiration

For a treat, here is Pasolini reading Canto XXXI back to Ezra Pound (in Italian)

Here are the words in English – then Italian

What thou lovest well remains,
the rest is dross
What thou lovst well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lovst well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lovst well shall not be reft from thee
The ant’s a centaur in his dragon world.
Pull down thy vanity, it is not man
Made courage, or made order, or made grace,
Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
Learn of the green world what can be thy place
In scaled invention or true artistry,
Pull down thy vanity,
Paquin pull down!
The green casque has out done your elegance.
Master thy self, then others shall thee beare
Pull down thy vanity
Thou art a beaten dog beneath the hail,
A swollen mag pie in a fitful sun,
Half black half white
Nor knowst ‘ou wing from tail
Pull down thy vanity
How mean thy hates
Fostered in falsity,
Pull down thy vanity,
Rathe to destroy, niggard in charity,
Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down.
But to have done instead of not doing
This is not vanity
To have, with decency, knocked
That a Blunt should open
To have gathered from the air a live tradition
or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
this is not vanity.
Here error is all in the not done,
all in the diffidence that faltered


Quello che veramente ami rimane,
il resto è scorie
Quello che veramente ami non ti sarà strappato
Quello che veramente ami è la tua vera eredità
Il mondo a chi appartiene, a me, a loro
o a nessuno?
Prima venne il visibile, quindi il palpabile
Elisio, sebbene fosse nelle dimore dinferno,
Quello che veramente ami è la tua vera eredità

La formica è un centauro nel suo mondo di draghi.
Strappa da te la vanità, non fu luomo
A creare il coraggio, o lordine, o la grazia,
Strappa da te la vanità, ti dico strappala
Impara dal mondo verde quale sia il tuo luogo
Nella misura dellinvenzione, o nella vera abilità dellartefice,

Strappa da te la vanità,
Paquin strappala!
Il casco verde ha vinto la tua eleganza.

Dominati, e gli altri ti sopporteranno
Strappa da te la vanità
Sei un cane bastonato sotto la grandine,
Una pica rigonfia in uno spasimo di sole,
Metà nero metà bianco
Né distingui unala da una coda
Strappa da te la vanità
Come son meschini i tuoi rancori
Nutriti di falsità.
Strappa da te la vanità,
Avido di distruggere, avaro di carità,
Strappa da te la vanità,
Ti dico strappala.

Ma avere fatto in luogo di non avere fatto
questa non è vanità
Avere, con discrezione, bussato
Perché un Blunt aprisse
Aver raccolto dal vento una tradizione viva
o da un bellocchio antico la fiamma inviolata
Questa non è vanità.

Qui lerrore è in ciò che non si è fatto, nella diffidenza che fece esitare…

About henry tapper

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