Confessions from a CEO: What’s going on at mallowstreet

Here at mallowstreet, we run internal education sessions for the team once a fortnight. These are usually split into two parts: the first half is focused on learning about a particular product (e.g. Credit) and the second half focuses on a broader theme (e.g. Sustainability).

In this week’s session, I opened the conversation by explaining why we set mallowstreet up in the first place: mallowstreet exists to help solve the pensions and savings crisis, and establish a Centre of Excellence for learning and understanding.

Before I could get to the ‘How?’, a hand went up and I was asked the following question from a newer member of the team: ‘Stu, how big is this pensions crisis, and is it really a crisis?’

For my answer, I referenced a tweet from Josephine Cumbo: ‘Pension deficits at the UK’s 350 largest companies rose from £92bn in April to £98bn at the end of May.’ I then explained that this doesn’t include all 7,800 pension funds in the UK (which adds a significant amount to this number), nor does it include the unfunded obligations for many public sector pension funds. At which point I got a fearful look back, and was asked what we (mallowstreet) were going to do to help?

Our “How”

At our core, mallowstreet.com provides an online hub for more than 3,000 pensions professionals. This is complemented by an extensive events programme, encompassing: Educational Dinners, Drive Ins, Live Debates, Workshops and Summits. Taken together, these supercharge connectivity in the industry and help drive us closer to a solution.

At the end of the meeting we went around the room and asked each team member to describe how they were feeling in a word – and almost everyone came back with ‘excited’. Yes, we are all very busy, but we are really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.

So what has been happening in May?

An examination of top search terms shows that ‘Volatility’ was once again a top concern for our community members. This is driven by uncertainty around two key concerns: 1) how long interest rates can remain at current levels and 2) the upcoming Referendum on the UK’s EU membership.

Top mallowstreet Search Terms in May

  1. Volatility
  2. BREXIT
  3. European Credit
  4. BHS
  5. Responsible Investment
  6. DGF
  7. Defined Contribution
  8. Economic Outlook
  9. Infrastructure
  10. LGPS

We are also keeping a close eye on the Future of Sustainability Forum. Just this month alone, there have been more than 10 comments and 158 views. This is certainly a key topic in the community, and we will closely follow this conversation over the summer, and are already planning on pulling together a follow up workshop this Autumn.

mallowstreet is growing!

We are pleased to announce that this week we have welcomed to new members to the team: Emma Milsted and Aline Francois. Emma is helping the Operations team, working closely with our community members and Aline is helping the Development team, building enhancements to the mallowstreet site.

See you on mallowstreet!