The Chancellor’s listening – are you? (a shouty blog)

I’m certainly going to be on this call and listening to both the Chancellor and the special guests

When it comes to talking pensions , it looks like Pension Bee are more likely to get the Chancellor’s ear than the usual suspects. No wonder the stock market is valuing what is still called a “start up” at £350m.

Sunak will be talking with the CEOs of Plaid, who hook financial institutions up via APIs, Plural AI who help us take better decisions by getting us better data, Hopin who provide digital platforms for conferences and 20 Minute VC , that gives Fintechs a voice to get funding.

You may not have heard of these organizations, I have not heard of some of them but they are the stuff of the future and that’s why I’ll be tuning into the call this pm.

So what’s the agenda?

APIs first!

If you don’t know what this is about, don’t walk away, listen! I’d have expected to see Pension Dashboard as a heading, it isn’t – I think I know why. The Pensions dashboard cannot happen without a digital strategy which makes pension data “smart data” and that means opening up pensions as the CMA opened up banking.

That means organizations like Plaid and Yappily, working with the big 12 pension providers to ensure that most of our data is available on an app to app basis, so that firms like Pension Bee, AgeWage and many other Pentechs can deliver information in real time. Putting the information people need to value their pensions is not hard , nor is it hard to imagine people using that information in constructive ways. The counterfactual is that people don’t get the data, don’t get it translated into meaningful information and don’t have the chance to take the necessary steps to sort their later life finances

To think that the pension industry is too important to listen to the arguments of Pension Bee, Plaid, Plural AI and Coadec is delusional!

This is no stunt!

Is Rishi Sunak playing a PR game? I don’t think you need to play PR games when you are the Chancellor facing the kind of problems he is.

Is the London Stock Exchange being bamboozled by Pension Bee? I don’t think you get a full listing on the back of a strong social media offering.

What is going on , behind the backs of the pension establishment is a revolution in financial technology, in digital communication and in the way the market values companies. It’s about responding to change – big and lasting change brought about by the climate, by our leaving the EC and by the jolt of the pandemic.

Sunak understands that these changes and the challenges they bring, are best met through innovation. Painful as it is for us to change, we must. We mustn’t miss out.

Pensions mustn’t miss out!

There is a very real chance that in focusing on our local issues, the UK pension industry misses the great surge in innovation happening everywhere else. I got a few emails yesterday from friends complaining that I wasn’t criticizing Pension Bee for an unrealistic valuation.

It is true that Pension Bee makes a loss and will probably make more of a loss as it invests more for the future. To those who quote Ebitda , I respond Ebitladeedah! The rewards of innovation are far distant – as are the rewards of a pension. If you don’t think that the innovation that Pension Bee, can deliver lasting benefits over time , perhaps you should be on this call. I urge you to come into the Clubhouse at 4.30pm this day – Thursday 25th March!

About henry tapper

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