Friday, 3 October 2014

Award winning technology

This week I attended the Aberdeen Platform Awards.

This is not proof I am a railway enthusiast(!), more that I care about the technology Green Financial use to manage, monitor and assist with client portfolios.

At Green Financial we use 'Standard Life' as one of our 'platform' providers and many clients, including me personally, have assets registered on the Standard Life platform.

Therefore I was delighted when Standard Life won the overall 'Best Platform' award. This is not a "paid for bauble" like so many trophies seem to be these days, but a hard won award from a diverse and discerning judging panel. The picture above is of me with the award and David Tiller, Head of adviser platform propositions at Standard Life.

Here is what David emailed after the event:
"Last night we were absolutely delighted that Standard Life Wrap was named Platform of the Year at the Aberdeen Platform Awards, the culmination of two incredibly eventful years working with you to become the first major '2016 ready' platform.

While it is fantastic to be recognised by the industry's experts, in many ways the endorsement of the adviser community means more.

So to also be voted Best Large Platform Provider (AUM over £12.5 billion) by advisers is an enormous honour - thank you for your support

All of these accolades say as much about the success of your business as they do about ours.   Throughout the Leading Platform Programme, from the bulk conversion and discounted share classes, through to the launch of the new Discretionary Investment Hub and CGT scenario tool, we've only been able to move the platform forward with the insight, support and patience of the adviser businesses we work with.

In particular, we've only been able to take a progressive approach to RDR and the new platform rules because your business was willing to put long-term sustainability ahead of short-term convenience."

Kind and thoughtful words indeed.

Below is a long time friend of Green Financial, Steve Purdie, my Regional Manager at Standard Life.
In the interests of full disclosure I did not pay to attend, I was a guest of Standard Life. However, I have attended the event before as the guest of other firms and another platform & technology provider that Green Financial use, True Potential also won an award for their 'impulse saving' technology.
The Bribery Act & Inducements in full effect
In addition, other than a bottle of beer on arrival, I did not drink at the event, and had excellent discussions with senior figures at Standard Life over operating problems and platform improvements, so in that sense I treated the event as a working function, not a 'booze-up' or 'jolly'. The gift bag from the sponsors Aberdeen consisted of a tartan scarf, which has been pressed into action as a 'dolly blanket' for my daughter (see above!), 2 fingers of shortbread which my daughter scoffed, and a 'burns book' which has found its way to the local British Heart Foundation bookshelf. In addition, I made a personal donation on the night to the charity collection (Mind, for mental health)
In closing, the obligatory selfie!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Me interviewing Dr Condoleezza Rice

I was recently at a conference in San Francisco
and had the honour of interviewing Dr Condoleezza Rice
live on stage for 15 minutes.
What an experience!

And finally...
afterwards, there was a photo opportunity:
my wife, Melissa, approved of the caption