Alright? It’s Steve here subbing in for Mark this week with a different kind of update.

Firstly, isn’t it just lovely to see our friends south of the border start to get out and about a wee bit, with social media in particular positively awash with all things haircut-ey and beer garden-ey? Whisper it… maybe… just maybe…don’t jinx it though… Mother of God don’t jinx it… we’re in the process of edging ourselves slowly back to some kind of normality. Green shoots and all that.

Speaking of getting back to normality, one thing that has been ripping my knitting over the past year has been the constant steady stream of reductive, clichéd predictions of what the future adviser office environment is going to look like. You know the type. Usually all shiny teeth, entrepreneurial and spending an inordinate amount of time blogging on LinkedIn. I’m always extremely wary of anyone claiming to speak on behalf of the advice profession claiming wholesale that ‘it needs this’ or ‘it’ll look like that’. Life is way more complex than that and there are tonnes of variables at play.

Back to green shoots, we watched with a Wrestlemania-season Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson raised eyebrow as people’s champion Nucleus declared its quarter 1 figures, noting impressive flow numbers including a record-breaking March. Although the other eyebrow popped up upon reading this last night.

Our eyebrows (stop talking about eyebrows Steve) are poised to see if this is part of a wider trend once Messrs AJ Bell, Quilter and Transact report publicly over the coming weeks.

LINKS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE UPDATE?

  • Our quarterly platform ratings opened the other day and you can rate to your heart’s content here. Take That once stated that it only takes a minute to fall in love. We think that’s optimistic but it definitely only takes two minutes to rate a platform.
  • HomeGames is on its Easter holidays this week but you can join us next week for an absolute barnstormer as John Rowland from Cicero/AMO joins us to talk all things political and financial services. John’s session last year was magnificent and well worth catching on the YouTube (please like and subscribe kids).
  • Here’s the always sensible Verona Kenny of Seven IM talking sense about ESG.
  • The disgustingly talented and distressingly young individuals at NextGen have launched a university bootcamp initiative to try and engage talented young minds towards financial planning. One thing moaning about attracting young talent to the sector and another thing doing something about it.

BUT MORE IMPORANT THAN ALL THAT

One of the best things about working for the lang cat is feeling part of one big family (insert joke here). We grunt and grumble and fall out like everyone else in life but we’re a tight-knit bunch at heart I think. I reckon that means we feel the highs a wee bit higher and the funny little incidents in life are amplified (like that time the hotel in Leith threw Mike’s clothes in the bin).

But it also means the lows hit hard and none more so than hearing over the weekend that Mark sadly lost his Mum, Sue Polson, after a battle with ill health over a number of months.

Mark wrote a lovely tribute on Twitter calling her “a tireless MS campaigner, baker of outrageous lemon drizzle, fierce granny, terror of lacklustre customer service departments everywhere”.

My main memory of Sue is hearing about the time she was invited to Downing Street a few years back following her many, many years of charity work and campaigning for the MS Society. Us cats are making donations to the MS Society in Sue’s memory and perhaps if you know Mark, have enjoyed these updates and have some spare pennies after maximising your ISAs you may wish to join us.

Our thoughts go out to Mark.

Steve and the lang cats