19 September 2007
Standing in for our protection reporter this week I had to endure a trip to South Africa in the company of Prudential and South African life insurer Discovery to hear about their new joint venture, PruProtect.
Geoff Gaunt, proprietor of Prism training and development, believes many people are getting embroiled in arguments over the RDR instead of preparing to adapt to focusing on advice rather than sales and training staff to use new skill sets
AbbeyCapital Guaranteed Japanese Equity Bond Issue 9
Emerging markets showed some initial resilience to the sub-prime turmoil and consequent decline in markets. They took longer to fall than developed markets and, when they did, it was generally not as sharp.
Aegon and Openwork have announced an extension to their partnership to include Aegon’s 5 for Life product in the Openwork range.
Small IFAs are scared of being "victimised" by the FSA and many feel Aifa is the only body looking out for their interests, says Kent-based RH Invest-ment Services.
Allianz Global InvestorsAllianz RCM Global EcoTrends Fund
Arc Capital & IncomeBull & Bear Tracker Plan 3
Arc Capital & IncomeStepped Kick-Out Plan
Investors in Asian markets are less impacted by the credit turmoil that has hit the US, UK and Europe in recent weeks thanks to an abundance of liquidity, says F&C.
Insurance giant Axa broke radio silence today to confirm that it is launching a wrap platform in the early part of the first quarter of 2008.
Over 1,000 years ago, some people believed the Earth was flat, at the centre of the universe and all the stars and planets rotated around it.
BarclaysDefined Returns Plan
BDO Stoy Hayward Investment ManagementThe Hyde Park Fund
The Bank of England may have supported Northern Rock to the value of £2.9bn through its lender of last resort facility, according to New Star economist Simon Ward.
Anthony Bolton is still bearish on the market and warns there is a 50/50 chance that the US will fall into recession.
Britannia InternationalOptimum Growth Bond 21
Britannia InternationalGuaranteed Capital Bond Issue 5
Foster Denovo founding executive chairman Keith Carby has been confirmed as new chief executive of Openwork, replacing Stephen Leaman.
Canada Life International has launched the first offshore bond on the Cofunds platform, available from November 1.
Investment bank Close Brothers has revealed in its results that it has suspended the operations of its specialist lender Close Mortgages.
Coventry Building Society5.99% Offset Fixed Rate
Coventry Building Society6.19% Flexx Fixed
Credit Suisse Asset ManagementMulti-Manager Multi-Asset Distribution Portfolio
The opening article of a mini series on critical-illness insurance
Fresh concerns about the health of the US financial system have knocked stockmarkets off the highs they reached in mid-July. Once again, the epicentre of the crisis is the sub-prime loan market, with knock-on damage in securitised credit, high-yield bonds and leveraged loans.
IFAs have leapt to defend Aifa after Towry Law gave up its membership last week, says Sam Shaw
Regulatory stupidity has allowed IFAs to take the flak for endowment mispricing
Changing consumer attitudes in Asia will be a key driver of the world economy
The Northern Rock debacle would not have happened under any other regulatory regime and can be blamed on the fudge created by dual regulation, according to a leading LibDem business voice.
ETF SecuritiesETFS Brent 3 Year
ETF Securities ETFS WTI 2 Year
ETF SecuritiesETFS Brent 2 Year
ETF SecuritiesETFS WTI 3 Year
Where are the big-budget campaigns genuinely promoting protection?
Fidelity International has began to rebuild the group’s multi-manager offering by appointing Geraldine Stewart as head of investment.
Our panel look at PPI problems, life after the failed Royal merger, special rates for vegetarians and real-time pricing
The FSA says it is concerned that investors are being put into Sipps when a personal pension or stakeholder may be equally appropriate and potentially cheaper.
Fidelity FundsNetwork has announced the addition of an Excluded Property Trust to its range of Multi-Asset Trusts, which allows anyone who is not UK domiciled to put non-UK assets into trust and avoid inheritance tax on these assets.
GAMEuropean Systematic Value & Income Fund
GAMGAM Star US All Cap Equity Fund
GAMGAM Star US Small & Mid Cap Equity
Highclere Financial Services director Alan Lakey says primary advice has been proved a failure so why is the FSA allowing it to form a big part of its plans for financial distribution?
High Street Home LoansNear Prime Three Year Fixed
Jupiter income manager Tony Nutt tell Chris Salih how his preference for reliable assets has kept returns flowing on his fund
Housing intelligence business Hometrack has bought a 50 per cent stake in Australian residential statistical research company Residex.
When aggressive selling by gas and electricity salespeople led to huge numbers of consumer complaints, tough action by regulator Ofgem helped stem the problem but payment by commission was allowed to remain, says Will Henley
HSBC Bank InternationalFoundation 2 - Healthcare Bonus Fund
HSBC InvestmentsNew World Income Fund
IAF SecuritiesNatural Resources Enhanced Return Plan
iimia plans to ramp up its investment offering with the launch of specialist joint venture boutiques.
Income protection insurance Roger Edwards, product director of Bright Grey, considers criticisms of the industry's record in the income protection sector and looks at ways to bring improvements to the product area
Investec Asset Management is predicting that the US Federal Reserve will follow through with easing in the Fed Funds rate of at least 50 basis points before the end of 2007.
Despite the banking markets crisis and the collapse of Northern Rock’s share price, 42 per cent of investors are confident that the stock market will perform well over the next three months, says Brewin Dolphin.
Retail stockbroker The Share Centre has reported a 591 per cent increase on last week’s account openings as investors have swooped to take advantage of a weaker Northern Rock share price.
James Hay has added four funds from Neptune and Schroders to its wrap, bringing the total to 1,212 funds from 54 providers.
Pioneering non-conforming lender Kensington has reduced its adverse maximum loan to value to 75 per cent as it swit-ches focus to prime mortgages.
Keydata Investment ServicesDynamic Growth Plan 19
Keydata Investment ServicesExtra Income Plan - Issue 14
Bank of England governor Mervyn King has called for major legislative changes during a fierce grilling from the Treasury Select Committee.
Speculation about a possible snap election is the biggest talking point in Bournemouth after Chancellor Darling's actions last week to quell the panic over the Northern Rock debacle.
Legal & General Mortgage ClubThe Mortgage Business Multi House 2 House Two Year Tracker
Is it ever good advice to recommend that a client ditches a guarantee?
Lincoln Unit Trust Managers has added to it management team with the appointments of Will Hale and Simon O’Connor as head of distribution and head of products & marketing, respectively.
Insurers who know more about us than we do opt for postcode profiling
M&G has rebranded its logo in following a branding review of the business.
Eighty per cent of IFAs will seek to become professional financial planners under the FSA’s proposals, according to research by Aegon.
Manor ParkGuaranteed Global Growth Fund - October 2007 Series A
Manor ParKGuaranteed Global Growth Fund - October 2007 Series
Manor ParkGuaranteed Global Growth Fund - October 2007 Series D
Manor ParkGuaranteed UK Growth Fund - October 2007 Series A
Manor ParkGuaranteed UK Selected Growth Fund - Oct 07 Series
Manor ParkGuaranteed UK Selected Growth Fund - October 2007 Series
Meteor Asset ManagementRainbow
It's all change again on the multi-manager side this week as Marcus Brookes announced his departure from Gartmore to take a new role as head of Cazenove's own range.
The FSA and Treasury are to be hauled in front of the Treasury select committee to explain their role in the Northern Rock fiasco as MPs turn up the heat on the regulator.
The head of the personal accounts delivery authority must ensure he really does deliver
Healthcare Will Henley reports on the reaction to the latest Wanless report on NHS funding with many healthcare professionals believing that the system will have to change radically to incorporate private insurance and treatment
Best ideas funds are proving popular and more are on the way. Chris Salih reports
Newly launched company Occupational Pensions Trust says it aims to set up a national pension scheme confederation that will enable companies to remove closed defined benefit schemes from their balance sheets.
BlackRock has announced the appointment of Stephen Hunnisett to its Europe, Middle East and Africa fixed income team as a senior credit analyst.
Norwich & Peterborough25 Year Fixed Rate
Norwich & PeterboroughFive Year Fixed Rate
Norwich & PeterboroughFive Year Fixed Rate
Norwich & PeterboroughOne-Year Fixed/Tracker Rate
Norwich & PeterboroughTwo-Year Fixed/Tracker Rate
It is essential that coverage provided by all trade newspapers is as accurate as possible. The risk of being accused of sensationalism is high, particularly when many companies in the sub prime sector are feeling the pain.
Amid the welter of words that have followed the publication of the retail distribution review, most of the attention has focused on the technical aspects of the proposals. Very little time has been spent on trying to understand what consumers actually want.
Despite concern about what they will be replaced with, 37 per cent of advisers say they will stop using the menu and initial disclosure document from November 1, according to Aegon research.
Marriage breakdown can be a testing time for financial advisers as well as the estranged spouses, says Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford, as he poses questions for advisers to assess their knowledge on pensions and divorce
A background in mechanics and accounting has helped the founder of IHT planning specialist Way Group design the sort of engineered strategies needed to mitigate against the tax in an era when booming house prices have pushed more people over the threshold. By Will Henley
Amid recent turmoil in world stockmarkets, some markets may have fallen too far.
Pink Home LoansKensington Mortgages Near Prime Two-Year Fixed BTL
Pink Home LoansKensington Mortgages Near Prime Max Three-Year Fixed BTL
Pink Home LoansKensington Mortgages Near Prime Max Two-Year Fixed BTL
Helen Monks reports that many life offices are increasingly focusing on profitable single-premium business but some firms feel that the regular-premium sector should not be shunned as it performs a valuable savings service
Congratulations to my fellow columnist Robert Reid who is about to become president of the Personal Finance Society. Having known and respected Robert for longer than I care to remember, I believe he will achieve his target of raising the profile of the PFS and will work hard to ensure the retail distribution review offers benefits to members.
As house price rises are finally reined in, the buy-to-let industry is confident that the figures still stack up for landlords, says Guy Anker
Resolution has confirmed that Standard Life and Pearl Assurance expressed interest in the firm shortly after the announcement of its proposed merger with Friends Provident.
Financial services is constantly evolving and innovating to keep up with the times. As a result, recent developments do lead one to question whether "retail" is still a meaningful term when it comes to the fund management industry.
It was not difficult to decide the topic for this column. Northern Rock has dominated the headlines since last Thursday evening, when the BBC broke the news that the bank had arranged an emergency facility from the Bank of England although it did not draw on it last week.
Pensions consultant Ros Altmann had lots to say this week about Northern Rock and the state of the UK pensions sector.
Rowanmoor aims to revive pension term assurance with a product that allows employers and trustees to pay contributions into a term assurance policy and get tax relief.
One saver with Northern Rock said this week that, having seen what happened with Equitable Life he was rushing to get his money out of the Rock.
SchrodersSchroder Global Climate Change Fund
Schroders' multi-manager strategic balanced and multi-manager high alpha portfolio funds have marked their three-year anniversaries with top 10 Lipper rankings in their respective sectors.
Scottish WidowsDiversified Assets Life & Pension Fund
Scottish WidowsDynamic Property Fund
Bestinvest founder John Spiers has stepped down as a director of the firm after earlier selling his majority stake to private equity firm 3i.
Splintered FilmsSplintered EIS
Standard Life is considering a cash and shares offer for Resolution if the Board believes it is in the best interests of Standard Life shareholders.
Stewardship has announced it will allow selected financial services institutions including some major insurers and banks into its ethical investment portfolios.
Tara Powley reports on research which shows that brokers are wary of some lenders but still have faith in the sub-prime mortgage market
The Route GroupFootprint Film Fund
The Conservatives have written to Chancellor Alistair Darling offering their co-operation with any urgent action taken to reform banking regulation in the aftermath of the Northern Rock affair.
In my last article, I started to outline and discuss the reasons why it might be advantageous for some, or indeed many, pension scheme members to transfer out of an existing money-purchase scheme into another.
Credit Suisse has announced two appointments to its fixed income team for asset management.
Unbiased.co.uk figures show that savings increased by almost £10bn to £47bn in the second quarter of 2007, while borrowing dropped from nearly £13bn to £4bn compared to the same time last year.
F&C Investments says that although the worst is over, the financial markets will be volatile for the rest of 2007 and there will be some high profile problems in individual companies, sectors and markets.
What a week it has been for the mortgage world. The events which have been played out over the last seven days with Northern Rock could have been lifted directly from a film plot (although perhaps not a film that many people would exactly rush to see…)
The media is obsessed with knocking IFAs but what about solicitors?