Together, building better futures

Happy New Year

04 Jan 2023

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you’ve all enjoyed time with family and friends over the festive break. It’s certainly felt like a time to recharge the batteries and look forward with the hope of a less turbulent year in 2023! 

Was it really only a year ago that Covid was still causing havoc with Christmas plans? Last year, I was looking forward to seeing Covid restrictions disappear and us all having the chance to get back together – truly together – and fully embrace hybrid working. It was great to enjoy a more normal Christmas, but the intervening 12 months have been tumultuous to say the least. 

Three prime ministers in a year (without an election), 70s style inflation, near UK economic oblivion, even a winter world cup – the ridiculous, the sublime and everything in between. 

Through all this we’ve seen some examples of how values and principles really matter. While the men’s football world cup may not feature quite so prominently on everyone’s ‘notable events of 2022’ list, the build-up to kick off in Qatar quite rightly raised questions about the values of the hosts no matter how good the spectacle turned out to be. On the pitch, it seemed to settle a long running argument of who’s the greatest player of our time – Messi or Ronaldo? Not so much by the skills they demonstrated, but more how they conducted themselves. One for the love of the game, for the team; the other quite the opposite (and of course, more recently, the sad death of Pele reminded us of another true footballing great, loved for his qualities both on and off the pitch). 

In the political arena, the debate certainly wasn’t about who had the most quality. It was the lack of principle, personal integrity or ethics that shone a light on many of our so called leaders, unable to demonstrate the good behaviours they espouse and advocate for others. 

From football to politics, both offered a reminder that it’s not enough just to do things well, it’s as important to do things in the right way. This applies to all of us, as individuals and firms.  

John Dickson - Senior Partner

At Hymans, we want to make people’s financial futures better through the advice and support we give to our clients and customers. And I’m proud of the job we’ve done this year for our clients across the board. The political uncertainty, war in Ukraine, economic challenges and the developing cost of living crisis have impacted all our clients – pension schemes, companies and individuals alike – and we’ve worked side by side with them to weather the various storms. Helping our DB pension clients navigate the consequences of the “mini-budget” has been a perfect example of this. 

But there’s so much more to do – the cost of living crisis is putting pressure on people across the UK. There was already a huge advice gap, the gender pensions gap is even bigger than the gender pay gap, and financial pressures are causing many to put a complete pause on pension contributions to ease short term pressures. We’re on a mission in 2023 and beyond to make financial advice more inclusive, to help more people better manage their finances and be more financially secure.  

However, that isn’t enough. Our purpose is “Together, building better futures”, not just financial ones. We want to make sure we have a positive impact on the wider world around us. We’re playing our part in tackling climate change and are making good progress towards our climate pledge of halving our 2019/20 core carbon emissions by 2025. We also continue to make strides in our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Both areas remain long term strategic imperatives for us, helping to build better futures for generations to come. 

DEI is something we’re extremely passionate about in the firm. One of our key responsibilities as an employer is to do our part to remove inequities in the workplace. To create an environment that provides rewarding careers where everyone can be themselves and thrive.  And that benefits everyone - not just us as individuals, but also our colleagues and our clients. It will make us a better business too, ensuring the quality of our decision-making and enhancing our relationships with our clients and customers. We’d like everyone that works for us and with us, in whatever capacity, to see themselves reflected in our firm. 

The final, and most important part of our purpose is doing this together. Togetherness gives a sense of belonging. It’s a vital part of the human condition and arguably our competitive advantage. The need for it has never been more heart felt since the pandemic and tackling everything that’s been thrown at us as we’ve emerged from it. For us, that togetherness applies equally to colleagues and clients and it’s all the more powerful when it’s in real-life rather than virtual. It’s been vital for us as a firm over the last 12 months as we’ve welcomed a record 300 new colleagues and it remains a key part of our future success.   

Our belief in the benefits of working together, collaborating and creating a creative, learning environment and fun atmosphere is reflected in our investments in our office space. Last year we extended our leases and invested in a sustainable refurb of our London office. So, while we embrace hybrid working and the flexibility it offers, we remain committed to nurturing and developing our office culture. 

Our aim, my aim, is to continue to build the firm in this image – all working together to build something better for everyone. And none of this can have the temporary nature of our typical new year’s resolutions. My 2023 recommitment to the gym will fade soon enough, but I’m confident that both my individual and our collective commitment to building better futures, for working with and for each other won’t. 

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