“You have no ENTITLEMENT to our savings” – a message to London Tech Week

Our Pension funds are not ATMs for cash-hungry technology companies.

Whoever gave Erin Platts the idea that tech companies should have access to our money by right, needs to recommunicate. Tech companies scale either organically or because the market chooses to fund them. They are not entitled to our pension savings and even if the fiscal incentives were to favor pension funds (including DC workplace pensions) investing in them, the decisions on whether that money was forthcoming are down to those appointed to invest our money.

SVB is now backed by HSBC and , I’d hope that HSBC Bank is its primary source of funds. To unlock the mystery of the thread “Local Globe” are intermediaries (like HSBC innovation)  – making capital flow. It is not like tech is starved of funding .

LTW is London Tech Week, backed by the great and the good. It has literally hundreds of sessions focussing on what it considers the important societal issues. It has not chosen to include pension funds in its program.

Scanning its three day agenda , I see no sessions focussing on harnessing tech to improve our retirements, I see no representation from any organisation focussed on pension dashboards , the use of AI in advice or guidance.

LTW is where the politics of technology gets a showcase.  While Andrew Griffiths posted a video to the PLSA (rather than visiting the PLSA) , there are dozens of leading politicians appearing at LTW.   Guy Opperman appears for the DWP, but most definitely not with a pensions hat on. (don’t mention the dashboard). Laura Trott is not involved.

The star acts come thick and fast

Tech is super sexy and pensions aren’t. Tech wants our money but when it comes to Pension Tech, the agenda is silent. It’s a one way flow with pensions the poor relation.

So it’s not hard to guess where the sense of entitlement is coming from.

Pensions exist in their loop and tech exists in its. We have the money of the “hardworking” people who do the saving and tech want that money to spend on scaling up.

We have seen plenty of examples of tech companies scaling up and many show that with capital great things can be achieved

equally, great fortunes can dissipate to nothing

FTX blew investors money with little due diligence from investors

The natural suspicion of those who collect contributions from payroll and bank accounts , guard that money and allocate it to investments , is to ensure that it is invested in the former stocks and not the latter ones. The scaling up of FTX reminds us that investing in the equity of tech stocks carries big risks that can best be mitigated by due diligence. The cost of that due diligence is high relative to what’s needed in getting access to listed investments – where that work is carried out by those who list the stock.

It is very easy – in the middle of London Tech Week, to focus on  the Treasury’s clarion call (made by Andrew Griffiths in his video)  for us to “be more upbeat and celebrate success”. That phrase  is now being echoed by those wanting our money


I write as Chair of a Fintech with over 500 investors who chose to put their money behind my ideas. I hope to repay them and for them to “celebrate success”. But getting there is hard work and there is always a risk of failure.

I do not feel an entitlement to money from any tech fund set up with other people’s money. I support the investment of pension funds in scaling up UK fintech, but not the sense of entitlement I have witnessed at London Tech Week.


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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3 Responses to “You have no ENTITLEMENT to our savings” – a message to London Tech Week

  1. Con Keating says:

    Such attitudes are highly indicative of bull market bubbles – beware!

  2. Sarah Wilson says:

    Well said, Henry. Nationalisation of pension funds (beyond forcing them to buy gilts) appears to have captured this government’s imagination but not wholesale reform of say PE. The Library of Mistakes in Edinburgh has a front page newspaper discussing the reluctance of Mr Ponzi to explain his business model.

  3. DaveC says:

    It reminds me of Homer Simpson’s “Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net” from The Simpsons back in the late 90s.
    Only a year or so later the dot com bubble burst, leaving just a few standing… and giving birth to just a few of these greats of the tech industry.

    Today it’s A.I. crypto VR omni/meta ‘verse, fintech type words.

    We’ve had three bull rallies in tech on these hype words in the last three years or so.

    It’s terrifying to see government now buying into the FOMO, wishing to use our pension savings to buy their share of mostly hot air.

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