It was great to catch up with Tony Burdon, CEO of the Make My Money Matter campaign, for our latest Smart Pension Connect webinar. And timely too given COP26 in Glasgow!
In chatting to Tony before our interview we worked out that we were both in the Treasury’s Macroeconomic Policy and International Finance Team at the same time. Tony was working on poverty reduction and, at the time, I was working on EU issues. We must have been a few doors down from each other but don’t recall meeting. I had a lot more hair then so that probably explains why!
Anyway, I digress. Back to the interview.
We covered a lot of ground during our chat, starting with the genesis of the Make My Money Matter Campaign and the five key ‘asks’ of pension funds. Tony highlighted the potential to make a real difference noting assets in the UK of £2.6 trillion, and globally of £50 trillion, that could be aligned to ensure they do no harm and actually be a force for good. Progress had been good so far with c.£800m committed to the key target of alignment to net zero by 2050, but Tony stressed that still left c.£2 trillion assets that needed to align, with a big push being required by defined benefit schemes.
We talked about ‘what next’ for the campaign, which will be extended to banking and wider savings next year. Also the focus will shift onto accountability and reporting so progress against commitments can be monitored. Tony also highlighted the importance of stewardship and engagement in delivering better outcomes and, if he was president of the world for the day, would ensure fiduciaries were forced to value the environment and society in the same way as returns.
We asked our usual questions to get an insight into what has driven and influenced Tony throughout his career, and he highlighted the importance of self confidence and reflection. If he could impose one rule that everyone had to follow it would be that everyone needed to be compassionate, and also stressed the important role that people working in all parts of the pension industry can play in achieving pensions that can do good.
You can watch our chat here.
Thanks to Tony for taking time out of his busy diary to chat. He’s very much in demand at the moment, and rightly so, and no doubt you’ll hear a lot more from the Make My Money Matter campaign in the run up to and beyond COP26.
Next up we have LCP’s Professor Steve Webb, who is still the longest serving Pensions Minister to date, although the current incumbent, Guy Opperman MP, is fast catching up. Look out for that one! You can find previous ‘a conversation’ with webinars by visiting the Smart Pension website.