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Church Halls, Noah’s wine business and the danger of missing the boat.

I’m not religious.

However as a child I was (loosely) raised in the church of England…

I remember as a kid many a Sunday morning was spent in a drafty church hall listening to some of the fantastic stories contained in the bible.

I had my personal favourites….

Adam and Eve.

The birth of Christ.

The story of Noah’s Ark.

However (being a curious, nerdy and precocious child) the more I heard these stories the more I wanted to know about the story they didn’t tell….

I wanted to know why Noah started his own little wine business after landing (surely he’d make a better farmer or boat builder)

I wanted to know how many species were actually on the boat (surely Noah didn’t manage to get all the separate species of , for example Beetles or Ants, on the boat)

…and I also wanted to know that how many animals, or species just missed the boat!

In my mind there were a bunch of animals who were on their way to Noah’s Ark and due to “running a bit late” had a little curse under their breath as the Ark sailed away.

I haven’t thought about the bible stories (and especially Noah’s story) for a good few years however I’ve been reminded of it recently (due to my involvement in the auto enrolment advisory group)  when talking to a lot of financial planners and financial advisers about many of their clients upcoming duties.

I’m finding a wide range of financial planning firms are sitting firmly in 3 camps…

Firstly you’ve got the firms who have decided not to get involved.

There are many financial planning / advisory firms who, quite understandably won’t get involved in automatic enrolment. Although I see it as a fantastic opportunity (both from my own business and the collaborative business I’m proud to be a part of) I understand why you wouldn’t want to get involved as it employer duties and automatic enrolment compliance is a significant move in direction (both from a skill and knowledge perspective) from traditional financial planning.

I also think that advisory firms should be clear about whether they are in…or out. Which brings me onto the next camp….

Firms who have decided to get involved

There are a few financial planning and advisory firms who have dived into this market. They have decided that one of their specific niches will be helping employers prepare for automatic enrolment and it’s likely that if they are involved in this market have been learning about how to do it well for months (if not years).

and then you’ve got the third category…

Firms who have almost missed the boat

I see all other firms to be in a position where they don’t have long left before they need to decide one way or another whether automatic enrolment will genuinely be part of their proposition. Firms shouldn’t play and need to ensure they have built robust propositions (or have partnered up with someone like the Auto Enrolment Advisory Group who have already done this work) or have decided to duck out of the market…

However like the animals who almost caught Noah’s Ark unless IFA’s or Financial Planners make a decision soon….they would have definitely missed the Automatic Enrolment boat.

However what I’m interest in is your thoughts….are you in? are you out? or are you still undecided?

What concerns have you got about the employer duties and automatic enrolment market? or what opportunities do you see occurring over the next few years?

As ever I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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