Back to it, then, and the sound of the industry’s engine grinding back into gear is deafening. We go again, because the game is out there, and it’s either play or get played. We’ll come back to that.

It’s our last week of being ten this week – no party last year, no party this year. Not sure we’re up for waiting till we’re 12 though; we might do something fun in January. If we do and we make it look like work, will you come? Cool.

As things get back up to speed, it’ll be just a little different in the platformy bit, and that’s because we’ve got a changing of the guard proper at Nucleus. Now, Dave Ferguson, Barry Neilson and Kirsty Lynagh are just going to go and work somewhere else, they haven’t died or anything.* Folk move on all the time. But there is something different-feeling to this compared to the usual changing of the guard.

I’ve been pondering why that is, and the answer I think is that there is so much of their blood in the business. That’s particularly true of Dave, of course, and true of Philip, Andy, Barry, Kirsty, Stuart and many others along the way. Every platform is this way, and every business that starts and claws its way to life too, but oftentimes founders and original members of staff do their best to hide it. I think Nucleus was never like that; the successes and the failures were out there for everyone to see. I know advisers who love Nucleus, and I know advisers who can’t stand it – but both sides would agree that whatever it did and whatever you thought of it, it left a big and normally Dave-shaped hole in the wall.

So it’s time for Dave to go and finish that actuarial qualification, and for Barry to audition for ZZ Top, although I’m not sure his straight-edge punk energy is exactly what the good ol’boys are really looking for. And Nucleus really does now enter its next chapter. We know the name will stay, we know the JHP and Nucleus businesses will come together and we know that they will replatform onto FNZ. All this will take time and there is a lot to work out yet.

It’s undeniable that Nucleus won’t be like it was – of course not. But it is also true that there are smart folk in and around the combining businesses. They’ve watched the slow-motion car crash of so many replatformings and so much corporate activity, and with that privileged vantage point, it shouldn’t be beyond the wit of humanity to make sure the same mistakes don’t happen again. New mistakes are a quite different thing, though.


I write this thing most weeks, and so when we’ve got something new and cool to punt I think I should be allowed to punt it. So I will. I’m very chuffed to say that since she came to join us from Nucleus (sorry folks) Natalie Holt has been leaving a big Nat-shaped hole in the wall while building the lang cat’s brand new content hub for advisers. It comes as part of Platform Analyser, and just like Analyser itself there’s a free version and a paid version. The free version has lots of good stuff on it and we’ll add to it constantly. But the really good stuff will be for our premium Analyser subscribers – that’s where all the new data will turn up first, where you can find out who’s up to what and where you can get some of the work we’re proudest of.

We turn out a lot of material at the lang cat, but we’ve never quite had the right format for making sure that if you like our work you can find it all – or the relevant bits, anyway – in one place, nice and simply. That situation righted itself on Monday and now you have a proper destination for all things cat, as well as your inbox on a Wednesday.

Platform Analyser remains £300pa plus the tax. You get a tonne of great analysis, content curated by Natalie, and of course the Analyser system itself which is fast becoming the system of choice for platform due diligence, quick platform functionality comparisons and pricing calcs. There’s a 7-day free trial, and of course a free-forever tier as well. Get. In. There.



  • HomeGames will be thought-provoking this week. We’ve got John Porteous from Charles Stanley on, and what he doesn’t know about the scale advice industry isn’t worth knowing. We’ve got a lot to discuss and we can’t hang about, so come play at 12.30pm today and I think you’ll be glad you did.
  • Our HomeGames birthday special next week is indeed going to be special. We’ve only gone and got Steve Bee to agree to come on. I used to be Steve’s warm-up act back in the Scottish Life days – you had to sit through 20 minutes of me punting goodness knows what before it was sunglasses and projector time. I can’t wait, and if you can’t either then at least you can register here. Both sessions will be available afterwards on the YouTubes as normal.
  • No-one likes ordering a triple and getting a double. There will be serious thinking to do about pension planning off the back of yesterday’s announcement, but I haven’t done it yet. Maybe we’ll get Tom to write something. Do you think he’d mind if I asked him?
  • Pensions Dashboard also took a big step forward this week, with Capgemini / Origo Congrats to all them.
  • And your music choice this week naturally celebrates Michael K Williams, who lit up the screen as Omar Little in The Wire – maybe the best TV show ever. Here’s Tom Waits doing Way Down In The Hole. RIP MKW. Indeeeeed.

See you next week for our 11th birthday. Cake is nice, isn’t it? Just saying.



*accurate at the time of writing, though to be fair I haven’t checked this evening.