'Many people could never have imagined planning for a gay retirement'
Malcolm Cuthbert studied medieval and modern history at St Andrews University, after which he enjoyed a rich and varied career in Edinburgh then London that increasingly saw him specialise in pensions. He could see how self-invested personal pensions were going to be a significant market in the future and joined PPML (now part of Capita Sip Services) to be part of this new development. From there he moved to Killik and Co., where he became head of financial planning, assisting with the set-up of the Killik & Co SIPP. It was at this time that he became a frequent commentator in the press and on radio and TV on all things pension related.
In May 2008 it struck him that if someone gave up their daily shop-made coffee and ploughed the money into their pension instead, with tax relief and compound growth it would add up to a sizeable sum. It was an idea that appealed to the personal finance pages of the broadsheets and the BBC also took an interest.
In 2016 he joined Paul Thompson and Anders Jacobsen to launch Equality Wealth Management, which focuses on financial planning issues and problems within the LGBTI community. In April 2017, in conjunction with Gay Star News, they raised the potential problems of retirement for LGBTI individuals and couples.
He has always remembered what a client once said to him, comparing wealth management and financial planning to a “dark art”. His goal since has been to shed light on the more complex and confusing parts of wealth management.
Malcolm spoke to us after last year's Pride in the City event to give his views on this increasingly important topic.
What theme did you cover at the recent Pride in the City event?
Pride in the City: Intergenerational
What made you feel you wanted to support this event?
As part of the “closet generation” I thought it was really important to contribute to the important issues which this event addressed. Many people including me could never have imagined planning for a gay retirement with a partner (let alone a husband!) and yet here we are. We need to help those who, because it seemed unimaginable, now found themselves without the resources to retire gracefully within the LGBTI community. Even those who do have the resources need to think through what they want to happen to themselves, their partner (whether married or not) and possibly their children.
Have you been involved with Pride in London before?
I haven’t but I would like to in the future.
What impact do you feel your theme has for you in the business world?
I think businesses and employers have a real responsibility to their LGBTI employees to guide them through the many complicated matters they need to consider. Simple things like the nomination form or expression of wishes form for most pensions need to looked at.
If you were to give one bit of advice to future business leaders, what would it be?
Look after your LGBTI employees and help them come out, be themselves and then help them think through how they want to retire and they will be productive and loyal to you forever!
Last year’s Pride in London theme was Love Happens Here – any stories you would like to share about "falling in love" (with anything/one) in London?
Only my own story of falling in love with my husband over a curry! Only interesting to me!
Any other comments?
Just that intergenerational planning for the LGBTI community is something that needs much more focus. And Equality Wealth Management is aiming to do its bit by issuing a guide to LGBTI retirement.
Learn more about Pride in the City and how you can get involved here.