2 August 2006
Brian Pitt and Stuart Aitken have joined Kensington Group to investigate key strategic opportunities presented by the specialist lending sector.
Later this year, the Government will enact new legislation to end age discrimination in the workplace.
Following a nasty three-year cyclical bear market, equity markets generally bottomed in March 2003, rallying until May 2006 to then experience their biggest correction for three years. Does this weakness represent the start of something bigger? Are we about to revisit the low end of the range or is this merely a correction within an ongoing cyclical bull?
Firm targets drawdown after portfolio and Sipp launch
Offshore investment For investors seeking more equilibrium in their portfolios amid recent market volatility, Prudential UK international development manager James Tothill suggests some more balanced approaches for advisers to consider
Sitting in a television studio the other week, I was asked to comment on the latest cross-border acquisition by a continental company of a British concern. In this case, the acquirer was Spanish - again.
British Insurance is offering a new type of income protection product which is a hybrid of IP and payment protection insurance and charges a flat rate premium for every customer.
If providers paid indemnity commission on investment funds - like Norwich Union is introducing - would you write more investment business?
Cazalet Consulting principal Ned Cazalet has attacked Norwich Union's decision to offer up-front indemnity commission on its retail funds, saying IFAs accepting this payment will struggle to continue calling themselves independent.
The plans for the regulation of claim management firms are better than nothing but leave a lot to be desired.
Matt Goodburn looks at the reaction to NU's 20% indemnity commission offer
North was launched a year ago in response to what appeared to be a growing need among intermediaries and small asset management companies within the UK. That need revolved around the outsourcing of the investment management function of their businesses. As director of multi-manager investment at a big UK retail asset management company, this was an arena in which I plied my trade. However, for the bigger intermediary firms, it appeared that the multi-manager approach just was not flexible ...
Top tip: Never, ever think that you can move house on Monday and get a full week's work done while simultaneously dealing with builders, plumbers, electricians and Lambeth Council.
Guy Anker says the FSA is coming under increasing accusations of unsettling the industry and encouraging complaints from borrowers
Rooftop Mortgages managing director Jonathan Naylor says the Government still aims to bring in home condition reports at some point despite its U-turn and the problem of Hip double costs remains while the real priority should be regulating estate agents
Several leading pension providers could face a Revenue probe after it emerged that some firms appear to be breaching the rules on unsecured pension transfers.
A week with the world's finest advisers is an inspirational experience
Our panel of experts discuss mortgage and tax issues for borrowers to consider when buying a property abroad
By the time you read this column, the public administration select committee will have published its report into the Government's refusal to offer proper compensation to125,000 people who have lost most of their pensions following the wind-up of their occupational schemes.
The latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs reveal that inheritance tax receipts have leapt by 42 per cent over the last three years, according to business and financial advisers Grant Thornton.
I have received a communication from my pension provider suggesting I contract back into the state second pension. What should I do?
The decision by the Monetary Policy Commitee to increase interest rates by a quarter per cent should act as a wake up call for the UK consumer so start saving and consult their adviser, says IFA Promotions.
Which? says lenders have misled public after document reveals how CML influenced regulator's findings
UK smaller companies funds suffered badly during May, being down by 6.6 per cent on average, but there are still great opportunities in this sector where growth investing is back in vogue and where continued strong economics and a general rerating of growth companies are likely.
But the report, which is the committee's response to the Government White Paper on pension proposals, has caused outrage by recommending a review of the tax-free lump sum, which many see as one of the key reasons why people save in pensions. It also recommends a review of higher-rate tax relief.
Select committee chairman says Government is being 'at best naive and at worst misleading'
The total number of estates paying inheritance tax rose by seventy two per cent over the five years to 2003/04 to 30,451 according to Halifax research, based on recently released data from HM Revenue & Customs.
"Nudist beaches are very good places for maintaining eye contact."IFG's Donna Bradshaw
Shambles is the word that springs to mind when describing the government's U-turn on home information packs.The sudden decision not to make home condition reports mandatory when the packs are introduced next June, even though they were supposed to be the main component, was greeted by astonishment.
One of the golden rules of e-commerce is that you have to make it easy to use for the customer. Businesses such as Amazon have thrived because they are so easy to use.
The idea of lenders paying procuration fees on retained business was aired in public at the mortgage summit in Spain in June. Needless to say, the response from intermediaries was largely one of jubilation and I hardly thought it apt to disturb the euphoria at such an event, where brains were focused on driving business forward.
The industry is in the throes of a post-A-Day systems' meltdown as providers struggle to deal with new pension business, according to IFA Richard Jacobs.Jacobs, managing director of Jacobs Pensions and Trustee Services, says even straightforward pension requests are causing problems for the biggest insurance companies.
Until recently I had been intrigued by these Alpha Course bumper stickers. It was only when I spotted a similar poster outside a church that I made the connection.
16% increase in revenues attributed to strong take-up of mortgage offering
What hope is there for the public to find an equity-release specialist?
Debate on the new trust alignment rules has been pretty much constant (among interested parties, of course) since the Budget day announcement. Much of the debate has been on the application of the discretionary trust regime to structures, particularly flexible and interest in possession trusts, that were taxed very differently before these new provisions were introduced.
Transfers from defined-benefit schemes to some form of money purchase have generally been in the doldrums in recent years. This is probably for a variety of reasons. Advisers must be specially qualified to operate in this market, there is a lot of nervousness about possible misselling and the transfer values being quoted have often required high critical yields in the transfer value analysis system.
Now that the Finance Act has been published, advisers can take the time to understand the changes to the inheritance tax treatment of trusts, knowing there are unlikely to be any more amendments, at least in the short term.
Martin Bamford is the son and the employee one of the most respected independent financial advisers - Nick Bamford.
There are some key places around the globe where you can get a better perspective on the world economy.
The Council of Mortgage Lender’s credibility as a trade body took a major blow this week after its sensational admission that it is not an informed commentator on the sub-prime and non-conforming market.
This week's pensions web-log sees controversy rage around loopholes and the like with Standard Life questioning whether Axas latest Sass offering will get pastthe Revenue.
Although the two free case rule protects the vast majority of advisers from ever having to pay a case fee to the FOS, the mere prospect of paying to prove their innocence has always stuck in advisers' throats.
Reducing or spreading commission would mean less protection plans sold
The FSA's second review of the equity-release market saw the unprecedented move by the regulator of asking advisers who only write a small amount of equity-release business to stop and refer them on to specialist firms.