18 May 2005
Building a mix of assets is one thing but working out how many asset classes to include is a less easy call, says Brian Tora.
The mad rush to put residential property into a self-invested personal pension is already under way. Mortgage lenders and brokers report an increasing number of calls from interested investors, keen to know what the criteria of lending will be, what properties are likely to qualify, and how they go about it.
The ABI is compiling a dossier of evidence on the FSA to push the regulator to revisit the costs of supervision and improve efficiency.
JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management believes an understanding of behavioural finance is key to outperforming the US market.
The Actuarial Profession is planning to change the way pension transfer values are calculated.
Aegon saw life and pension business slump by 18 per cent in the first quarter in what chief executive Otto Thoresen called a "volatile market".
Like an iceberg, the majority of the costs of mortgage regulation have been hidden from view as they have been swallowed up by internal considerations - IT, staff and management meetings, training, let alone opportunity cost. This is why the AMI has been on the front foot helping members to understand the implications of fee-charging and what a reasonable level of fee looks like.
UK life companies have combined with-profits assets of around 347bn, according to analysts at Nottingham University Business School.
Argonaut, the boutique fund management arm of Britannic Asset Management, has introduced its first fund.
Artemis is to enter the fixed-interest market with a strategic bond fund to be managed by former Isis managers James Foster and Alexandra Ralph.
Life cover for a family needs to keep pace with salary rises and to consider income options as well as lump sums.
Irvine Baxter has joined Axa as head of offshore sales to expand the firm's reach to the IFA market.
Bond funds could be hit hard if General Motors files for Chapter 11, a method of gaining protection from creditors used in American law, says Artemis strategic bond fund manager James Foster.
Britannic Asset ManagementBritannic Argonaut European Alpha Fund
Britannic Asset ManagementArgonaut European Alpha Fund
Britannic Asset Management has introduced the Britannic Argonaut European alpha fund, a unit trust which will contain between 30 and 50 European stocks, excluding the UK.
Schroders head of investment Richard Horlick is being replaced by Alan Brown of State Street Global Advisors.
Thousands of IFAs are unable to access the FSA's payment menu commission calculator with less than two weeks to go before the regulator's deadline.
John Husselbee's departure as head of multi-manager at Henderson Global Investors has left IFAs and industry commentators reflecting on what the group has left to offer investors.
Chelsea Building SocietyFive Year Fixed Rate
Close Property InvestmentSeventh Special Opportunities Fund
Axa's Simon Olive makes a strong case for advisers to move to a fee-based business model in the article, Fee spirit, (Money Marketing, May 5).
Structured product provider Dawnay Day Quantum has created another issue of protected commodities accelerator, a guaranteed equity bond linked to a basket of eight industrial metals and energy-related commodities.
A high court judge has ruled that marketing company Zurich IFA must share liability with an adviser because of inaccurate marketing material and false risk warnings on a collapsed investment product.
SimplyBiz chairman Ken Davy says the closure of Bankhall's Investment Strategies Limited network in March could be connected with rationalising the Skandia-owned business ahead of a sale.
Television coverage of the general election was riveting and my missus was not at all impressed when I crept into bed at 3am after promising at midnight to be there "in 10 minutes, luv". The dust now settled, I am, however, left with a stark sense of foreboding for our industry.
With a clarity that must leave some trade bodies and advisers looking on enviously, IFA Promotion is to remain an organisation for independents alone.
Newly formed investment boutique Tri Investments is setting up a European residential property fund aim- ing for an annual return of 12 per cent.
Law firm Financial Services Legal is offering to run a test case against a product provider on the basis of the Ockwell/Zifa judgment free of charge.
Fidelity investmentsFidelity Sterling Bond Fund
First-year savings from switching to a five-year fixed-rate mortgage have more than quadrupled over the last year.
Sacked Tory MP Howard Flight says the Conservatives will not be taken seriously again by the financial services community unless "business heavyweights" such as himself are returned to the fold.
Fly First is an enterprise investment scheme aiming to raise up to 25m to establish a new airline for business travellers flying between Luton airport and New Yorks Newark airport.
American Express Adviser Service has signed up another four IFA firms to its wrap service, taking the total to nine.
US multi-manager SEI Investments has chosen Framlington to manage the smaller companies mandate on its SGMF SEI UK equity fund.
The FSA has appointed Deloitte to undertake a study to measure the costs of financial regulation.
The FSA is calling for shorter key facts illustrations in a letter sent to mortgage lenders this week and is also outlin- ing its concerns about the accuracy of initial disclosure documents.
Close Property Investment is looking to raise up to 10m for the 7th special opportunities fund, a limited partnership that is also available as an exempt unit trust
GartmoreGartmore Sicav Pan European Focus Fund
A picture of the Government's true priorities is emerging and it is no surprise that housing remains a mainstream issue.
Home reversion is to be regulated by the FSA, after an announcement in the Queen's Speech this week, putting it on an equal footing with lifetime mortgages.
IFAs are "disgusted" at being charged interest at 9.1 per cent to pay their regulatory fees by instalments.
The Society of Mortgage Professionals is raising concerns about IFAs' lack of awareness of new FSA regulatory returns reporting requirements.
Any discussion between those born in Yorkshire or Scotland will include a lot of good banter. Typically, both accuse the other of, shall we say, being similar in their outlook towards their personal finances.
Norwich Union is to contract back in its policyholders following a low response to a mailshot which suggested they consider doing so.
I am usually calm and collected enough to read criticism, smile and get on with life but when the criticism is unfounded and based on a quarter of a story it pushes me far enough to feel the need to reply - I am referring to Alan Swaysland's letter in Money Marketing, May 5.
From recent correspondence, it appears there may be a perception that I have a vendetta against John Ellis and I would like to set the matter straight once and for all.
Lifetime's chief executive is a keen competitor on the classic car racing circuit and he aims to help the wrap platform become a driving force in the market.
Imagine reaching retirement to find 100,000 or more in tax deducted from your pension fund or accrued pension benefit. Then imagine that you subsequently discovered that you could have legitimately avoided this tax had you taken some simple steps a few years earlier. How would you feel?
IFA dealmaker Paul Johnston has been appointed managing director of Punter Southall Financial Management with the role of expanding the business.
A judge has slammed a North east mortgage company for failing to carry out checks before taking on a financial adviser who had served three prison sentences for stealing.
With the world economy stagnating, the outlook for shares in not particularly attractive. However, there are at least 50 excellent stockpicking fund managers who are likely to continue to outperform their respective markets.
Our panel say no delay for A-Day and assess the practicalities for investing residential property in Sipps.
Legal & GeneralAccelerated Growth Investment Plan 2
Some IFAs are too attached to their investment role to consider outsourcing.
The 11 UK life and pension offices behind IFA Promotion have unanimously voted to keep IFAP promoting independent advice in the depolarised world.
The wrap industry needs a trade body to give it a voice in financial services policymaking, says Lifetime chief executive Jeremy Bradburne.
Whispering phoenix firm into the average IFA's ear is a bit like chanting Roy Keane's name at Liverpool Football Club's AGM.
Berkeley Berry Birch chief executive Cliff Lockyer has reignited the row over phoenixing allegations surrounding the closure of Berry Birch & Noble Financial Services. by blaming BBN founding director Derek Berry for his role in the subsidiary's collapse.
Careful calculations are required to assess pension returns in the new regime.
Private equity investment trusts are trading at a prem- ium and managers in the sector are confident that management buyouts and flotations will drive growth this year.
Millfield Partnerships has signed up Advantage and Solent as mortgage packaging partners for its sub-prime specialist lending arm.
A surge in the levels of levels of mortgage arrears is set to continue, says NCI Resources.
Sadly, we have seen a significant reduction in the number of advisers over the past decade which has undoubtedly contri-buted to the increasing gaps that have emerged in savings, retirement plan-ning and more importantly, protection.
Murray VCT 4 has decided not to move its management contract to Close Venture Management and is staying with Aberdeen Asset Management.
The financial services industry is sleepwalking towards the depolarisation deadline, says Alpha to Omega chief executive Stewart Wooles.
A Norfolk IFA has been jailed for six years for stealing £1m from clients to fund a business buying and selling racehorses.
Norwich UnionNorwich Manager of Manager Balanced Fund
Norwich UnionNorwich Manager of Manager Growth Fund
My last words to one of our clients as I left a recent meeting were: "Now don't forget, Mr Client, we chose Norwich Union for the commercial property investment part of your portfolio because of the fund's strength and performance. Please remember that Norwich Union's administration is usually appalling and we can expect them to lose your cheque/application at least once, ha, ha."
Norwich Union has enhanced its fund range by introducing four manager of manager Oeic funds that are also available through the companys life products.
Norwich Union's manager of managers' suite, set to launch this month, will include mandates run by the fund arms of rival life offices including Aegon and Standard Life.
Old Mutual is in talks to buy Skandia for 3.3bn, prompting speculation about a break-up of the Swedish insurer.
Old Mutual would be unlikely to keep two fund supermarkets if it buys Skandia, says Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna.
Multi-managers should focus on the maximum losses suffered by funds in their portfolios to best manage risk, says Dutch multi-manager Insinger de Beaufort.
Following my earlier articles relating to pensions for homosexuals and transsexuals, I have had a number of readers contact me to ask on what information my articles were based. So, as an interlude to my current series on recent and imminent developments in the pension world, this piece looks back over the history.
PlatformSelf-Certification Three-Year Fixed Rate
Platinum Capital Management is adding four hedge fund managers to its Platinum premier fund but says it is not marketing the product as a multi-manager fund.
Prestbury has opened its mortgage club to directly authorised firms and claims the move will double its revenue over the next year.
I was talking last week about the "lurking impediment" to the making of lifetime gifts. That impediment is capital gains tax.
An IFA firm has described its disappointment at the "unhelpful" and "irrational" nature of the FSA in refusing to vet its disclosure documents to confirm compliance.
Alan Swaysland's letter on "Free PFS advice service helping the wrong client" (Money Marketing, May 5) throws an interesting light on the approach of some IFAs to trying to engage more customers with the IFA sector. What was known as the "CAB/Sofa" scheme has been inherited by the PFS. I have attended one session of the steering group which is overseeing this service. It is a pilot scheme and a report is due this year. Only then will it be possible to make an assessment of the success ...
IFAs must warn their clients of the threat of inheritance tax on supposed tax-free savings vehicles, cautions Scottish Equitable International.
Scottish WidowsGuaranteed Investment Bond
The rental charge for unconventional Sipp investments such as paintings and antiques is likely to be as high as 8 per cent, says Hornbuckle Mitchell director Neil Marsh.
Skandia's nine top UK sales directors have been told that they will have to re-apply for only three jobs in the same week that Old Mutual announced it wants to buy the company.
A couple were referred to us by a local independent mortgage broker. They were in the process of raising a mortgage on their UK home to buy a euro 250,000 villa in Spain and had asked about the tax issues.
The Government is being called on to publish the full pension simplification rules and end the uncertainty that is stifling planning by the industry, says Xansa head of financial services James Doyle.
Standard Life Investments is closing two specialist offshore property funds, which are now fully invested across £2.3bn assets previously held in its life fund.
It was not long ago that anyone with an adverse credit record was thrown into the financial wilderness because mainstream lenders did not cater for them.
Nearly three-quarters of pension professionals do not believe compulsion is a workable solution, says Origen.
Old Mutual's bid to buy Skandia comes after a five-year period that has seen boardroom controversy and falling markets wipe 90 per cent off the value of the Swedish company.
Tenet is launching an annuity bureau, running alongside its transfer bureau, and the network says the one-stop shop will save IFAs up to five hours per case.
Tenet networks have taken over from Berkeley as the most popular network with members, according to research by Henry Samuels Marketing Services.
UCB Home LoansSelf-Certification 2 Year Flexible Fixed
A pensioner has been hit by a 20 per cent market value reduction because his adviser applied for funds two days before his normal retirement date.
May I express my thanks to all those readers who have written to me in response to my letter (Money Marketing, April 28) concerning the designations the PFS is seeking to impose on its members.
A botched Financial Ombudsman Service investigation into an IFA firm has exposed worrying levels of confusion among the watchdog's front-line staff, says a Croydon IFA.
Winterthur LifeSelf Invested Personal Pension
A million UK businesses are owned by women, contributing over 115bn to the economy and expanding the need for female-focused financial advice, says new IFA firm Elements.
Woolwich is aiming at first-time buyers with a new suite of products after its research suggested that the sector is faltering.
With many advisers and providers hesitating before making any call on depolarisation, Zurich has positioned itself across all distribution channels to hedge its bets.