Flexible Resourcing for Pensions Professionals

Yesterday, my morning started at Goldman Sachs, where I had the privilege of attending a breakfast hosted by Executive Shift, a Charity that is dedicated to shifting attitudes about how executives (and teams) can work.

I was particularly keen to attend because, at mallowstreet, we are dedicated to helping solve the institutional pensions crisis – and to help make sure that every member receives their pension in full. A huge goal for a team of 12, but I believe if we help facilitate collaboration with a diverse enough group of thinkers, we will help solve this great challenge.

The topic of the morning was quite interesting and relevant from an industry and personal perspective:

The world of pensions in the UK is evolving steadily with many final salary pension funds on a flight plan to reduce risk and change their investment strategy as they mature. Resourcing such a flight plan, where the timing of the changes is unknown, poses particular challenges. Faced with increased complexity and a desire to manage costs, other innovative approaches such as joint ventures, co-investments and pooling resources are likely to become an increasing feature of the pensions landscape.

David Curtis, Head of UK Institutional Business at Goldman Sachs Asset Management provided context for the group on the size, scale, scope and complexity of the problems facing the industry. Sally Bridgeland then picked up the conversation, and put two key questions to the audience:

  1. What are the main obstacles that you have experienced to using the different types of flexible resourcing? For example, these might include things like contractual, legal, procurement, cultural and attitudinal barriers.

  2. What examples do you have of overcoming these barriers? While this is focused on the challenges of the pensions industry, all possible ideas are welcome!

Interestingly, the conversation moved onto culture and precedent; what characteristics are necessary to help drive change, particularly when one considers the expectations of Gen Y and Millennials. For those who want to know more about this, I suggest having a look a recent post by Mitesh Sheth (CEO Redington) most recent post: Reflections on Talent, Culture, Leadership and Engagement (Strategic HR Magazine).

It was an excellent discussion, and I left with lots to think about and discuss with my team. In this evolving world of flexible working, finding the right resources and expertise is essential to helping solve the institutional pensions crisis. In my opinion, a key element of success is a strong focus on culture and recalibrating ‘traditional’ ways of thinking. With this in mind, I think that Sally and Executive Shift are onto something.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this – is this something that you find yourself thinking about?