Happy New Year and a warm welcome to 2023
As we usher in another year and look ahead, I always think it’s worthwhile to take stock and reflect on the previous year. As I look back, I think it’s fair to say that 2022 was yet another challenging year. One which, I suspect for many, will not be looked back on with a great deal of fondness.
While 2022 may have kicked off with an air of optimism as the COVID threat receded, this quickly took a dark and sinister turn with the sudden advent of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. In addition, we had and continue to face a crippling cost of living crisis as well as some of the worst asset price volatility since the Napoleonic era. Add to that the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II and musical chairs at Downing Street and 2022 really was a year to forget.
Having said that, in adversity, you learn and adapt to succeed and the last 12 months have again demonstrated the resilience of our business model, and crucially, the character of us as a team as we have again pivoted to ensure our clients and colleagues have been at the forefront of our actions. These efforts will return enhanced future value as we continue to execute our strategic roadmap and of course, deliver on both our vision – an unrivalled experience – and ask/seek new business and growth.
So, as we move forward and look to 2023, what can we expect?
As much as I hope 2023 will be a far more positive and peaceful year than 2022, I suspect there will be more uncertainty on the horizon. Indeed, if we heed the words of American Mathematician, Professor John Allen Paulos then “uncertainty is the only certainty there is”.
But whatever uncertainty may lie ahead, I’m confident that our resolute focus on our technology, people and growth agenda will continue to deliver value to our clients, colleagues and stakeholders.
Technological and digital innovation
There can be no denying how technological and digital advancements have enriched both our professional and personal lives, particularly in recent times. With technology set to become further embedded in our everyday lives, one of our key priorities for 2023 will naturally be to continue to invest significantly in our digital capabilities to further enrich our clients’ experiences with us.
Our determination to innovate and deliver an unrivalled experience through technology and digital services is quite possibly best evidenced through the 7IM Platform, where we continue to have a multi-year programme to enhance our proposition.
Of course, technology in isolation is not sufficient for us to achieve our vision of delivering an unrivalled experience, and that’s why our people and culture strategy remains so important…
Investing in our people
It might be a well-worn phrase, but I genuinely believe a business is only as good as its people. That’s why we continue to invest heavily in our people and our culture at 7IM. With our learning and training partners, ABSTRACT, all of us at 7IM have been working to further advance and develop the fantastic culture we have collectively built here at the firm.
We want to build a firm that people want to come and work for, where colleagues feel genuinely valued and where everyone is working towards a shared vision. After all, I believe that if we have a strong culture built by engaged colleagues, that is complemented by innovative technology, then we will be better placed to deal with whatever this year may throw at us, and in turn, be able to better support and service our clients.
If you were to ask any CEO what would be on their wish list for 2023, growth would be at or near the top of the agenda. At 7IM, we, of course, want to grow the business and I very much want for us to drive organic growth this year and for every business area to produce positive monthly net asset flows. This will be a key indicator of our progress and success.
To support our ambitious organic growth plans, I believe we have three key levers in place, which gives me confidence that 2023 will be a strong year of growth at 7IM.
The first is a strong product offering. And over the past year or so, we have broadened our product offering to meet the evolving demands of our clients. Most notably, we have enhanced our retirement offering with our Retirement Income Solution and Secured Lifetime Income, as well as expanded our Model Portfolio range.
The second is continued strong investment performance. This has been achieved through our Investment Management team cementing 7IM’s investment identity and having the discipline to remain faithful to our tried and tested investment approach (not always easy when faced with unprecedented volatility and uncertainty). This consistent application of our investment identity and approach has meant we have been able to successfully look after our clients’ assets through what has been a highly volatile period. And I have no doubt that they will continue to deliver value to our clients throughout 2023 and beyond.
Last and by no means least, service. Ever since our earliest days, providing exceptional service to our clients has been at the heart of what we do and this, of course, continues to be the case today. I was therefore pleased with our latest client satisfaction survey, which highlighted that our clients really value the highly personal service we provide. Of course, I always believe there is room for improvement and will continue to challenge and lift our collective ambitions. If there is anything we can do to deliver on our promise of providing exceptional service, then please get in touch.
Whatever this year may hold, I want to wish all the great clients, colleagues and partners we work with a happy, healthy and prosperous 2023.
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