12 March 2008
Progress from Royal Liver IFA market manager Andy Milburn is leaving the firm in April after five years.
Falcon Group parent firm Sumus and Lighthouse Group are to merge, creating the biggest autonomous IFA firm in the market.
One of the challenges of a professional body is to ensure value is delivered to all members. It is important that events and activities in addition to learning are available and for to be in different formats to meet members' preferred learning styles.
Williams de Broe's assetmaster funds are being made available through Merchant Investors' OneSipp and investment portfolio products.
Which internet search engine has the most visits per user? Google? Yahoo? Actually, it is naver.com, the number one search engine in South Korea.
The liquidity squeeze is now biting across the board. In extreme cases, lenders are shutting up shop until further notice while others are withdrawing product ranges, tightening criteria and increasing their pricing. In the sub-prime sector, Future has just withdrawn its very heavy product and Accord has made drastic cutbacks, having already, as with C&G, pulled out of the 100 per cent market and reduced its maximum mainstream LTV to 90 per cent.
Bear Stearns has been forced to seek emergency financing from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and JP Morgan Chase & Co after its liquidity position sharply deteriorated.
The ifs School of Finance has reported a large rise in the number of people taking its certificate for financial advisers.
Biofuels are set for rapid expansion in the next few years. Rising oil prices, ethical concerns and a realisation that oil stocks are finite are all causing an increase in interest.
Blue Sky Asset ManagementProtected Income Plan
Last week the FSA issued a warning to advisers with white-labelled fund ranges that it would not tolerate any return to "the bad old days of broker funds".
Do you think Otto Thoresen's plans for a generic advice style service, called money guidance, will benefit the adviser community?
Controversial tax legislation for non-domiciled residents in the UK will be implemented within weeks, says Chancellor Alistair Darling.
Britain's GDP has been forecasted as lower than initially anticipated in today's Budget announcement.
The consensus from the pensions community was that it was a pretty dull Budget but the life industry welcomed the clarity surrounding capital gains tax.
Suggesting this week’s Budget was disappointing for those in the mortgage market is a bit of an understatement.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders says the Government have ducked the pressing nature of the issues facing mortgage markets but welcomes the Government’s consultation.
The Government says it will not change the taxation of life insurance bonds as a result of its capital gains tax reforms.
The budget not only fails to address long term savings gap but in fact could mean tax relief on thousands of pounds of savings could be lost says AWD Chase de Vere.
Tisa applauds the Government’s announcement to create a new kind of savings scheme targeted at low and moderate earners, who are often least able to save.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable says new figures from the Citizens Advice Bureau are further evidence a housing crash is looming.
Cash and cash prod-ucts are attracting the attention of product providers and advisers.
The recent statement by the chairman of Friends Provident, which is available for all to read on its website, clearly demonstrates the challenges for product providers in managing their capital base effectively.
Annuity Direct has appointed Chartered Insurance Institute deputy director general Bob Bullivant as its new chief executive.
After 29 years with the Coventry Building Society, director of sales Colin Franklin jokes that he is "finally getting the hang of it".
It must be great fun being a consumer journalist. Numerous freebie events and invites to plush restaurants as well as the cachet of being seen as the friend of the consumer or the man who tells it like it is.
Last week I considered how a business owner, who would pay less tax on a sale of their business before April 6, 2008, could trigger a gain under the current rules so as to access a lower overall effective tax rate.
Up for sale fund firm F&C Asset Management has been given a two-fold boost in the past week as the group announced strong profits in the wake of the ongoing market volatility.
Tick. Tock. It’s ombudsman o’clock for the mortgage market. The principal ombudsman Tony Boorman is making noises that sound very like he is envisaging a new ombudsman-led review of the mortgage market.
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As Royal Liver IFA market manager Andy Milburn announces his industry exit after nearly two decades, it signals the latest seat-shifting in the protection sector in recent weeks.
Advisers might be forgiven for thinking that choosing a cash Isa is one of those decisions that clients can take themselves. The product would appear to be straightforward and purely transactional, yet there are still opportunities to help clients make the most of their cash savings.
FOS principal ombudsman Tony Boorman has warned the mortgage industry it will make “significant awards” to customers who have been missold mortgages.
Hector Sants' claim that "the regulatory framework is not designed with the intention of ensuring that any given institution cannot fail" is surely little more than a fig leaf of an excuse for the FSA's gross failure to regulate banks in general and Northern Rock in particular.
I was quite surprised to read people complaining about the FSCS because I think they have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
Deutsche Bank has introduced an outstanding income product aimed at the self-invested personal pension and small self-administered scheme market. The DB alternative income note (sterling) aims to provide 9.5 per cent annual income with capital fully protected by Deutsche Bank at the end of the 10-year term. It also offers the potential of capital growth with low volatility.
I feel the hand of history is upon our shoulders. I really do." So said a former Prime Minister, nearly 10 years ago, before the Good Friday agreement was signed.
JPMorgan Chase has bought troubled investment bank Bear Stearns for a cut price £116m.
If the FSA can get the tax treatment of funds of alternative investment funds correct, would the addition of onshore Faifs be a welcome addition to the choice of authorised investments available to IFAs?
Legal & General has retained its title as a top technology provider for the fourth year running, according to independent research by the Financial Technology Research Centre.
Council of Mortgage Lenders director-general Michael Coogan has admitted that if every lender continues to act in a way which protects their own interest, the UK will end up with the worst outcome for the market overall.
Are we as an industry/ profession treating customers fairly and, if not, why not?
Living Time has strengthened its sales team for a big push into the IFA market aimed at stealing market share off what it calls the "Goliath" traditional annuity providers.
London & CapitalPortfolio Management Service
M&GEuropean Special Situations Fund
M&GEuropean Strategic Value Fund
I have always felt the same about initial sales commission as Churchill thought about democracy. It is a poor system but it is better than anything else that has been tried.
Meteor Asset ManagementSolar Income Plan
I continually marvel at what consumers seem to draw from the media about the state of the economy. Motley Fool research shows that one in six people believe the UK is in recession, with many expecting the recession to continue indefinitely.
A lot of friends have remarked to me that September 2007 must have been a difficult time to start a new fund management company.
Standard Life says it is in direct competition with the likes of Vertex and Capita as it aims to reposition itself as a servicing company.
New Star UK alpha fund manager Tim Steer believes it is time that the banking sector stopped putting its head in the sand and looked for a solution to the credit squeeze.
Most people expected Otto Thoresen's report on free financial advice for all was going to be an assessment of the pros and cons of generic advice but it turned out to be the announcement of a money guidance scheme that may become a National Wealth Service.
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The key Budget message for IFAs last week seemed to be around the opportunity to revisit clients’ investment holdings in bonds and assess whether switching into collectives might be appropriate.
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Ram Capital expects interest in its multi-manager pub enterprise scheme fund to increase in the run-up to the Government's capital gains tax reforms.
Ram Capital PartnersEdge Live Protected EIS Fund
Shares in Europe have bounced back this morning as the US Federal Reserve prepares to discuss a further rate cut to improve market sentiment.
Last Thursday, I was at the Financial Services Scotland conference as one of the investment question time panel. I was disappointed we did not have a bigger audience but it happened that our session coincided with the announcement of the result of the monetary policy committee's deliberations over interest rates. Feeling mischievous, I was the sole panel member who suggested that the MPC might have a rush of good sense and cut rates. It did not, of course, but then it did disclose that ...
Standard Life says it is confident it can take on the likes of Vertex and Capita as it continues its move from traditional life company to support service provider.
The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority has the job of implementing the simple, high-quality, low-cost pension system starting in 2012. This includes advising the Department for Work and Pensions on scheme design, including the best charging structure. It has published a discussion paper which puts forward its initial evaluation of various methods of charging. The consultation period ends on April 22.
Exposure to commodities and a lower allocation to equities have helped Insight Investment's diversified total return and diversified high-income funds weather the storm of recent volatility.
I have been asked if I want to join my company's stakeholder-charged group personal pension into which my employer will pay 5 per cent of my earnings if I contribute the same or more. I already have many other pensions. What should I do?
It has not always been cool to be green. Most fund firms used to scoff at green investing. There used to be just a smattering of funds for the ethically conscious investor but now we have more than 50.
The disappearance of the 100 per cent plus mortgage market means shared equity schemes are an even more important option for first-time buyers.
When I first started out as a freelance journalist, a friend whom I had once helped with certain financial issues said I should add financial coaching to my business repertoire.
The Thoresen report makes a compelling case for a fresh approach to helping consumers get a better understanding of their financial affairs. The Treasury chose a industry practitioner to lead the work and the output shows a far greater grasp of reality than so many previous studies.
Last week saw the end of Roger Whiteoak's eight-year relationship with Axa Framlington as the much respected UK small-cap manager left to pursue other opportunities in the industry.