Andrew Vaughan's summary

Our most recent financial year allowed us an opportunity to reach new heights and to prove again to our clients that we fulfil our promise of going beyond their expectations.

At the same time it presented us with challenges we – and the rest of the world – could not possibly have imagined. Our 2019-2020 Annual Report illustrates how our developments, our strategy and our strengths have made a real difference to our clients.

Truly, our story this year has been one of resilience. Following unprecedented growth and development, we set ourselves firmly on course towards another year of record revenues and I’m delighted to announce that we have surpassed the £100 million milestone in annual turnover.

While Covid-19 had an impact on us, our many years of building a truly independent organisation that prioritises people, clients, resilience and good governance allowed us to continue our progress.

Together, our people worked successfully to help clients meet their objectives and priorities without interruption, leveraging our digital technology and the robust IT systems we already had at hand.

"Our impartiality, our self-reliance and – yes – our resilience has been vital to giving clients a service they can control, can tailor, and can trust."

In true Barnett Waddingham spirit, our teams adapted to the lockdown pressures of working remotely and communicating with many anxious employers, trustees and pension scheme members. At every step we alleviated their concerns, ensuring clients received a direct line of support and that thousands of pensions were successfully paid in full.

At the same time, we maintained our commitments to local communities, donating to food banks alongside our regular charity fundraising activities. For them all, we helped to create certainty during uncertain times.

In spite of the pandemic, we also remained profitable in all four quarters and our projections for the year ahead anticipate further growth still, owing to our client focus and our continued investments in improvements and enhancements to our broad range of services.

Work to develop our newest services – including risk and management data analytics – is building momentum, while our more mainstay pension services in support of trustees, employers and sponsors continue to differentiate themselves in the market, seeing us named ‘Pensions Consultancy of the Year’ by Pensions Age.

We continue to add real value to our clients by responding to their needs and providing clearer direction on the issues that matter to them most, whether it’s guidance on ESG investing or the impact of Climate Change on the Insurance sector. We’ve also produced a wealth of new research into everything from the DB pensions endgame landscape to the latest longevity figures.

"Thanks to many years of building a truly independent organisation that prioritises people, clients, resilience and good governance, Covid-19 could not stop us from achieving record turnover and fulfilling our client promise of going beyond their expectations."

Our success is driven by our proud independence as a business. It’s what sets us apart from our competitors. Our impartiality, our self-reliance and – yes – our resilience is vital to giving clients a service they can control, can tailor, and can trust.

Just as we always do what’s right for our clients, we always do what’s right for our team of over 1,330 people, who are working hard right across the UK. It’s the reason we are now listed among the nation’s Best Companies to work for. I am conscious of the extent to which the pandemic affected our people across the business – some far more seriously than others. So it is right that we acknowledge these results in the wider context.

As fortunate as we are to have achieved so much this year, supporting our people as they deal with personal pressures and anxieties has been – and will remain – more important than profits.

This was an extraordinary year to take over as Senior Partner. We owe a great deal to Nick Salter’s many years of leadership and I look forward to building on the inclusive culture that he has championed during his tenure as Senior Partner – one of doing the right thing, no matter the situation. I would also like to pay tribute to Jane Galvin’s outstanding work as our COO for the last 10 years and I look forward to working closely with David Stoddard who has recently joined us as Jane’s successor.

While I am sure the remainder of 2020 and 2021 will provide many challenges for the economy and our clients and partners, I am confident that the Barnett Waddingham team will continue to provide an exceptional level of support and service to our long-standing as well as more recent clients.

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