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There have been a number of significant events since my last note. February saw the DWP select the UKFMPG and ISO 20022 messaging standards, currently used for portfolio transfers and asset migration, to support the Governments Pot-Follows-Member initiative. The adoption of open standards is most welcome and our Q1 Transfers and Re-registration Market update provides useful data on volumes and trends for electronic transfers.
March brought the traditional Spring budget and, judging by the number of downloads, our first Impacts on Financial Services Businesses briefing paper, published that very afternoon, was very well received.
April ushered in the new ‘pension freedoms’ and, much like Y2K, people, processes and systems took it in their stride. That said, our industry should strive to innovate and deliver more suitable solutions that balance income, flexibility and longevity risk at retirement.  Our Solutions not Problems: Innovation in Retirement event on 16th June will take a creative look at some of the new things we can expect from providers in response to the freedoms.
It’s hard to call what will happen on the 7th May but, regardless of the colour and shape of the next government, we can safely predict the Financial Services industry will continue to respond to regulatory changes and adapt to ever-changing market conditions. 

David Jackson, Managing Director
Tuesday 16th June 2015
SWIFT Offices, London EC3R 7NE

Altus Consulting would like to invite you to the Solutions not Problems: Innovation in Retirement event, being held at the SWIFT offices, London on Tuesday 16th June 2015.

The event will assess the tactical changes provider firms have implemented in readiness for April's freedoms, before then taking a creative look at the types of innovation that could transform the "At Retirement" market and where the market is likely to be in 2020.

The panel of leading experts and speakers will look to answer questions such as: What does the customer really want?  What innovations are already out there? And, how do we make new propositions profitable?

Speakers and panellists include:

  • Michelle Cracknell â€“ The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS)
  • Adrian Boulding, Pensions Strategy Director – Legal and General
  • Chris Smeaton, Marketing Director – James Hay Partnership
  • Mark Pemberton, Executive Director – Morgan Stanley
  • Caroline Naylor-RennGlobal Wealth Products and Services â€“ HSBC
  • Bruce Moss, Founder and Strategy Director, eValue
  • Will Watling, Product and Marketing Director, Altus
Join us for this unique event where you will have the chance to quiz both the experts and the innovators of today's financial services market. Places are limited so we encourage you to book early .

Please follow this link for the full programme

Please follow this link to register your place

Not able to come along? - Join in the conversation on Twitter using #AltusiiR 

DC Pensions: A Pension Platform for the Future

With a well-documented shift from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution provision and a predicted explosion in transaction volumes after the advent of auto-enrolment in 2014, prospects look good for pension fund platforms.

As one of a handful of companies to offer such a solution, AXA Wealth is well positioned to benefit. Its open-architecture DC platform already links to hundreds of funds and, with highly flexible blending and rebalancing functionality, has attracted some big name clients and over £2Bn of AUM.

But AXA recognised that to really expand this part of their business and attract bigger schemes they would need more automation, especially around the interactions with pension scheme administrators where new message standards for Fund Trading over SWIFT were beginning to emerge.

Download the full case study.

Disparity in Online Pension Illustration Tools

Using the most popular on-line pension illustration tools from some of the top insurance and wealth management companies and even the Money Advice Service Altus Consulting calculated what that person was likely to get at the point of retirement.

Altus’ consultants took an average person earning £29,360 with existing savings of £37,400 at age 42 with pension contributions of 9.4% from salary

The results highlighted a massive disparity:


Research Methodology

Transfer and Re-registration Market Update - Q1 2015

The first quarter of 2015 saw continued steady growth and improvements in the use of electronic transfers and re-registrations. The volumes of rejections of electronic transfers has dramatically reduced when compared with the previous two quarters. 

At the end of March 2015 there were 110 TeX members supporting live electronic transfers and re-registrations, covering over 80% of AUA on advisor platforms and 86% of UK fund managers FUM. 

The open standards approach to pension transfers received a considerable boost when, in February the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) selected the UKFMPG messaging used in electronic transfers as the standard to support the Pot-Follows-Member initiative.  

For more stats click here

Financial Services Business Architecture Training Course

There are a limited number of places still available on our Financial Services Business Architecture training course, running in Bath between the 19th and 21st of May. 

This three day course has been put together following many years of experience working with architecture functions and delivering consulting assignments.  It is the only one of its kind to focus specifically on the challenges of Financial Services and uses real FS examples and practical exercises.  Over 300 people have now attended the course, which we also deliver internally to support the growth of our Consultancy business.

Who should attend? 

The course is intended for Business Architects, senior Business Analysts and other FS change professionals who are looking to better understand business architecture and develop practical skills.

The next open course dates, held at our offices in Bath, are:

19th May - 21st May, 2015
29th Sept - 1st Oct, 2015


For more information about our 'open' and 'in-house' training courses, please contact our training department to discuss your personal requirements.

Want more information?

Pot Follows Member (PFM) Workshop 

Hot on the heels of the DWP’s decision to adopt ISO 20022 and the UKFMPG open standards to support the automatic ‘pot-follows-member’ initiative, Altus has been running a series of analysis workshops.

The workshops have focussed on the practical operational aspects of the pot matching and pension transfer process and are also working through the necessary enhancements to the Altus Transfer Gateway (ATG) to support PFM transfers.  The sessions have been well attended with wide representation from EBCs, Life Companies and Master Trusts. Participants are now well prepared for the first UKFMPG meeting this week.

With the October 2016 live date on the horizon, many of the organisations participating in the workshops are already beginning to initiate change programmes and the Altus workshops are proving very useful in helping them shape their plans.

If you’d like to know more about the workshops or the whole PFM initiative please contact:

Budget 2015 Briefing Paper by Jon Dean, Senior Consultant

Impacts on Financial Services Businesses briefing paper is an excellent summary of the 2015 budget and highlights the impact for banks, pension providers and schemes, businesses, savings.

"Overall, this budget appears to present more opportunities than negatives for the financial sector. Banks are least likely to be satisfied with the measures introduced, in particular the banking levy and the removal of tax relief from compensation payments."

Read more opinion about the budget from Jon Dean, Senior Consultant and download your copy of the briefing paper.

Altus joins the Pensions Management Institute (PMI)

Ben Cocks, Director of Business Systems has become an affiliate member of the Pensions Management Institute (PMI). The Institute is committed to raising standards by providing members with the highest quality pensions qualifications.

The PMI sets and promotes standards of excellence and lifelong learning for employee benefits and retirement savings professionals and trustees through qualifications, membership and ongoing support services.

Investment Network meeting

Altus Consulting Director Kevin Okell represented Altus on a panel of Platform experts at January’s Investment Network meeting. Kevin joined Tony Klim, Peter Mann, Brett Williams and Mark Stringer to debate topical issues including STP, charging models, D2C platforms and robo-advice and was typically forthright with his opinions.

Pictured: ATG user group in session. Delegates hear the latest developments and join in open-discussions. 

ATG User Group
Altus hold a 6 monthly Altus Transfer Gateway (ATG) user group. The next user group will be on the 2nd July 2015.  We will be sending out invitations and full details shortly but in the meantime if you wish to book ahead of time please email:

The real cost of innovation: looking beyond the three year business case

Head of Consulting at Altus, Martyn Evans, addressed the Pensions Network at their Spring meeting with a talk entitled “The Real Cost of Innovation: looking beyond the three year business case”.  This examined some of the likely operational impacts of innovations in the L&P market, being driven by pension reforms, and demonstrated the need for greater up-front consideration of the long-term operational costs of supporting any new product.

Martyn highlighted that on average a pension policy today will be migrated from one IT platform to another at least twice before the policyholder reaches retirement and that, although the cost of undertaking this complex activity is huge, this is never factored into the business case for new propositions which can be as short as three years.

The talk revealed some real statistics on migrations and finished with key recommendations for providers in the competitive, low operating cost environment of the future.

Pictured L-R: Daniel Butler - Head of Finance and Operations, Becca Allan - Marketing Executive, Laurence Parsons - Consultant, Beth Chubb - Products Services Specialist and Lottie Dyke - Office Administrator.

Bath Half Marathon - Julian House

A record turnout of 15,000 runners attended the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday 1st March 2015 among them were staff from Altus who ran to raise funds for a local Bath charity Julian House. Runners were joined by 45,000 supporters cheering for friends, family and colleagues.
In the Press!

Will the annuity market survive pension freedoms?
Money Marketing

Electronic transfers and re-reg continue to increase
FT Adviser

Huge disparity between pension illustration tools revealed
Professional Pensions

DWP proposals set pot follows member in motion 
Professional Pensions

Pension transfers to be a ‘federated system’, DWP announces 
Pensions Age

P2P loans must become ‘intermediated’ to grow 
FT Adviser

Read more In the Press! from Altus Business Systems and Consulting
Latest Blog: I, robot – can the US robo-advice model disrupt the UK? Part 1.
By Principal Consultant, Simon Bussy

Simon's blog post looks at the how companies in the US are full steam ahead with robo-advice and what the UK are doing about it. Read more about Simon's fascinating insights on the possible opportunities available to the UK market Read more... 

Our analysis shows that more people read our blogs on a Sunday than any other day - Join in by sharing your blog and adding  #fsblogsunday when you tweet.
Upcoming Events

Meet-up with us! Altus are attending the following events if you are coming along and would like to arrange a catch-up with one of the team please contact

ALFI London Conference, 21st April, Guildhall, London
Ben Cocks, Business Systems Director. Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director.

SWIFT Business Forum,  23rd April, The Brewery, London
David Jackson, Managing Director. Ben Cocks, Business Systems Director. Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director.

Workplace Pensions Live 2015, 13th-14th May, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director. Louise May, Relationship Manager. Liz Sharp, Marketing Manager.

Pensions Management Institute Annual Conference (PMI), 15th May, Drapers Hall, London
Ben Cocks, Business Systems Director.

Association of Member-Directed Pension Schemes (AMPS), 18th May, Hilton Paddington, London
Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director. Louise May, Relationship Manager. Liz Sharp, Marketing Manager.

The Pension-Net-Work Meeting, 11th June, Wokefield Park Mansion, Reading

Solutions not Problems: Innovation in Retirement, 16th June, SWIFT Offices, London
Invitation-only Altus Consulting event, being held at the SWIFT offices in London. This event will assess the tactical changes provider firms have implemented in readiness for April's freedoms, before then taking a creative look at the types of innovation that could transform the "At Retirement" market and where the market is likely to be in 2020. For more information contact

The D2C Conference, 24th June, The Radisson Blu Edwardian, London
Adam Jones, Senior Consultant (speaking in the technology demonstration panel). Simon Bussy, Principal Consultant and Kevin Okell, Consulting Director.
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