An approach that will stand up

Amid the doom and gloom there are reasons to suppose that the industry will pull through in good shape

The near-constant state of change faced by corporate intermediaries can at times feel bewildering. Whether it is the rearrangement of the regulatory landscape for advice, or the pulling of the rug from under the feet of the economy, there is always something to present our industry with a challenge.

This month we look at several of the issues and trends that are shaping the environment in which advisers deliver information and products in the workplace.

Otto Thoresen explains why he thinks a centralised money information service will be good for the financial services industry, UK plc and the wider economy, as well as taking much of the stress out of the lives of millions.

Meanwhile Paul Farrow, our investment writer takes a look a how advisers should help staff through the rollercoaster ride their pension funds are now enjoying, or not enjoying as the case may be.

We also have features looking at business protection and the way dental plans are filling in the gaps left by the scaled back NHS service, as well as communication of workplace pensions and the prospects for advisers delivering schemes in what many are predicting as the worst economic environment since the Depression.

Amidst all the worrying headlines it is easy to become downhearted. But I have noticed that a theme running through much of what appears in this issue is preparation and protection against the unknown. In many ways it is not surprising that a profession that deals in protection and risk management should itself be prepared for unexpected events. This approach looks likely to stand the corporate advice sector in good stead.

What I see is that intermediaries operating through the workplace are more stable businesses than many other parts of financial services. Corporate advisers have less to fear from the future than most.

On a separate note, this month Corporate Adviser’s website goes live. You can now access the contents of this issue, as well as previous month’s features, news and industry comment pieces, at www.corporate-adviser.co.uk. The beauty of websites is they promote interaction between editorial staff and readers and we hope to be able to supply you with more of the information and analysis that you need through this new venture.