CompaniesJun 8 2016

Firing Line: Andy Kirby

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Mr Kirby and his team are not out of the woods yet, however, as many industry experts predict that the newly announced Lifetime Isa is a precursor to the widely touted pensions Isa.

Mr Kirby said: “Mark Thewliss is our content guru, and he will endeavour to ensure that the content is up-to-date. We will probably hold our breath when the next Budget comes around. Hopefully George Osborne will not tinker with pensions for a while.”

The Pension Portal is a new entrant to a somewhat saturated marketplace – with the likes of Citizens Advice Bureau and The Pensions Advisory Service traditionally servicing the UK population.

More recently, the government-backed organisations were handed the reins to the free impartial guidance service Pension Wise – which was created from the pension freedoms.

This begs the question: is there a need for another guidance service?

Mr Kirby thinks so. The Pension Freedoms portal allows providers to include links to the aforementioned guidance websites.

He said: “We like Pension Wise; we think it is a valuable service, but we do things differently. When posed with this question, I often respond by asking: “How many people have read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and how many people have watched the film? There lies your answer. A lot of people want to consume information through video.”

Mr Kirby revealed that the company has held talks with representatives from the FCA, the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury with the view to synergise by implementing its technology onto government-backed websites.

He said: “We are not averse to collaborating. Our key goal is to provide good information to consumers, which will hopefully lead to better decision-making and ultimately better outcomes.”

The price of the service is based on a combination of development, which factors in the level of tailoring and the amount of unique content required, and the usage fee, which is based on the amount of content accessed by the provider’s customers.

Mr Kirby said that the initial cost is benchmarked at between £10,000 and £20,000, while ongoing costs, which include the use of analytical services, is likely to be in the region of £6,000 to £10,000.

The service, which went live in May, has already garnered strong interest from industry providers.

Interestingly, Mint Wealth Management is part of the Intrinsic network, which is owned by Old Mutual – a potential client of The Pensions Portal.

This begs another question: has Mr Kirby pitched the product to the life assurer?

“Let’s just say we are using our sources,” he said.

Myron Jobson is a features writer at Financial Adviser


2015 – present

Managing director, The Pensions Portal