16 January 2008
More uncertainty was plunged upon F&C last week when reports touted that parent group Friends Provident is set to sell its 53 per cent majority shareholding in the firm.
Mr Liversidge is quite right in his approach to the surveys (Money Marketing, January 10). We introduced time- charging some years back, and since then not one firm has agreed to pay.
Aifa is calling for the Financial Ombudsman Service to charge complainants who bring cases with no merit against advisers.
The Association of British Insurers and the British Bankers' Association are pushing for an assistedpurchase category in their retail distribution review submissions.
Last October, the pre-Budget report contained proposals to allow a transfer of any unused inheritance tax nil-rate band on an individual's death to the estate of the surviving spouse and aims to give an update on how they affect the IHT mitigation strategies available.
The Pensions Bill is a crucial part of the journey towards 2012 as it sets out the legislation underpinning pension reform and the personal accounts scheme.
Blue Sky Asset ManagementProtected Income Plan
Does the sharp correction in commercial property now represent a buying opportunity?
Pensions are high on the political agenda this week with Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain’s future hanging in the balance and Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreeing to scrap some of his own over-generous pension entitlements.
Much has been written (some of it by me) about the potential impact of the proposed 18 per cent flat rate of capital gains tax. Superficially, it looks like excellent news for all, with 18 per cent being less than the basic and higher rates of income tax. As I pointed out last week, however, when considering longer investment periods, it is essential to take into account the impact that taper relief would have had when seeking to ascertain whether or not the new system delivers benefit.
The credit crunch has wrought a multitude of consequences and in years to come it will be reflected upon as an event which reshaped the distribution landscape.
Collins Stewart has brought out the UK focus fund, a Dublin-based Oeic investing in strong UK businesses that are undervalued at the time of investment.
What sort of year do you think lies ahead? Bloomberg forecasts that "the resilience of consumer spending augurs well for a rebound in 2008 that will be supported by a gradual improvement in credit markets, dissipating drag from housing and declining energy prices".
The pension consensus will be put to the test over the coming weeks as the Pensions Bill goes through the necessary stages in Parliament. We now seem to be facing a period of consensus without confidence.
DB Mortgages managing director Bill Dudgeon has been made redundant by the firm.
The cold winds of economic downturn are sweeping through the UK equity market and investors are faced with difficult decisions about the best place for their money.
Mortgage commentators are predicting there will be no new entrants into the UK mortgage market in the first six months of this year due to the tight credit conditions.
The Federal Reserve has cut US interest rates from 4.25 per cent to 3.5 per cent in a shock move to improve market confidence.
Fidelity InternationalEMEA Fund
Fidelity International has launched a new pan-European fund under the management of Fehim Sever.
Fidelity InternationalEMEA Fund
January did not get off to the best start, with the US market losing 5 per cent in a few trading days. There is also concern about the state of the domestic scene. Marks & Spencer shares lost nearly a fifth of their value following its Christmas trading statement. It is all too easy to sympathise with those who are fleeing the equity market for the perceived safer havens of bonds and cash. However, will they prove safe if inflation is once again back on the agenda?
Foresight GroupForesight 2 VCT C Shares
Buyers of protection products are not as hung up on price as it might seem, according to recent findings by PruProtect.
The FSA has four statutory objectives. In addition to maintaining confidence in financial markets, protecting consumers and reducing financial crime, it has also been charged with promoting public understanding of the UK's financial system.
HSBC Investments has established the GIF Russian equity fund, a Sicav aiming for growth by investing in 20-40 Russian stocks.
The IMA has updated the sector definitions on both the UK equity income and UK equity & bond sectors in a bid to solve issues over yield requirements in funds.
Multi-manager T Bailey is predicting a decent Isa season although it could come later than usual.
Leeds Building Society5.54% Five Year Fixed
Falcon laid down the gauntlet to firms’ practice buyout schemes promising fixed multiples of turnover last week, questioning the credibility of some figures that have been mentioned by rival firms.
Lyxor Asset ManagementLyxor ETF FTSE RAFI Europe
Lyxor Asset ManagementLyxor ETF FTSE RAFI Eurozone
Lyxor Asset ManagementLyxor ETF FTSE RAFI Japan
Lyxor Asset ManagementLyxor ETF FTSE RAFI US 1000
Maia Capital Partners, the multi-manager investment boutique, has appointed a fourth partner with Vincent Ropers joining its investment team.
Matrix GroupIncome & Growth VCT S Shares
The glum mood in the markets matched the weather this week as the FTSE slipped below the 6,000 mark for the first time since mid-August.
NDF AdministrationAccelerated Growth Plan
New Star has announced UK mutual fund outflows of £500m in the second half of 2007 after taking hits on the back of the credit crunch.
Norwich Union’s flagging property trust is continuing to see its assets fall but at a slower rate, the firms recent property valuations have revealed.
The OPM multi-manager fund range has been made available through the Ascentric wrap platform.
Since mid-2005, we have pursued a strategy that has a simple observation at its core - we are in a bull market. We have been inclined to take some risk that will probably be rewarded by rising capital values. In any strongly rising market, there are setbacks along the way but we rightly assumed that the pullbacks would be temporary and, if anything, an opportunity to refresh positions at more attractive levels.
Another year closer to retirement. If you work for the Government that may be good news but for many IFAs, the perennial issue of how to get a meaningful capital sum for the business you have built has changed little.
Financial advisers must have a soft spot for fund management groups with planetary links. Jupiter led the way in the 1990s and New Star rocketed to the top of the charts soon after the start of the new millennium. Now it seems that Neptune is taking its turn.
Speculation has been rife this week as to who will take over the top spot from Sir Callum McCarthy as he prepares to stand down as FSA chairman in September.
Pre-X Capital ManagementAxcess EIS Fund 2008
The fund of funds sector has become overpopulated by players who have not made the grade, do not achieve the right performance and do not have the critical mass necessary to succeed, says T Bailey Asset Management chief investment officer Richard Martin.
Investors have flocked to New Star's Heart of Africa fund since it launched on November 4 and it has grown to around £40m, with manager Jamie Allsopp making a 5.12 per cent total return in the past couple of months.
It was all about Northern Rock this week as the lender held its emergency general meeting in Newcastle on Tuesday to decide the fate of the beleaguered lender.
In the Northern Rock farce, Ron Sandler enters stage left.
Scottish Widows Investment PartnershipSWIP Multi-Manager Diversity Fund
Scottish Widows Investment PartnershipSWIP Multi-Manager Select Boutiques Fund
The FTSE 100 stock index dropped below 6000 this morning for the first time since August 2007 amid fears of a US recession.
Skandia MultiFundsProtected Portfolio Investment
Cru Investment Management has attributed the performance of its top-ranking CF Arch Cru portfolio fund to its focus on private equity and private finance.
Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has entered the fund of funds market with two funds: Swip multi-manager diversity and Swip multi-manager select boutiques.
A round of invitations from investment firms has started to arrive and it seems there is a bit of competition building among multi-managers.
I have always been a huge fan of Ken Davy since I met him 16 years ago, when he was in the process of turning DBS into what was then the most powerful IFA network.
IFA Neil Reid recently appeared on a TV programme showing what became of the winners of Opportunity Knocks.
Most major markets this year are likely to have little or no growth mainly because there may well be a worldwide recession. This does not mean, however, that some of the emerging markets will not continue to prosper.
Thinc Group corporate strategy director Roderic Rennison and operations director Nick Kelly are to leave the firm as part of an internal restructure of senior management.
The Treasury is advertising for a successor to the current FSA chairman Sir Callum McCarthy, who will retire at the end of his term in September.
Triple Point Investment ManagementTP70 2008 VCTs 1 and 2
It seems that lenders are maintaining high exit fees as they seek ways to earn a crust from this harsh market.
Income drawdown and, more recently, unsecured pensions have proved popular for retirement income, with ABI members selling £2.5bn worth of drawdown/USP plans in 2006.
What issues will dominate the coming 12 months? These are the things that matter to me as a financial adviser who is deeply passionate about the quality and independence of the advice and service that I provide but also as the managing director of a business that employs nearly 40 other similarly passionate and committed individuals.
Conditions in the mortgage industry are tough and market volatility is having a significant effect on investor confidence so businesses must be able to operate efficiently.
Friends ProvidentWealth Solutions Bond
A client of mine wants to put all his investments into one or two funds run by star managers but I think he would be better off with a diversified spread of investments across a number of asset classes. Should I persist in my efforts to persuade him away from relying on one or two high profile investment managers?
Scottish Widows is writing to 200,000 policyholders in its life property fund and pension property fund, informing them of a new 180-day delay period.
YFM Private Equity is raising up to £5.313m for a top-up of the British smaller companies VCT