Last year I gave the Phoenix IGC chair report three greens out of three- the only report to get a “clear round”. It doesn’t quite make the double this year, but this is another excellent report which should be required reading if you are a Phoenix policyholder, an employer with a Phoenix Workplace Plan or an adviser with such clients.
David Hare, who is the IGC Chair is a most unusual actuary in that he actually seems to like people! He is forever spotted chatting with enthusiasm in City Prets. I greatly enjoy talking with him and though we have few dealings with Phoenix Schemes, I feel I know the organisation through these conversations and Hare’s reports.
So it will be no surprise that I like the tone of the report which is chatty and personal. The first person pronoun is very much in evidence and when Hare asks “Do please get in touch!” you know he means it!
For it’s chatty friendly tone and its general bonhomie, this report gets a green
Value for money
The report’s strength can be its weakness and the detailed analysis of what people are actually paying for funds rather glosses over the detail. Like other IGCs – the RAG (Red Amber Green) graphic is much in evidence and linking the importance of a metric to its achievement is a neat trick.
The note mentions that things would have been even more green if Mrs Miggins had had time to update the chart with some late good news on charges.
But the chart gives way to some rather odd analysis. “Overall Management” turns out to be David Hare’s assessment of how “Phoenix are behaving overall”.
“Any more from you Sir and your overall management line will be turning amber at the gills”.
I’m also concerned about the analysis of transaction costs which is anything but fund specific;
This table could be applied at a general level to any portfolio, but readers of the IGC need to know how the transaction funds apply to their funds or at the very least the default fund. To so this we’d need to know asset allocations within funds and portfolio turnover rates. I am in any case, dubious about some of these numbers, especially the remarkably low transaction costs on bonds
So I’m only able to give this report an amber for these value for money ratings – I want better data!
But I love the sentiment!
The Hare bear bunch
Hare and his team certainly know how to get change from Phoenix and the report shows the IGC as a highly effective team. AMCs on the legacy book look destined to plummet to 1% , 27,000 policy holders have already benefited from the Hare bear bunch’s work. With the possible exception of Scottish Widows, no IGC has been so effective as Phoenix’s. Phoenix gets a green from me for its work for its members.