In a special series of columns for Financial Planning Today Mr Moret, who writes a regular column for Financial Planning Today, looks back over the last 5 decades and forward to potential developments.
In a career spanning half a century he says personal highlights have included:
- The success of SIPPs - largely ignored at first with just 50,000 SIPPs in 2000 compared with over 2.5m in 2020
- Successfully predicting in 1999 there would be over half a million SIPPs by 2010 despite being laughed at by most of the industry
- Visiting Number 10 in 1994 to “advise” one of John Major’s advisers on the shape of a drawdown regime (introduced in 1995)
- Having a meeting with the formidable Ann Widdicombe when she was at the DSS in 1991 – “the four civil servants in attendance only spoke when invited by her”
- Launching one of the first ever SIPPs in 1990 (when I was at Provident Life)
- Helping Henry Catchpole grow and then sell Suffolk Life to L&G in 2008
- The sponsorship by Provident Life (and then Winterthur Life) of the Institute of Financial Planning in its very early and formative days in the 1990s and the involvement with some of the key driving forces behind the IFP, such as David Norton.
Mr Moret retired from SIPP firm Suffolk Life (now part of Curtis Banks) a number of years ago but remains a director of both Sipp firms and customer experience consultancy Investor in Customers.
He said the biggest changes he had seen over the 50 years were the demise of the life companies and the rise of platforms.
Other big changes have included the impact of technology, the move from DB to DC, increased longevity for pensioners and the growth of fee-based advice and holistic Financial Planning.
The biggest shocks, he said, included George Osborne’s announcement of the Pension Freedoms, Gordon Brown’s “smash and grab” raid on pension schemes in 1997, the demise of Equitable Life and the Maxwell pensions scandal.
He said he was personally disappointed to see the growth in pensions scams and frauds and the consequent reputational damage caused, particularly to the SIPP market “most of which could have been prevented by a pro-active regulator willing to properly engage with the industry.”
John Moret said: “As I finally start to wind down my two remaining ambitions are to try and facilitate a sensible new regulatory regime for Sipps and to make more businesses aware of the benefits that customer experience insight can bring.
“Other than that I hope to win my bet with a good friend that I’ll still be playing competitive tennis when I’m 90!”