The following article was submitted by Andy Gibson, UK Sales Manager at iDAD.


I have recently read several comments on LinkedIn (articulately penned by professional advisers) who clearly retain a distrust of Structured Products, most likely based on a negative experience many years ago or perhaps because of an often-out-dated opinion.

This reminded me of the earlier stages of my ‘Life and Pensions’ career in the early 90s when, apart from bickering about whose Vauxhall Cavalier was better, a lot of time would be spent convincing IFAs that extortionate product fees were a necessary requirement to pay them extortionate commissions. I remember in particular the good old ‘Pension’, which came in so many guises, and was so complex, that many UK providers would have a ‘Pension Specialist’ in their regional offices who, in reality, was the only soul who had the required mindset to plough through the legislation whilst making any sense out of it all. On the plus side he / she would have their own parking space in the office car park and would also have the twin tail-piped SRi Cavalier. The envy in the office was palpable.

Pensions often came with initial units, capital units, accumulation units, exit penalties…..and did Sir or Madam want a SSAS or an Executive Pension Plan, perhaps a Managed Fund or With Profits would do the job? Are you OK with none of your contributions for the first X years not actually going into your pension as Dave from Dave Wealth Management has called (maybe he sent a fax?) chasing us for his £2500 commission? Would Sir or Madam want to buy an annuity or consider Phased Retirement or Income Drawdown or perhaps Phased Drawdown sounds better? Looking back its surprising that anyone bothered starting a pension and those who did most likely didn’t know what poor value they often were.

So, does this mean that modern pensions are rubbish? Obviously not, they are a key planning tool for advisers and are recommended with total product-transparency for sound and valid reasons.

Back to the hero of the hour, the sometime maligned (and clearly often misunderstood) Structured Product. Now is not the time to spark a healthy debate on the much-documented pros and cons of the modern Structured Product but it is most certainly an appropriate time to ask those who continue to distrust the asset class to contact a reputable provider to better understand and discuss how the asset class has evolved. Some might be very surprised to see how the leopard HAS changed its spots.


Andy Gibson

UK Sales Manager, iDAD



Structured investments put capital at risk.