As we hopefully move towards the beginning of the end of a very significant time for the world, it is perhaps a good moment to reflect on how important health is to everyone!
I would like to thank all our stakeholders – our clients, our staff and our suppliers, for helping us through the last 12 months.
Surprisingly, I have a strong degree of optimism for the future. I believe that priorities have changed for the better and the world has a chance to reset itself.
The reopening of offices and shops will reflect this rebound and certainly many of our business clients are seeing an excellent outlook.
Stock markets are remaining positive, and our portfolios have shown significant progress and investment returns. A steady move towards more sustainable companies will be good for everyone.
The commercial property market has had a tough pandemic and we have had to work hard to help some of our tenants through. A few have, of course, not survived. However, as we near the end of another very strict lockdown, we are seeing more activity. Unfortunately, the government have further extended our ability to take action on unpaid rents until the end of June.
On the positive side we are seeing some excellent purchase opportunities and are looking to benefit from this as we did during the credit crisis 10 years ago.
Achieving income solutions for our clients in a virtually zero interest rate environment is still one of our priorities.
The Lewis Master Trust has survived well and now looks after assets of over £42 million, with over 160 employers choosing to use our scheme as the solution for their staff pensions. Our hard-won Pension Regulator approval is key to our future growth.
While we will all be grateful to get back to the things we enjoy and the people we love I find myself asking, isn't this a great opportunity to embrace the innovation and positive changes of the last few months? Like many others our team have pulled together, adapted and overcome challenge after challenge. We have grown or should I say been stretched in a way we never thought we could weather but here we are, a little older, standing strong ready for the future and whatever it may bring.
As a firm we are committed to providing you, our clients, with the best possible service and advice. While we always have had an eye to utilising technology for our mutual benefit, we are determined to build on the lessons learned and you will see technology improvements from us in the future, that will help us work smoothly and efficiently together.
We will continue to invest in our future so we can be there for yours.
Stay well and best wishes