2 May 2007
Wrap provider Ascentric has told IFAs that the Hargreaves Lansdown model is effectively a wrap model and one that they should seek to emulate. It says the wrap market has the potential to reach £1800bn.
The insurers are shooting themselves in the foot with their cunning plan.
ABI members say they do not want a ban on commission and that the trade body’s submission paper to the FSA’s retail distribution review was poorly worded.
Money Marketing has no particular information indicating that the FSA plans to ban commission for most brokers. We do, however, know that if the regulator wished to do so it has been given the excuse by the ABI.
The Association of British Insurers says it has not called for a ban on commission in its final response to the FSA¹s retail distribution review but the final document suggests otherwise.
The ABI’s final response proposals for the future of commission will repeat the controversial CP 121 where only fee based advisers can call themselves independent, says Robert Reid.
Regulation of personal pensions highlights the need for advisers to understand the advice boundaries.
A group of advisers is countersuing Axa Life for £6m after the insurer accused them of failing to pay back loans and commission.
Higher interest rates are causing first-time buyers to spend more of their income on mortgage interest payments, according to the CML.
Aifa has set out its retail distribution review proposals including no regulatory constraints on how consumers pay for advice, fairer interpretation of limitation rules and regulatory dividend incentives.
The economic backdrop in the US would dissuade most investors but it is still the land of opportunity.
Offshore accounts Simon Hildrey says HM Revenue and Customs is offering offshore investors a chance to come forward and disclose undeclared assets but there could be complexities
The Government has rejected accusations that its review of compensation for people who have lost final-salary pensions has been undermined by pensions minister James Purnell.
Axa Investment Managers has appointed Pierre Vaquier as chief executive of Axa Real Estate Investment Managers.
I read your headline, ABI calls for ban on commission (Money Marketing, April 26), with equal amounts of incredulity, astonishment and anger. Its reasoning defies belief.
Barclays is to introduce a third option to its structured products with an annual kick-out on its three and fiveyear structured product.
Northern Rock is trying to compete with the monolith of Halifax. It will not scratch the surface if it carries on with its lack of a retention policy.
Income distributions from bond funds are to be affected by an enforced change in the way fund managers must account for capital gains, with some funds to experience a change in yields. The longer-term impact of this rule change may lead to lower capital returns, which in turn will impact on income received from such investments.
Bright Grey is making the Helping Hand service on its critical-illness cover available to the policyholder's family in the first move of this kind in the individual protection market.
HMRC estimates its partial amnesty on offshore accounts could affect hundreds of thousands of UK residents.
Well, here we are in May. I wonder what this most tricky of months will have in store for us.
How Chinese wisdom in The Art of War can teach us to defeat our 'enemies'
Cash "sweeteners" offered by firms to encourage staff to transfer out of final-salary pension schemes still pose a major threat to advisers, says pension guru Stewart Ritchie.
The Association of British Insurers' draft response to the FSA's retail distribution review, obtained by Money Marketing last week, was distributed to its members last month for final feedback.
Credit Suisse is to add to its UK equity team with the appointment of Marcus Hankey as director and portfolio manager
Dalton Strategic Partnership (DSP) has launched a new pan Asian portfolio under the management of Sally Macdonald.
Pension campaigner Altmann believes reducing employer contributions is 'crazy and irresponsible suggestion'.
Advisers should refuse to deal with any claim management firm that is not registered on the Department for Constitutional Affairs' list of authorised firms, says Aifa.
Kevin Duffy is to lead ambitious expansion plans at Robert Sterling in his new role as managing director.
Exeter Fund Managers Ltd has been declared in default by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), allowing customers the opportunity to make a claim against the firm for investing in split capital investment trusts (splits).
The importance of a press release from the actuarial industry a couple of months ago has gone largely unnoticed but its key message could have a huge impact on people retiring from final-salary pension schemes or those who might be considering transferring benefits from these schemes.
Family-controlled property companies are considering converting into Reits despite early suggestions that companies would be forbidden from changing if they had shareholders with more than 10 per cent of the company.
Fidelity is expected to name the replacement for Anthony Bolton on its flagship £3.1bn UK special situations fund within two weeks.
Fidelity is making inroads into the preand post-retirement markets with the launch of seven multi-asset funds.
So Fidelity has pitched another tent into the retirement market.
Marketing hype surrounding fee-free loans may hide less good value deals.
Last year, at our invitation, a representative from the FSA came and spent a week with us. He saw all aspects of our operations, including client visits, back-office administration and management issues.
The FSA has warned general insurance firms they must improve standards of cold calling over the phone.
Compass, the gay financial adviser, has renewed its call for gay couples in Civil Partnerships to be treated equally with married heterosexual couples.
The Resolution Foundation is calling on the Government to earmark funding for generic financial advice.
Jupiter fund of funds guru John Chatfeild-Roberts says size is no constraint for funds as long as they keep up their performance.
SVM Asset Management is one of the most successful investment boutiques. It is headed by Colin McLean, formerly head of investment at Scottish Provident and later managing director at Templeton's European operations.
Torquil Clark has started an IFA academy designed to give top graduates a "golden ticket" to financial services.
News that sub-prime guru Stephen Knight is to quit GMAC-RFC after 20 years dominates the mortgage news this week.
The Government is facing another occupational pensions judicial review by the Pensions Action Group over its recent decision to extend the Financial Assistance Scheme.
The lank-haired Money Marketing news editor's spirits were buoyed on a trip to Paris with Barings last week. During a trip round the Louvre, he was pleased to discover that his hairstyle was actually in fashion in 1682.
Hargreaves Lansdown has set its IPO price range valuing the firm at 711m.
Home information packs, 10 years in the making, all the way from Labour's 1997 manifesto, appear to be less than a month away from implementation.
HSBC recently said it will offer face to face service at its Canford Cliffs branch in Dorset to customers who have at least £50,000 in savings, a mortgage of at least £200,000 or a minimum salary of £75,000. This prompted a former mayor of Poole, Ray Smith, to say that most people living in the area are property-rich but cash-poor.
HSBC's multi-manager team is exploring opportunities in US floating rate notes as rising interest rates make yields on these securities more attractive.
Many IFAs say rising returns on with-profits bonds are irrelevant because they would still not recommend investors to put new money into the funds.
Iimia's income fund has made its first investment into a fund of hedge funds and will increase exposure to this asset class if its holding is a success.
Money Marketing would like to quash any rumours that the hardest job fund managers have is picking the correct stocks in their portfolios.
How sensible retirement planning helps a lover of fast cars take control of her finances and her example aids another saver.
The FSA has been accused of dumbing down the rules by allowing Icob advisers to sell life insurance policies maturing beyond age 70.
The executive chair of GMAC-RFC UK Stephen Knight is to step down in September after twenty years with the firm.
Legal & General is looking to the US pension market for inspiration and plans to to use asset-allocation software to ensure that savers do not languish in underperforming default funds.
Pioneer Friendly Society has app-ointed protection consultant Peter Le Beau as a non-executive director and ex-LV= actuary Carl Northover as finance director.
Less than half of small firms have met the FSA’s TCF deadline and the regulator has warned it will take tough action against the small minority of firms that have failed to engage.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say. "Aha," you more experienced wrappers reply, "Here is a guy still persevering with Lifetime."
Samantha Downes says some companies are offering the option of saving for a house deposit rather than a pension and will match an employee's savings.
John Chatfeild Roberts is celebrating his 10th anniversary at the helm of the Merlin fund of funds range and has overseen growth from 50m to over 2bn.
Meteor Asset ManagementGalaxy Protected Commodities Plan
The Ministry of Defence today announced the launch of a new life insurance scheme exclusively for the Armed Forces in association with Sterling Life.
MPC Investors has recieved regulatory approval from the FSA to bring its global convertibles and strategic reserve funds to the UK retail market.
Aifa has called on the National Audit Office to review the FSA's costs and spending every two years after its first report on the regulator was published this week.
Chris Salih analyses core holding New Star UK growth.
Aviva saw a drop in UK pension sales in the first quarter and says the A-Day effect is starting to wear off.
Your recent reportage and comments, including on MMTV, on the proposals by the ABI seems to lose sight of some basic points:
Park Row admits that bringing Royal Liver's direct salesforce into its fold has been counter-productive and was a major contributor to the group losing 4.2m last year.
The Pensions Trust is has re-elected John Alleston as chair of its Board and Clive Unitt as deputy chair.
Personal Touch Financial Services is set for a legal wrangle over the internet domain name of one its subsidiaries after visitors to The Insurance Supermarket's website were being diverted to a pornography site.
PS has reported an annual pre-tax operating profit of £332,000, recovering from a £27.2m pre-tax loss on ordinary activities in the previous year.
A concerted rise in inflation would be grounds for concern on a variety of fronts. Consumer activity would slow until the effects of punitively higher interest rates took hold.
The growth of private equity firms is not good news for pensioners.
Resolution Asset Management is looking to launch up to seven more more boutique fund management businesses into the market within the next five years, bringing the total to about 10.
Increased life expectancy has cost UK private sector pension firms a potential £30bn in just two years, according to new research from KPMG.
The Pension Protection Fund could be forced to cut benefits as more schemes collapse, warns Aegon Scottish Equitable director of pensions development Stewart Ritchie.
Pension guru Stewart Ritchie warned every MP of the catastrophic damage that Chancellor Gordon Brown's infamous tax raid would have on pension schemes.
River and Mercantile Asset ManagementUK Unconstrained Fund
Royal Liver and Standard Life have criticised proposals to introduce additional conditions on critical-illness policies retrospectively, saying it is gimmicky and not in line with treating customers fairly.
The potential merger between Royal London and Royal Liver poses an interesting challenge.
Royal London is in talks with Royal Liver over a possible merger which could lead to one of their protection businesses being split off and sold.
The Investment Management Association is compiling the next round of its monthly sales figures as I write and there is no end of speculation and comment in the press about what the level of Isa sales might be in these statistics.
The article suggests the FSA person does not understand, or has little experience of, the sales process, so what value can they add? They will be silent at best and ask silly questions at worst.
There seems to be a growing trend for the ‘us against them’ attitude of yesteryear softening of late, with product providers and advisers getting into bed with each other more often. Not literally, of course.
Legal & General’s genial head of pensions Adrian Boulding was in particularly bullish mood this week - as befitting a man with a new group Sipp to promote.
Skandia Multifunds and Selestia chief executive Brett Williams says the combined Skandia/Selestia platform will be better for IFAs.
I believe the momentum is still very much with Standard Life Investments, despite the recent loss of Mark Niznik to Artemis. This was its first fund manager departure in eight years.
Standard Life has hit back at critics of its Sipp strategy, arguing that customers would prefer superior investment returns and customer service to minimal reductions in charges.
Just over a quarter of a century ago, two men set up a business in a spare room and now the company is one of the most influential financial services firms with a total of 650 staff and set for a flotation which will take it into the FTSE 250. Helen Pow interviews one of the firm's co-founders and finds that the key to the glittering success story has been always to make the needs of the clients paramount.
One of the great things about my new job is that, given the nature of the business, you are much more likely to have fellow journalists calling up and asking for a comment on day-to-day personal finance topics.
Tenet Group is set to start up a specialist advice unit to give advice to orphan clients of product providers.
Why settle for decreased market share rather than grow the market?
Many of the heated conversations in my house begin with discussions about the provision of healthcare and financial advice to those who need them.
Nicola York reports on the realities of with-profits returns.
Thinc Group is developing a range of up to seven funds covering a spectrum of risk profiles in the second half of this year.
Many top investment IFAs are remaining tight lipped on their views on the UK's best known retail fund manager Anthony Bolton's successor.
IFAs are not automatically protected from complaints or fines by getting a customer signature on a protection insurance application, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The Money Marketing website has had a facelift, with more prominence given to the lead stories and a new layout and colour scheme designed to reflect the values, feel and energy of the newspaper with the immediacy of web publishing.
Barings is planning a wider launch for its emerging markets income fund that blends equities, bonds and currencies.
The prize for the second-most-talked-about rebranding exercise goes to, you guessed it, Tomorrow.