A new organisation, known as The-Pensions-Net-Work, is being been established to discuss and examine in detail the latest issues in the pensions industry.
Set up by Malcolm Small, of the Lyncombe Consultancy, and Peter Le Beau, of Le Beau Visage, The-Pensions-Net-Work is a member-based organisation which will meet for round-table conferences four times a year.
It says there is a “compelling need” for senior professionals in the fields of pension and employee benefits to be able to consider the effect of these impacts with their peers in a non-competitive, relaxed and informal environment, in order to understand how to cope with them and advise their respective organisations on best practice.
The organisation adds membership will be of most interest to employee benefit consultancies, pension scheme managers, pension scheme providers, insurance companies, worksite marketers, re-insurers and other providers to the pensions and employee benefits industry including IFAs.
Both individual and corporate membership, where the company can send up to two delegates to each conference, are available, although membership is strictly limited.
The-Pensions-Net-Work says it aims to build on the format established by Peter Le Beau in The-Net-Work, which will be a complementary body, and will be run by a management board chaired by Malcolm Small, and comprising of nine other key industry figures including Steve Bee, David Severn, Adrian Boulding, Gareth Marr and Tony Wickenden.
Each conference will run from a Thursday night to Friday afternoon, and will not be able to be reported by the press, to allow open, relaxed and constructive debate, while playing host to a series of expert speakers, the first of which is scheduled to be the Labour MP Frank Field.
The first conference will be held on 1 June, with the second conference scheduled for the Autumn, followed by four quarterly conferences in 2007.
Topics to be covered will include the Turner report, the aftermath of A-Day and the decline of Defined Benefit schemes.
The-Pensions-Net-Work says it aims to create a “group of high quality thinkers who can discuss the needs and development of the pensions and employee benefits industry in an open, collegiate and stimulating way”, with the expectation the organisation will develop into one of the most important forums in the UK financial services industry.
Adrian Boulding, pensions strategy director at Legal & General and member of the Management Board, says it is an opportunity for people interested in talking about pension industry issues to get together without fear of being reported to enable the conversation to be a bit more informal and to share views a bit more freely.
He adds: “With so much change going on in the industry, I think it is a very exciting development for people to get together and chew the cud on important issues, and will hopefully spread and extend the knowledge and understanding of the pensions world.”
Malcolm Small, chair of The-Pensions-Net-Work, says essentially the world of pensions and employee benefits is going through massive changes and there didn’t seem to be a safe place where senior practitioners could meet to discuss the important issues, without being caught up by the press or people with a particular axe to grind.
He adds it was remarkable easy to get people involved, as when he tested the idea, people asked to be involved. The organisation also welcomes IFA involvement and it has Gareth Marr formerly of Origen to represent the intermediary angle on the intermediary board.
Small says the aim of the body will be to promote a common understanding of disparate views, “as there are a number of different views which have fairly significant points of difference, and we would like to reconcile those”, and transmit any significant breakthroughs or consensus to the Government or regulator through direct communication rather than the press.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7968 4558 or email [email protected]IFAonline
Javid's first fiscal announcement
'Misunderstood our profession'
Newly created role
No direct replacement planned
Could be delayed by general election