Paul Bannister is a remarkable fellow, a brilliant runner he was laid low with Covid and when I met him last summer , he was sapped for energy. But now he’s back! His Strava posts are awesome and he’s running Evolve and Crystal, his two master trusts with the same authority and good humour as ever.
These two master trusts are the response of Unite the Union and the Joint Industrial Board to the democratisation of pensions brought about by auto-enrolment. Formerly BlueSky and Crystal, they may not have made the headlines of Nest, Peoples and Now but they serve the same people and deliver value through the old-fashioned virtues of mutuality, costs are linked to the profitability of the concern, value is created by trustees keen to improve member outcomes.
I’m a fan of the approach. For years the trusts were chaired by my friend Tony Filbin who handed over to Law Debenture’s Samantha Pitt in June of last year.
It will be particularly interesting to hear how Paul presents VFM this morning, especially as the meeting will be hosted by long-time spar, Steve Goddard, who ran the Salvus Master Trust till it became a part of Cushon.
We do not sufficiently value the diversity of choice available to master trusts and Evolve’s approach has consistently been innovative and fresh. It was a pioneer of target dated funds and has used Dean Wetton’s expertise to manage the investments within these funds courageously. Under Jessica Rigby, operations have been smooth and member attention amongst the best of all master trusts. It was always a pleasure to meet the Swanley team when I was running Pension PlayPen as a provider comparison site.
AgeWage has worked with the Trustees and the Executive to help them better understand their value (and incidentally the quality of their data). They are amongst our most diligent clients.
I thoroughly recommend this session and am looking forward to listening to what Paul has to say with some excitement!
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The link to the session is here.