Marcus Whitehead's summary

Through our hard work, dedication and forward thinking mentality, this year has seen us continuing to build a lasting partnership of trust with our clients. Our financial strength is a significant part of our success but the value we have been able to maintain for our clients in a time of adversity is what makes us most proud.

We now act as a trusted partner for a wide range of clients in both the private and public sectors – this includes approximately 25% of the FTSE 100 and over 15% of FTSE 350 companies with DB pension schemes.

We added 70 new clients this year and a number of our existing clients are using us for new services and solutions, particularly in business risk, management data analytics and HR analytics.

"Our financial strength is one part of our success but the value we have been able to maintain for our clients in a time of adversity is what makes us most proud."

In January, we hosted a series of well-received investment conferences across the country and were inspired by the positive feedback. The number of investment consulting clients we support has risen to almost 500 with over £70 billion in assets collectively, advised and overseen by a team of more than 90 specialist professionals.

We remain proud of our continued growth in actuarial consulting and our expertise in DB pensions remains even more important as many DB schemes draw nearer to their endgame.

Our insurance and longevity business has increased revenue significantly in the past three years, with 80 clients now benefiting from this expertise. We are particularly pleased to have a growing presence in the M&A market and engaging in the role of Part VII Independent Expert.

We are now the fund actuary to seven of the largest 25 LGPS funds in England and Wales, including West Midlands, Essex and Kent. Our public sector business successfully completed 23 actuarial valuations over the year, involving several thousand separate employer valuations. It achieved record income while implementing innovative systems to deliver a faster, better and more efficient service to our clients.

Our self-invested pension services continue to gain in popularity. We support over 2,000 SSAS and FURBS clients with assets under administration (AUA) of £4.2bn, while our SIPP service has grown to 40,000 clients and £8.8bn in clients’ AUA. We were re-awarded IIC Silver awards for both SIPP and SSAS services and granted – for the fourth year in a row – a ‘Strong’ AKG financial strength rating for our SIPP business (rated as ‘B’). Meanwhile our client survey conducted in the summer revealed that 90% of SIPP and SSAS members either agreed or strongly agreed that we have kept them well informed of any changes during lockdown.

"We added 70 clients to our books this year and many existing clients have taken advantage of our expansion into new services and solutions."

When our clients are happy, we’re happy – and given the accolades we have received this year, we know we are performing to a particularly high standard. We were evaluated as the most highly rated third party administrators in the industry in the 2020 Professional Pensions Administration Survey. This is something we are particularly proud of as the survey coincided with the Covid-19 lockdown, proving we maintained the quality of our services to our clients throughout this time.

We care about the individuality of our clients and our free thinking approach allows us to do the right thing for them, at all times. It is this mentality that also saw us accredited a Gold Award for Investor in Customers across all our services to trustees. Our ability to create long-term client relationships – based on meeting needs with tailored solutions – has been recognised with the highest scores across each of the four principles – understanding customer needs, meeting customer needs, delighting customers and engendering loyalty.

Our business isn’t just growing, it’s evolving. We have continued to invest in our suite of proprietary client technology, which is developed by our in-house software team and designed to make life and work simpler for our clients and members. This has included further development of our 4me employee benefits and engagement platform, our tools to support DC governance and DB ‘fast track’ decision-making, as well as upgrades to our popular Illuminate software that simplifies scheme funding and investment decisions.

We have faced more change this year than could have ever been predicted but we can be proud of the fact that we were able to look after our clients during a time of adversity. Looking forward to the next twelve months we will continue to evolve and embrace the changes happening, not only in the industries in which we operate, but in the wider world around us.

What will stay the same is our dedication to our people – and making sure each and every one of them continues to be best placed to benefit our clients.

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