I know, I know, you missed me, like the deserts miss the rain. Although, if you think about it, deserts contain massive amounts of life that is perfectly evolved and adapted to live without long periods of precipitation, and it’s not just me saying that, it’s secular deity David Attenborough and you don’t mess with him.
And of course, you were well looked after by Alison, and to a lesser extent, Tom. So it might be more appropriate to say that you missed me not like the deserts miss the rain, on the basis that everything was alright, and instead you sort of missed me as one might miss a small bone spur in a joint of some kind; painful and unpleasant but the sort of thing you get used to over time. I think that’s probably the best way to describe it.
Anyway, here we are and I’m mindful that many of you will be staring glumly down the barrel of eleventy thousand weeks of childcare as schools in Englandshire break for summer, so I’ll keep this light and uncharacteristically brief. If only because I’m just back and taking some time to crank back up to some kind of operating temperature.
You’ve had a lot of regulation over the last few weeks, and I won’t add to your burden except to say that this is the last Update before what will inevitably be known forever as Consumer Duty Day or CD Day to save valuable time. It’s like A-Day but different because there are two words instead of one. And – stay with me here – we’ll have to see whether CD really is the future or whether it goes the way of – no, I’m doing it – CDs. Amirite? CDs? Oh come on. That’s regulatory comedy gold right there.
You can catch me at Venue 798, Tuesdays to Sundays, all through the Fringe, pay what you think it’s worth, £10 minimum.
So an Update in two parts then; one matter of slight substance and one of none at all. All designed to ease you into your summer like a well-lubricated…don’t know. Best leave that one there.
Substance first, and they’re mucking around with pension death benefits again, or thinking about it. Inherited pensions would stay free of income tax if the inheritor takes it all out at once, but not if they take it over time. I’m sure there’s some logic in this, but every time I think I’ve got it and you can read the results of that in the preceding four paragraphs of this Update.
On the basis that intergenerational planning is a major topic du jour this is something I suspect many of you do and should have an opinion on, and if that’s true then you might consider dropping the pension policy team in HMRC a note here (their email is at the end).
Normally I’d disregard this stuff from a Government that looks pretty likely to be in receipt of its jotters shortly (grumps about cars nothwithstanding), but the fact these changes are tucked inside the LTA change and also endorsed by the IFS, an ‘independent’ think tank in part paid for by you and me as taxpayers via a thing called the Economic Social and Research Council which receives funding from the Treasury and is the IFS’ biggest backer, makes me think that there’s something in it. Labour has said it’ll junk the LTA changes, but who knows a) if they will and b) if it’ll include this.
Is a change like this enough to impact financial plans? Maybe, for those who want to pass money on in a particular way and perhaps most of all for those who know they’re reaching the end of their life younger than we all might hope for. Any road, one to be aware of.
Substance done, it’s time to talk about rebranding and it’s inspirational to see that Space Karen has taken a leaf out of the financial services brand playbook and removed all vowels from Twitter’s name. But he’s gone still further, as is his idiom, and replaced all the other letters too with one X. This is marvellous stuff, and just a small amount of searching on what I suppose we now must call X will reveal corporate twitter, sorry, X accounts having tremendous amounts of fun with it. This is my favourite. And this one. And this one.
Interestingly, the joke I was going to make about videos on X being, you know, ecksvideos, is an immediate red flag for your email filtering systems, and so that can only give you an idea of where all this is going to end up.
It’s fun but it’s also kind of sad; a lot of the early profile the lang cat got was done via Twitter, when it was a properly brilliant place to get up to all sorts of mischief. I don’t think we’d be here without it. Now all we can do is watch it burn. Anyone heading over to Threads?
- Sad news reaches us that Dave McGovern (ex-SL, Fidelity, Hymans, Redington) has lost his swedge with multiple myeloma at the ridiculously young age of 49. A lovely, much-put-upon and gentle guy who deserved far better, as does his family who are in our thoughts. If you knew him and are moved to, you can donate to Marie Curie here.
- In happier news, we can now reveal that Ben Hammond will be joining us in September from Altus. Ben will head up our consulting business and will do great things, or so he tells me.
- I know tech firms buying one another happens all the time, but I think this is worth noticing; the big software providers that sit behind the names you know aren’t letting the grass grow. What you see in news like this tends to drive interesting things that become a part of your world in the coming years. Anyway, GBST is busy getting its technoducks in a row; the wealth space is hotting up.
- Lots of X buys Y stories going on, but this is an interesting one for fans of consolidation – Benchmark taking out one of the biggest firms in Openwork. There are seismic things going on, the like of which we are not meant to wot of…
- The FCA has published its latest Financial Lives survey this morning. Amongst other findings 4.9 million people who used firm communications to help them make a decision found they did not help at all. Obviously that will all change from Monday.
- And your music choice this week goes out to all those – like Dave – who run like hell, whatever you’re running towards. Enjoy.
See you next week.