All being well, we will move into 25 Copthall Avenue in early October; and not before time. We were recently reminded how overdue this move is when staff arrived one morning to find the pipes above their desks had burst and the floor was flooded. Now that remote working is engrained in our approach, thankfully it did not impact their day, but it did seem rather serendipitous that this happened in the month before we were due to move. Many clients who have visited our Coleman Street office will have noticed the lovely décor in our client meeting area. Sadly, this same comfort has not extended to our staff floors and I would like to thank everyone based in London for their patience, which I believe will be deservedly rewarded once we are in situ in Copthall Avenue.
As well as welcoming all our teams there, I very much hope that those clients who have started travelling again, will come and visit us as, despite discovering the benefits of video conferencing, I do believe we lose a lot of the nuance and subtleties to a relationship that face-to-face meetings offer. But as ever, we will look to remain flexible to suit your needs.
Despite a sharp fall in July, markets have been relatively flat during the summer. The outlook remains positive but we continue to keep a close eye on those indicators that might suggest increased inflation. John Royden uses his regular “Bond in focus” slot, to look at the arguments that are driving the direction for inflation, whilst Brian Tora suggests in his article on page 20, that the current supply chain issues may drive increased productivity, which could help the impending unemployment problem caused by the ending of the furlough scheme.
Elsewhere, we discuss the importance of taking control of your pension. When talking to clients, we realise they often exclude their pension when discussing their overall wealth situation, but often a pension is the largest and most important asset so it can be important to review your pension(s) as you would your ISAs or investment accounts. Our wealth planning team are well versed in helping clients with their retirement plans and we would encourage everyone to dig out their old pension paperwork to see if any consolidation can help enhance your retirement.
With tax rises on the horizon, it may also be a good opportunity to review how your wealth is structured, so please do talk to your investment manager if you feel a conversation with one of our wealth planners might be worthwhile. As schools go back and the summer ends, there is very much a new term feeling and one that we must hope continues. We will of course be ready for any announcements from the government about social distancing, but the narrative now seems to be about looking forward and working out how we pay for the last 18 months.
Hugo Bedford CEO