Steve Patterson

Intelligent Pensions

IFSDG:  How long have you worked at Intelligent Pensions?

Steve:  I set the company up in 1998.

IFSDG:  How many people work at Intelligent Pensions?

Steve:  At our Glasgow head office we have a team of 14 administration staff and 8 retirement analysts working all over the UK. Senior management comprises four directors and two non executive directors.

IFSDG:  What is your vision for Intelligent Pensions in Glasgow?

Steve:  We plan to continue expanding the business organically driven primarily through professional connections and working with employers looking for expert advice for the senior staff on retirement planning. As one of the leading specialists in advising both professional and management personnel on pensions and retirement planning we believe the demise of 'Final Salary' schemes and consequential expansion of Money Purchase pensions will result in a growing demand for  our services both here in Scotland and across the UK.

IFSDG:  What's a typical day for you?

Steve:  I tend to be at the office most days and travelling perhaps once or twice a month mainly down south on business. As Managing Director around half of my time is spent on management issues and strategy planning, and the rest is client focussed, reviewing recommendations and client reports before signing off, and communicating with our professional connections. Mornings tend to be fairly hectic, with a lot of paperwork to get through, while afternoons are taken up with meetings and a whole variety of other activities including keeping abreast of the ever changing world of investment, tax and pensions legislation.

IFSDG:  How many emails do you receive on an average day?

Steve:  Good question! I respond to around 30 to 40 every day, but probably more than twice that number are 'information only' emails which get a quick scan but don't result in action.

IFSDG:  Why did Intelligent Pensions choose to locate in the IFSD in Glasgow?

Steve:  The central location is ideal for transport and just 20 minutes from the Airport along the M8, and close to Central Station. Parking is also fairly easy and convenient which makes life easier for clients coming into the office. The location is also convenient for meeting up with city based professionals, such as solicitors and accountants.

IFSDG:  Three good things about working in Glasgow?

Steve:  I'd love to say the weather, but that would be pushing things too far. Having lived in Glasgow all my life the easy access to the countryside and the sea is great, and as both a golfer and a sailor there can be few places on earth that offer such variety on the doorstep, and yet getting to and from the office from Newton Mearns is easy by rail or car.

IFSDG:  What is your biggest business achievement to date?

Steve:  I am delighted that earlier this year we won the two top awards for pension advisers at the UK Money Marketing Awards, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. Being voted both Best Annuity & Drawdown Specialist and Best Retirement Solutions Adviser, against very stiff opposition in both categories, was definitely a great accolade and a wonderful reward after so many years of hard work building up the business.

IFSDG:  What is the best investment you ever made?

Steve:  There is no doubt in my mind that our best investment has been our employees, both internal and external. We have a truly hard working and dedicated team, and staff turnover is negligible, so they seem to enjoy working in the business, which I believe makes a significant impact on our performance as a company.

IFSDG:  Which business person or company do you most admire and why?

Steve:  Although not directly comparable as we specialise purely in the retirement planning field, I have to admit that the way Hargreaves Lansdown have grown their business over the last 20 years has been very impressive. They caught a wave of 'DIY' investors who have bought into the idea making their own investment choices. While being impressed with their expansion we firmly believe that the complexities of pensions, and in particular the choices at retirement, warrant specialist advice, and through our low cost SIPP facility we can offer our clients the best of both worlds and at a very competitive overall cost.

IFSDG:  What did you want to be when you were a child?

Steve:  I actually studied Engineering at University, and had ambitions of building bridges and dams and other great feats of construction. Maths was always a strong point, and I am happy to say that I in spite of not following a career in engineering was able to put much of that training to good use, especially in the field of programming. We often describe our business as 'financial engineering' as that is exactly what we do, and this involves both the design and construction of financial solutions, as well as the ongoing care and maintenance thereafter.

IFSDG:  What do you do to relax away from the office?

Steve:  I am blessed with a wonderful family including two sons and a daughter as well as three grandchildren, and when I am not at home I will either be on the golf course or sailing on our yacht with my wife and daughter.

IFSDG:  Blackberry or I-Phone?

Steve:  I-phone now!

IFSDG:  Suit or no suit?

Steve:  Suit, but normally no tie in the office!

IFSDG:  Football or rugby?

Steve:  Football.

IFSDG:  Wine or beer?

Steve:  Both!

IFSDG:  Sunshine or snow?   

Steve:  Both, as long as the snow is in the sun!

IFSDG:  and finally, what three words to sum you up

Steve:  Creative, conscientious, and fair.

  • Steve Patterson, Managing Director, Intelligent Pensions