2 February 2005
Aegon Asset Management UK has appointed Andrew Fleming as chief investment officer to lead a 50-strong investment team that manages more than 33bn.
Product providers admitted that they face new marketing challenges posed by the changing role of advisers in a depolarised regime.
The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is warning all member firms to rethink the way they handle their initial disclosure documents in a drive to tighten up record-keeping across the industry.
Clerical Medical retirement planning manager Steve Meredith looks at the changes for taking pension benefits.
In a new regular section of International Money Marketing Brief, Contract Marketing Services managing director Richard Lloyd-Jones looks at what offshore products and providers UK-based IFAs are using most.
Three months into statutory mortgage regulation and the phony war is about to end. So far, the FSA has adopted a light-touch approach to regulation to give firms a period to iron out any unforeseen problems in complying with the new rules. Three months is clearly not long enough for some firms as there are still an awful lot of non-compliant financial promotions around, with some broker websites, for example, even still saying the firm is regulated by the MCCB.
Bristol & West International has established the FTSE kickout bond, a FTSE 100-linked guaranteed equity bond which has several early maturity trigger points.
Do life offices have a duty to inform policyholders of MVR-free windows in with-profits policies?
The Financial Planning Service certified financial planner Julian Crooks: "Our main issue is marketing, or lack thereof, and trying to get in touch with the right clients. As a fee-based consultancy, we feel more could be done from a higher level to raise awareness of the benefits of fee-based consulting.
Charcol is refusing to use key fact illustrations from Mortgage Brain over concerns that it is still unable to produce accurate documents.
Cheltenham & GloucesterTwo Year Premium Fixed Rate Mortgage
Six schools in the North-east of England will start teaching the Chartered Insurance Institute certificate in financial planning from September.
You may recall that a few months back - when I did a bit of mystery shopping of my own - I raised awareness of the ethics of some endowment claims firms offering no win, no fee services. This was defended by other such firms maintaining that all claims firms should not be tarred with the same brush.
Clerical Medical is planning its first capital guaranteed fund as part of a push into the retail fund market.
Close Property InvestmentClosePip Isa and Pep
Close Property Investment's new ClosePip Isa and Pep fund invests in a property fund of funds which, although fett-ered, harnesses the skills of several independent property managers.
The controversial regulatory decisions committee of the FSA could be swept away as the regulator makes changes to its enforcement process.The FSA has outlined an investigation into its procedures and is thought to be considering sweeping changes to the RDC.
Many IFAs will surely welcome anything which spreads the burden of FSA fees across the year rather than face a very painful one-off hit.
Daniel Godfrey, director general of the Association of Investment Trust Companies, has called on the Government to create a Financial Education Agency. This agency could, he suggests, come under the umbrella of the FSA to provide financial education across the UK.
The pension scheme changes taking effect from April 6, 2006 will simplify matters considerably - it would be churlish to argue otherwise.
The Department for Work and Pensions has been accused of moving away from the concept of pension simplification by not allowing self-investment of protected rights.
How wrong can Tom Baigrie, Jason King and the FSA be with regard to term insurance? asks Terence O'Halloran.
IFAs are concerned over F&C after a Morgan Stanley report predicted an outflow for the firm of 3bn in assets under management this year after it saw an outflow of 4.7bn last year.
Fidelity has completed the transfer of 40,000 customers on to FundsNetwork following its purchase of Egg's investment business. The group says this is the biggest migration of supermarket clients.
FramlingtonManaged Balanced Fund
The FSA is judging IFAs res-ponsible for product provider marketing material during mis-selling claims, a letter obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveals.
The FSA will ban IFAs that fail to respond quickly to regulatory changes brought about by depolarisation.
A law firm is petitioning the FSA under the Freedom of Information Act to reveal whether its regulatory decisions committee is anything more than "a hanging court".
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme says it will start working with liquidators to claw back cash from IFA bosses that dump assets in "phoenix" firms.
FundsNetwork is to offer discount and enhanced comm-ission offers on multi-manager funds.
Representatives from the small business practitioner panel and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme have joined the FSA in a working party to investigate instalment payment of levies.
The Insurance Mediation Directive enables FSA-regulated IFAs to sell their services throughout the EU, says Simon Hildrey.
The FSA has extolled the values of holistic financial planning. It has dictated the need for high levels of qualification. It insists that key features documents are distributed with each recommendation and, of course, it has approved those key features documents as authentic consumer-orientated information sheets which enable customers to assess the products which they wish to buy.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is forcing fund firms to pay 27m to cover the risk of a fund management group going bust this year.
I think that Simon Parker's article on branding to take on the banks misses the point in the final analysis (Money Marketing, January 20).
iimiaiimia ACD Services Growth Fund
Any financial adviser worth his salt will always start any financial planning exercise with a detailed budget so that the client's overall objectives can be set. This then forms the framework for the financial planning exercise.
A broad consensus of industry bodies is telling the Turner Commission that the basic state pension must be increased and means-testing scrapped.
Ingenious Asset ManagementDirectional Bond Fund
Investors have the memory of the bear market at the forefront of their minds. Is this caution justified? asks Brian Tora.
IFAs and product providers agree that a unified approach is needed if financial products are to be marketed effectively to consumers.
One sector which has been neglected by many IFAs is European smaller companies. This is one area where good fund management really counts because smaller companies all over Europe are still much underresearched.
Terence O'Halloran is such a regular correspondent of yours that I have often wondered how he finds time to write any business. The contents of his letters show that he is a man of firm and fixed ideas. Grey does not appear to be a shade that he recognises.
In a rare piece of good news for with-profits investors, Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical are to write to thousands of their policyholders to inform them of MVR-free anniversary guarantees for the first time.
Lloyd George ManagementLG Developed Asia Fund
Lloyd George ManagementLG Asia Pacific Fund
Lloyd George ManagementLG China Fund
Lloyd George ManagementLG Developed Asia Fund
The MTM China VCT is a venture capital trust aiming to raise up to 25m for investment in unquoted UK companies that are doing business with China.
It is frustrating for boutique multi-managers such as Miton Investments to hear of the vast sums of new inflows to this arena that are finding their way into some of the marketing leviathans in our industry, even if they have a poor or, in some cases, no track record.
Nationwide Building SocietyThree Year Fixed Rate Mortgage
Nationwide Building Societytwo Year Tracker
Nationwide Building SocietyTwo Year Tracker Mortgage
I am not sure who coined the phrase "Simple solutions seldom are." However, Peter de Savary hit the nail on the head when he said: "The great fault all over the world in business is that people overcomplicate and forget that the main ingredients for success are common sense and simplicity. I use lawyers and accountants as little as possible." To whom he could have added civil servants.
Invesco Perpetual is bringing back Perpetual's mountain logo and launching its biggest ad push for several years.
IFAs could be hit by negligence claims due to the compliance and risk management obligations of depolarisation, warns PI broker PYV.
Fidelity has appointed Prudential business development director David Dalton-Brown as head of FundsNetwork.
Prudential has made multi-tie deals with independent IFA networks Burns-Anderson and Tenet Group.
The Government is set to reap around 4.3bn stamp duty from house sales in the current tax year - a nine-fold increase since 1993/94 - according to the Halifax.
Advisers must weigh up the risks and benefits of equity release for clients.
Leeds-based Rensburg Fund Manage-ment has won an external mandate to manage a Russell Investment Group equity portfolio.
Life and pension business dropped significantly at Standard Life and Friends Provident last year.
Scottish Equitable Protect is to provide guaranteed rates on life with critical-illness protection from February 14.
The FOS's refusal to divulge details of a controversial decision has unsettled the industry.
New Aifa director general David Severn is pledging to fight for a shift in the regulatory burden towards product providers and for increased stability, certainty and lower costs for IFAs.
New Aifa director general David Severn has called for a cut in regulatory costs for IFAs as the sector faces an 18 per cent rise in the FSCS levy.
Our panel of experts talk about the difference between onshore and offshore IHT plans and the advantages for UK investors.
Short-term mortgage arrears have shown their first significant increase since 1998, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
If you had told me a couple of weeks ago that I would be writing a column advocating the use of an online new bus-iness system that requires a hard copy signature from the client as part of the process, my answer would probably have been unprintable. Today, you are reading that column. This goes to show that it is always important to keep an open mind and that if you do things in the right order you can achieve the best of both the old and new worlds.
Manchester-based mortgage broker Cartel is planning to tie to a single lender and managing director Carl Wright predicts that broker firms will increasingly look to cre-ate these types of relationships as the market becomes more competitive.
Residential property in Sipps after A-Day faces legal and admin problems that will make it an expensive asset class to run, warn pension experts.
Standard Bank offshore has created equity growth deposit 5, a guaranteed equity bond that is linked to an equally weighted basket of three stockmarket indices over a four-year term.
The chief executive of Cofunds says the tie-up with Legal & General puts it in the right position for the depolarised world, opening up access to different markets and moving the firm closer to a wrap proposition.
Cofunds' projected break-even date has slipped back to early 2007 due to the level of investment required to support the platform's tie-up with Legal & General.
I am about to give you a lot of personal information in order for you to provide me with independent financial advice. How do I know this information is safe and will not to be used for other purposes?
There is a huge untapped market of companies which can benefit from offshore bonds and accounts.
The Mortgage OperationCapital Home Loans Prime Self Cert for Self Employed
A market known for strong ethics will be a better market because it will deliver benefits to the economy and society. Once ethics are allowed to decline, bad practice becomes the norm and there is a competitive cost on firms which act ethically, which means few do. Essentially, you get a race to the lowest level and the system degenerates into crisis.
Tillinghast has warned companies running with-profits investments that they could be accumulating future problems for themselves by not fully addressing new industry regulations.
To reproduce a quote from a client in The Sunday Times recently: "I wanted to pay the lowest possible premiums but get the best possible cover. I felt it was a much better option to ask the experts than try and search the market myself. I would now always advise my friends and family to take advice. Any rules that lift the standard of advice available when you buy insurance policies can only be a good thing for consumers."
Independent specialist life insurance broker LifePolicies Direct has been bought by Torquil Clark.
A trouble-shooter has been hired by split-cap investment trust firms to convince consumers to take the FSA compensation settlement.
UK banks are the worst in Eur-ope at cross-selling to their customers, according to a rep-ort by Booz Allen Hamilton.
With both sides claiming victory over Legal & General's ground-breaking challenge to the FSA concerning its 1.1m fine for endowment misselling, which side has really won?L&G's victory dance convinced more members of the press than did the FSA's equivalent.
Scottish Widows is calling on the Inland Revenue to guarantee that provider backlogs of pension fund transfers not processed by A-Day will not be blocked.
Scottish Widows has halved its MVR to 5 per cent and average surrender values have risen by 10 per cent after good with-profits performance.
With all the difficulties that a combination of the gift with reservation and pre-owned assets rules have caused for lifetime estate planning with property - especially the principal private residence - many have effectively given up on this and turned to consider what can be done to at least ensure that the nil-rate band of the first of a couple to die is used. The saving in inheritance tax if this is successfully achieved is not to be sneezed at. It is the princely sum of 105,200.
Winterthur Life is running an initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of trustee investment plans as part of an holistic retirement planning process.
Strong with-profits performance last year will see a reduction in the number of Scottish Amicable endowment policyholders on red warnings of shortfalls.
The FSA has finalised the first set of rules designed to regulate the transparency and accountability of the with-profits sector.