20 August 2008
Nearly a third of advisers do not use a client management system, says Bankhall.
Forty-two per cent of people aged 50 to 65 say they have no clear idea of what inc- ome they will have in retirement, according to research by Aegon.
Aon Consulting has found that 83 per cent of final salary pension schemes are now closed to new members.
Thirty-five per cent more people will pay capital gains tax this year compared with last year, predicts Skandia.
I was asked my views by a journalist regarding whether practitioners should blow the whistle when they become aware of individuals who are not behaving appropriately.
The Association of British Insurers is to lobby the Government to share the risk of long-term care with providers ahead of the political conference season.
The Association of British Insurers believes it is one step closer to eliminating total permanent disability as a critical condition as it reveals seven more conditions to be integrated into the CI definitions.
An IFA has hit out at Abbey Life for automatically vesting his client into its own annuity without the client's consent.
Aegon Scottish Equitable has unveiled its plans to launch a review tool and pre-sale underwriting questionnaire to increase profitability for IFAs selling individual protection.
Richard Taylor has been appointed as managing director of AJ Bell Pensions.
The age-old dilemma of how to properly fund retirement has been high on the political and industry agenda this week.
Axa Wealth Management has launched an estate planning account.
Axa has revealed it will be exploring opportunities in the equity-release market with a view to a potential product launch by 2011.
I have recently come into a sum of money and need some advice but I am slightly nervous of approaching a financial adviser as I do not know very much about finance. Will an independent financial adviser be able to help me understand general financial principles, as well as my own situation?
The UK’s high street banks enjoyed a £4.3 billion rise in mortgage lending in July 2008.
Prestbury chief executive Lee Birkett has won the EGM vote with 59 per cent in favour of allowing him and his mother, finance director Lynne Birkett, to retain their jobs.
Standard Life International says total sales of its international bond have reached 593m. Sales in the first six months of 2008 were 270m compared with 284m for the whole of 2007.
Boutique funds are more likely to outperform the market in times of volatility, says Thames River Capital.
Property investment firm Braemar Group is starting a pan-European solar fund. The Guernsey-listed €90m Oeic will invest in European solar parks.
Mortgage Brain has hit out at Enterprise's plans to set up whole-of-market broker and consumer sourcing systems, claiming that it could create conflicts of interest.
Bright Grey plans to use tele-interviews rather than GP reports to gather medical evidence directly from its clients in partnership with Medicals Direct Group.
Commodity prices are again rallying after some sharp falls in recent weeks.
Legal & General says business protection applications made during July soared by 230 per cent compared with the same month last year.
There is too much dependency on rebroking existing group income protection schemes, says Canada Life head of group IP Colin Micklewright.
I overheard a conversation on a train last week which started along the lines of "So what are you doing for the credit crunch?"
This month's Beijing Olympics are the culmination of the transformation of China from an authoritarian communist state reliant on collective farming into a key player in the global economy, a process that began with the initiation of economic reforms in 1979.
Tactica Fund Management is launching its three multi-asset funds on Cofunds.
Cofunds claims Norwich Union faces a challenging time in integrating its wrap with Scottish Friendly's back-office systems.
New multi-manager company Omnis Investments believes its core and satellite investment strategy is the answer to the potential problem of high charges on funds of funds.
Coventry Building Society revealed decent profits amidst mortgage market turmoil, taking 25 per cent of overall mortgage market share for mutuals.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been looking at flexible interest in possession trusts and their role in the current inheritance tax regime.
Investing in closed-ended funds over the past 20 years provides a good deal of perspective on the investment trust cycle and I find it inconceivable that discounts will remain as wide as they are at present.
European corporate bonds hold significant long term value for investors able to look beyond current market problems, says Invesco Perpetual.
F&C Investments has appointed Frank Henze as head of product development.
I have been thinking about securitisation and how I can explain it to clients.
A new version of endowment trading platform FreeTrawl.com has been launched this week.
The FSA has banned sole trader Darrell Mark Eaden from being a senior manager for failing to effectively monitor his pension transfer specialist, exposing customers to the risk of receiving unsuitable advice.
Mortgage adviser Leybridge Ltd has become the first victim of the Financial Srvice Authority's thematic review of advice.
The FSA has sought to make the principals of financial services companies personally liable for the financial consequences of regulatory failures on the part of those companies. By the same token, should not the directors of the FSA be held accountable for the financial consequences of the FSA's failure to regulate? Most right thinking people would consider that they certainly should be.
The FSA has fined five motor retailers more than £175,000 for serious breaches of PPI regulation.
Alliance Trust has appointed chief investment officer Katherine Garrett-Cox as chief executive. She will take over from Alan Harden on August 29 when he takes up an external appointment.
Ethical funds must prove that last year's performance is sustainable over the long term, says Chris Salih Ethical funds enjoyed their most successful year in 2007 as a boom in sales showed the sector was starting to go mainstream but the credit crunch has seen performance and sales take a hit.
Much has been written about the introduction of the flat rate of capital gains tax announced in the October 2007 pre-Budget report.
Iveagh, the office created to manage the Guinness family's assets, has launched its first retail fund.
The FSA has warned banks and investment firms to improve checks to prevent mis-pricing of trading positions and to stop cutting back on staff who work in valuation control functions.
Henderson says outperformance of its income & growth and distribution funds over the last three years is down to good stock selection while its cautious attitude to risk held back growth fund performance.
The average deposit needed top secure a property has risen 43 per cent to nearly £40,000.
HSBC Global Asset Management has appointed Guy Morrell as head of its multimanager business for the UK and Middle East North Africa.
I had intended to write about trust, looking at Aifa's recent document on how to rebuild the public's trust in financial services institutions.
I recently received an email from Woolwich thanking me for some recent cases which I have submitted to them. I quote: "We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your business over the last six months, an unprecedented period for all of us continuing to trade in the mortgage market."
Almost three-quarters of advisers use both insurance bonds and collectives for investment planning, says Zurich.
Employee share plan organisation, ifs ProShare, is offering an introductory course about employee share plans for financial advisers.
The ifs School of Finance has called on the Government to drop any reference to personal finance from the maths curriculum.
The Ifs School of Finance says its new QCA level 4 equivalent diploma for financial advisers will cost £500. It believes advisers should be able to achieve the DipFA within a year.
The Investment Management Association has called for greater harmonisation on the supervision of cross-border fund management.
Liontrust chief executive Nigel Legge has called on the IMA to be stricter in its UK equity income sector definitions or to split the sector.
Bank of England governor Mervyn King has sent a clear message to both the Government and industry that he is firmly against potential solutions to the current liquidity crisis floated last month by Sir James Crosby.
Ascentric managing director Hugo Thorman has written to the FSA to argue that Cofunds, FundsNetwork and Skandia are breaking treating customers fairly rules by not allowing the re-registration of Isa-wrapped funds.
Swiss wealth manager Julius Baer is launching a local emerging bond fund to the UK market.
The Bank of England says it will not help the mortgage lending market with any sort of liquidity scheme.
Legal & General predicts there will be growing demand for with-profits annuities as longevity increases.
This week the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors revealed there has been a record rise in the number of properties available for rent.
Le Beau Visage managing director Peter Le Beau has hit out at the ABI, suggesting that the trade body is not doing enough to encourage the sale of income protection.
Increasing longevity is the biggest threat to clients saving for retirement, ahead of concerns about stock market volatility and rising inflation, according to research from MetLife.
LV= Asset Management has brought out four Oeic sub-funds which will be distributed through Lighthouse Group.
Consumer champion Mick McAteer has called for 60 per cent of the financial services regulatory rulebook to be scrapped in favour of high- level principles.
The Metropolitan Police Authority has appointed Affinity Connect to provide retirement and resettlement courses and independent advice to its staff for the next five years.
MetLife has appointed Dan DeKeizer as chief executive officer of its UK pension liability transfer business.
The Serious Fraud Office is investigating Money Portal's pension trustee subsidiary GP Noble.
Money Portal is to use Barrie and Hibbert as an investment advice partner to provide risk-profiled asset allocations to its clients.
There are more pensioners than children for the first time ever, new data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed.
Equity-release advisers and product providers have warned of a worrying increase in elderly people using equity release as a primary debt solution.
Figures released by adviser service Impartial reveal mortgage costs are to soar by more than £500m in the next six months.
The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders' Association has hit out at Bank of England governor Mervyn King's rejection of plans to help the mortgage sector.
The UK mortgage market could shrink by a fifth this year as the credit crunch continues to take its toll on lenders.
Phew, what a few weeks we have had in the markets. The sector rotation has been violent, with individual stocks either tanking or soaring.
Neptune Investment Management and Templeton remain upbeat on investment in Russia despite the Georgia conflict while Aberdeen Asset Management says the military confrontation justifies its underweight position.
Hipstar, Network Data’s Home Information Pack provider, has announced that it has gone into administration.
New Star's £684m international property fund has gone back to an offer price after it was placed on a bid price last week following an increased level of redemptions.
New Star has appointed Greg Jones as managing director of the company’s international fund business.
Newton Investment Management’s global higher income fund has received an AA rating from Standard & Poor’s.
The recent reform of non-domiciliary legislation has created significant opportunities for bespoke financial planning, says Scottish Life International head of marketing Douglas Law.
Norwich Union has revealed that it could be ready to follow its competitors into the variable annuity market next year.
Bradbury Hamilton is calling for more firms to incorporate paraplanners into their business to keep the advice market healthy and businesses in profit.
Skandia has awarded Polar Capital the £10 million mandate in its UK strategic best ideas fund that was previously run by Threadneedle.
In a few articles over the past year, I have tried to address how some modern investment solutions can help advisers and investors cope with today's extreme market conditions. I have focused on the power of investment solutions such as multi-manager products, multi-asset investing and financial engineering through structuring capabilities.
A few weeks ago, this newspaper was very kind to publish some thoughts from us regarding the unintended effect of factory gate pricing and transparency.
The confidence levels of advisers dealing in protection have dipped by just 1 per cent in Q3 2008, according to Legal & General’s Advisor Confidence Index.
Advisers who give clients access to platforms to carry out direct trades may be putting them at risk, warns Perception director Phil Billingham.
Paragon Mortgages predicts that buy to let will be the first sector to bounce back from the credit crunch.
People taking out an insurance policy to put their mind at rest should they be diagnosed with cancer must read the small print, warns Bupa.
Gartmore Investment Management has recruited Dominic Rossi as chief investment officer, joining from Threadneedle Asset Management where he was head of equities. He will be responsible for the £24bn investment division.
Over the 10 years to the end of 2007, the Meteor protected equity fund would have outperformed the FTSE 100 index by 103 per cent and furthermore with lower risk.
IFA support services company Simply Biz has added F&C’s Lifestyle funds to its range.
Standard Life Healthcare has unveiled its plans to extend its business healthcare plan for SMEs to include large corporate firms.
The FSA has fined the UK operations of Credit Suisse £5.6m for failing to properly supervise a structured product group in its investment banking division.
For those of you who believe it is only our Government which is on its way to becoming a nanny state, I would like to draw your attention to plans in Germany to ban the seemingly inoffensive Kinder Surprise chocolate egg.
Scottish Widows Investment Partnership’s multi manager diversity fund has added exposure to infrastructure by investing in the First State global infrastructure fund.
It is easy to follow the herd. After all, the dot.com boom was evidence of how hype can overcome reality. The internet has enabled much in the world of communication but it has also destroyed or held back the development of alternatives seen as no longer necessary.
Templeton Asset Management has opened a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Thames River investment director Michael Warren says the firm does not want to get involved in what he considers to be the current round of "average manager" recruitment.
I have never been a great fan of using charts to predict the future. They do provide an excellent means of seeing what has happened in the past, but such is the plethora of tools to interpret patterns that a confusingly wide range of potential outcomes can be argued.
Rules are made to be broken. Not so, says Liontrust chief executive Nigel Legge who this week hit out at the Investment Management Association calling on it to be stricter over qualifying criteria for its UK equity income sector.
Towry Law has been appointed by Camelot to offer financial planning advice to National Lottery winners. It joins a panel of professional firms which offer advice to winners of more than £250,000.
Traditional private client stockbrokers are a dying breed but still hold a profitable market share, says GHC Capital Markets.
Broad money supply and credit numbers have been boosted by the financial crisis and the Bank of England's special liquidity scheme has increased distortion, claims New Star chief economist Simon Ward.
An increasing number of voices are calling for the tax treatment of workplace healthcare schemes to be changed and their arguments are looking increasingly compelling.
The Luxemburg-based Unicorn fund of hedge funds has been awarded a AA rating from hedge fund research firm Allenbridge HedgeInfo.
When is a rule not a rule? It appears to be when it is applied to the UK equity income sector as more than half of the funds in the sector do not meet the required level of yield set by the Investment Management Association.