Featured Face: Colin Richardson

At PTL we pride ourselves on being personable. Meet Colin Richardson, Client Director. Colin has compiled a useful factsheet for you to download on Member Outcomes/Liability Management – this factsheet & others in our series can be found here

Colin RichardsonWhat was your favourite subject at school? Worst?

For attainment – Maths!  For interest and pleasure: Geography.  Worst subject: Art.  Hopeless!  Like to appreciate it but can’t create it: unless you call maths an art…

Do you have a nickname?

Not in recent years, or not that anyone says to my face!  Too many at school to mention!

If you had to be classified as a member of a “generation” which would it be?

I am just pre Generation X according to the superficial “official” generational definitions.  I detest these generational classifications….   We all go from young to not so young to older and so on…

What was the first record that you bought?

This is so embarrassing!  Do I have to answer – truthfully?  OK – it was Andrew Gold – Never let her slip away.  If you remember it then you’ll agree it’s embarrassing!  I was in “infatuation” for the first time at the time.  1978 for those pop aficionados out there.

What was the last concert you went to?

Bryan Ferry. He was astonishingly good – as polished in concert as his recordings…

What did you want to be when you were at school?

I had no idea.  I had a general desire for it to be connected to finance and people.

What was your first job?

Testing physics laboratory equipment during study vacations.

How did you start in the pensions profession?

Not an exciting story; whilst working training a life company direct salesforce on product details I had considerable liaison with actuarial team on the policy technicalities.  They said as a mathematician I should be an Actuary – so I started the process.  2 years after starting I decided to move from life actuarial to pensions actuarial.  25 years later…..

What is your favourite book and film?

Book: Success Intelligence.  Robert Holden.  You won’t have heard of it but I have some spare copies for any interested reader.   Film – Blue Velvet: Dennis Hopper at his best.

Do you support a sporting team?

No comment!  Those that know me know who it is!

What three adjectives would your colleagues use to describe you?

Personable.  Logical.  Purposeful. (Perhaps! – maybe I should ask them…..)

What aspect of pensions legislation or provision would you change if you could?

There is a rather wide field of choice here!  After the 2014 budget we have enough to be going on with for the time being!  I am a long-standing critic of the reductions in annual and lifetime allowances (they both need doubling over the next 5 years, in my view!), and the large difference  between the DB and DC limits in practice.   

Who is the most irritating person in the industry or public eye? 

I have liked nearly everyone I have worked with in pensions – and I’m not going to name the very rare exceptions!  So I’ll go for all complacent politicians who don’t understand or acknowledge the consequences of the dire national financial position in terms of our ever-rising debt (both off and on balance sheet).  Unfortunately, that’s most politicians within all parties then…. 

Who is the most influential person in the pensions industry?

It’s hard to single out a specific individual.  I know many who would like to claim they have influence!  The 2014 budget has shown that the largest influence is the current chancellor.

Should saving into a pension be compulsory? 

Yes – there is no escaping this – unfortunately.  I dislike a nanny state but the last 20 years has shown an unfortunate need for compulsion.  At what ages and what amounts there is legitimate debate.

Pension or ISA?

Both equally fine depending on individual circumstances.  I have always liked the simplicity of ISAs. 

What is your worst habit?

Surely I don’t have to answer that?  I am self-critical about some habits but I’m not writing about them for a website!

When was the last time you lost your temper?

Probably quite recently!

What was the last “bargain” you got?

Can’t remember a recent great bargain.

What is your favourite meal and drink?

A good quality Mexican meal and champagne – although not simultaneously!  The best Mexican in recent years I had in Canterbury.  It’s worth going there just for that particular place.

What is the biggest bet you ever placed and did you win?

I’m not a great gambler. – aside from investments!  Having never bet before I lost £20 over a bet with a friend on the 1988 FA Cup final.  It was the best £20 ever spent because afterwards I vowed to never bet again.  I have never actually stepped into a high street bookmaker.  Not too tempted to do so really.

Who would be your ideal dinner guest?

Perhaps Jeremy Paxman.  I’d ask him his views on all the softer interviewers out there. For me he combines real debate laced with humour underneath.

What was the last country you visited?

Switzerland. Skiing haven for us. 

How do you plan to spend your retirement years?

Who knows what they want to do a long time hence?  Perhaps lots of walking in favourite places.  Reading all the books I never get around to.  Volunteer work likely to feature strongly.

Congratulations, you’ve won the lottery. What next?

A house for each of the children, a large donation to a charity, a couple of luxury holidays and then take time to think about the rest.  Of course the annual and lifetime allowances would be a problem in terms of putting it in a pension….

Colin joined PTL as a Client Director in March 2014 having previously spent twenty-five years in pensions and actuarial consultancy.  He is formerly a Director at KPMG and a partner at Barnett Waddingham with subsequent senior positions at JLT and Buck Consultants. 

To contact Colin email crichardson@ptluk.com

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