27 May 2009
Nearly 50 per cent of advisers believe protection will be their biggest growth area this year, research from 1st - The Exchange reveals.
Nearly 50 per cent of financial advisers believe that the retail distribution review and capital adequacy requirements will have a detrimental impact on the IFA sector, according to Watson Wyatt.
Group Sipps may have lost their sheen to companies' top earners since the Budget, but that is not enough to stop their continued growth. In an era when boardroom pay is under scrutiny like never before, it must surely be harder for decision-makers to let their own vested interests override those of the company they run.
Aberdeen plans to merge two Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM) funds into its own vehicles as its takeover of the firm nears completion.
The Association of British Insurers has recorded an 8.3 per cent drop in regular premium life and pensions business from £1.3bn to £1.2bn for the first quarter 2009.
The FSA has reduced the amount of fees payable by advisers and mortgage brokers by £11.7m compared to its initial proposals in February.
Aegon has completed its acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Brazilian life insurer Mongeral S.A. Segurose Previdência.
Aegon Asset Management has announced plans to close its UK cautious managed and European bond funds on July 31, 2009.
Aegon is set to pull its five for life product, replacing it with an age-related income guarantee which, in most cases, will be less generous.
Aegon is pulling out of the UK group risk market.
The Association of Independent Financial Advisers is calling on the Financial Ombudsman Service to levy claims management companies, which brought 26 per cent of complaints in the last year.
The manager of the Alliance Trust has halved the cash position on the vehicle and positioned it to take advantage of an expected rally in cyclical stocks.
Richard Tanner is joining Arbuthnot Banking Group to lead its newest venture, a real estate fund management business.
Ascentric has appointed three new business development managers, including former Fidelity FundsNetwork key accounts sales manager Rebecca Robinson.
Ascentric has integrated Dunstan Thomas’s front and back office systems to its platform.
Jersey-based asset manager Ashburton is considering an onshore fund offering in an attempt to make greater inroads into the UK retail market.
Aviva may begin offering other providers' annuity products alongside its own for clients with small pension pots.
Aviva has added a clause to its terms of business document for IFAs, specifying that it can market directly to clients that it deems to be orphaned by their adviser.
Axa Life is calling on the FSA to provide details of how it plans to deal with advice gaps that could arise due to the changes brought in by the retail distribution review.
The Building Societies Association has warned that if the sale of B&B assets does not cover its debts, the cost to the industry could rival the MPs' expense bill.
Bradford & Bingley last night informed that market that it would not be paying out on three of its subordinated bonds.
Chancellor Alistair Darling has been accused of claiming living allowances for his grace-and-favour home in Downing Street while also claiming expenses for a flat he was letting out to tenants.
Banks could be forced to fund their own ‘capital of last resort’ insurance scheme to protect taxpayers from future bank bailouts.
Barclays Wealth has launched a structured product giving exposure to a range of commodities.
Millfield Partnership co-founder and former managing director Bryan Beeston is to head platform migration service Legacy Asset Systems.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has appointed Aon Corporate and Affinity chief executive officer Robert Brown to its board.
Reports published last week have revealed that protection has weathered the economic storm better than most financial products.
BlackRock managing director Alex Hoctor-Duncan believes there will be up to 100 funds in the absolute return market in the next few years.
BlackRock has re-shuffled the management on its emerging markets desk following a second departure.
BNP Paribas Privalto UKPrivalto Millenium Tracker Fund
The massive sweep of assets into corporate bonds this year has startled many but what has been even more surprising is the concentration of flows for two main providers - M&G and Invesco Perpetual.
Braemar Securities has introduced the Braemar ground rent cell, a Guernsey-based Oeic that aims for income and growth from the ground rents and insurance premium commission on a portfolio of residential, retail and commercial properties.
Braemar SecuritiesStudent Accommodation Cell
Bravura has lowered its financial forecasts for the financial year ending June 30 by £1.3m
One of the most apparent effects of last month's Budget was a growth in the numbers of individuals, families and companies seeking tax mitigation strategies.
Under English law, the time limits within which claimants must issue legal proceedings in court are fixed for most purposes by the Limitation Act 1980.
From the first quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of 2008, FSA authorisations and cancellations were roughly in line with each other.
Capita has signed a 15-year deal worth £523m with Axa Sun Life to provide outsourcing services for its 3.2 million mature life and pensions policies.
Cavanagh Group's profits before tax plunged 87 per cent in 2008, from £1.5m to £207,763.
Cavendish Asset ManagementJapan Fund
Cavendish Asset ManagementNorth American Fund
London IFA firm Caversham Buchanan has entered liquidation.
Former New Star Asset Management chief investment officer Alan Miller made his return to the investment industry last month and has wasted no time in trying to ruffle feathers.
If I had to compile a list of the most pointless financial adverts of all time, Scottish Amicable's Captain Chaos TV campaign would be right at the top.
Aifa director general Chris Cummings is a great believer that you should study history to avoid making the same mistakes as your predecessors. In fact, he is even contemplating studying for a PhD in the philosophy of regulation and has written his thesis proposal.
Scottish Widows’ Online Academy has been awarded continuing professional development accreditation status by the Chartered Insurance Institute for financial planning training.
The Chartered Insurance Institute is calling for QCF level four qualifications to consist of three compulsory core subjects and elective subjects that reflect advisers’ specialist areas.
Pension complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service have fallen by 9 per cent from 5,297 to 4,825, largely due to the closure of a number of claim-chasers which referred frivolous Serps' complaints the previous year.
Advisers to blame for the ills of the market? Who designed and provided sub-prime and buy-to-let mortgages? Who laid down requirements and underwrote applications? Who carried out searches and made enquiries? Who hoped to profit from the higher-margin lending with these products? Who chased brokers for this type of business? Who is now trying very hard to pass the buck? J Alan Campbell, Inglenook FS
Ignis Hexam global emerging markets fund manager Bryan Collings believes the worst of the economic storm has passed, with emerging markets set to lead the recovery.
Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service against IFAs have fallen in the past year to only 3 per cent of new cases.
Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service against IFAs have fallen in the past year to only 3 per cent of new cases.
The corporate bond sector has continued to be the most popular UK domiciled net retail sector, according to the latest figures from the Investment Management Association.
Standard Life group chief executive Sir Sandy Crombie is joining the board of Royal Bank of Scotland as senior independent director on June 1. Crombie will also keep his position at Standard until a successor is appointed.
Last week I returned from Madeira. I like Madeira. It is pretty, not too hot and has close links with Britain.
F&C Asset Management is to demerge from Friends Provident on July 3 if Friends Provident shareholders approve the split in a vote on June 12. The demerger is also subject to F&Cs shareholders approving changes to its articles.
In last week's issue, Money Marketing reported that former Co-operative Bank marketing director David Newman had taken up a role at Residential Property Solutions. MM is happy to clarify that this David Newman is, in fact, now chief executive of Carole Nash and not the David Newman working for RPS, who was formerly finance director of The Mortgage Operation.
The Tories insist they are not giving up on defined-benefit pension schemes despite the closure of many final-salary schemes.
Many MPs forced to resign after being embroiled in the ongoing expenses scandal will walk away with million pound taxpayer-funded pensions, according to reports.
Distribution Technology has appointed former KPMG’s Vanessa Coleman as its people director.
Too much intervention from the FSA could push the UK mortgage market back to how it was in the late 1970s, Building Societies Association director general Adrian Coles has warned.
Working as an adviser today can sometimes feel a bit like being a mildly eccentric single woman living sometime in the 17th Century. By this I mean that there is a significant chance you’ll be unfairly accused, tried and punished for practices that very rarely go on. The only saving grace today is that when found innocent nowadays it’s only the industry’s reputation that’s ‘burned at the stake’.
The European Commission is calling for the creation of a new European Systemic Risk Council and European System of Financial Supervisors as part of its reforms to financial supervision in the EU.
Unemployment in the eurozone has reached its highest level in a decade, rising to 9.2% in April.
The big headline in the Budget this year was the proposal to raise the top rate of income tax to 50 per cent on taxable income above £150,000 a year from April 2010 onwards. There are several ways in which this change will affect offshore investment. The new higher rate further widens the gap between capital gains tax, levied at a flat rate of 18 per cent, and income tax. This places even more emphasis on exit planning for those who hold insurance-wrapped investments.
Expats may be better bypassing commission-heavy investment vehicles in favour of platforms when setting up a qualified recognised overseas pension scheme, according to AES International.
It is some measure of how gloomy investors had grown about the prospects for the Japanese market that, by mid-March, share prices in Tokyo had hit their lowest levels since 1983.
F&C has announced the appointment of former Henderson chief executive Roger Yates as an independent non-executive director.
FundsNetwork is conducting a review with its fund partners and may introduce changes to its pricing structure.
As a child of the Sixties, I was convinced that Flipper was a dolphin but the recent debacle in the House of Commons has brought me firmly into the current day. Watching the avoidance of capital gains tax and the maximisation of second home allowances, Flipper is probably an apt moniker for many MPs.
Fitch has downgraded Chelsea, West Bromwich, Yorkshire, Principality and Newcastle building societies.
Friends Provident International saw first-quarter sales in Asia halve from last year's figures but the firm remains focused on international expansion.
The FSA has appointed Ivan Rogers and Phillip Wallace as non-executive directors on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme board, with immediate effect.
The FSA has revoked the permission of a Kent mortgage broker after he failed to pay out an FOS award against him.
I find it utterly extraordinary to read Lesley Titcomb of the FSA saying there is virtually nothing the FSA can do about networks not paying commission to which their ARs are legally entitled.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has proposed an extension to its short-selling disclosure regime on British financials until a decision can be made over the use of shorts on the wider market.
The FSA has revealed that Network Data owed its appointed representatives more than £2m in unpaid commission, as of April 6.
The FSA paid its staff £19.7m in bonuses last month, a 40 per cent increase on last year’s payouts, according to figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats.
The FSA is today proposing to extend the current disclosure regime for significant net short positions in the stocks of UK financial sector companies, due to expire on June 30.
In the late 1980s, I was part of the consultative group approached by Francis Maude to supposedly ascertain views of senior members of the financial services industry.
Man Group was the biggest faller in the FTSE100 this morning after the blue-chip index fell back due to a broad based sell-off.
The FTSE 100 made a promising start on Friday with mining and natural resources leading the charge.
Gartmore will have two retail offerings in the Investment Management Association (IMA) Corporate Bond sector following its acquisition of the Rensburg Corporate Bond trust.
The House of Lords economic affairs committee has called for macro-prudential supervision to be given to the Bank of England financial stability committee, rather than left with the FSA.
GLG has appointed Andrew Thatcher and Richard Phillips to manage the firm’s UK business.
Godiva MortgagesBuy-To-Let 5.4% Five-Year Fixed
Following a number of years of strong performance, the UK commercial property market collapsed in the second half of 2007 and capital values continued to reduce sharply throughout 2008.
The FSA and the Treasury knew that both HBOS and Northern Rock were vulnerable to risk after simulating economic downturns, according to the Times.
Metlife has made its UK chief executive officer Ed Gardner redundant and promoted Dominic Grinstead, previously strategic development and marketing director, to UK managing director.
James Hanbury is shorting housebuilders on the Odey UK Absolute Return fund as he says valuations have become too optimistic and property prices still have further to fall.
Harewood Solutions, part of BNP Paribas, has launched the BNP Paribas Comac Long Short investment strategy and says a US Enhanced product is on the horizon.
Jonathan Purle (Letters, May 14) asks whether I have anything to add to the letter I wrote to MM towards the end of last year and indeed I have.
PruProtect, the joint venture between Prudential and South African company Discovery, has launched an income protection product with an own occupation definition of disability for all occupations.
Henderson New Star has confirmed it is planning its first retail fund launch since it established the new brand last month.
Henderson New Star is planning the launch of a new fund for European fund manager Richard Pease, Money Marketing can reveal.
Emerging markets specialist Hexam was the third start-up firm in Ignis Asset Management's village of boutiques, with six individuals moving over from Barings in 2006.
The Equitable Members' Action Group has won a High Court hearing to challenge the Government's response to the Parliamentary Ombudsman's report into the regulation of Equitable Life.
The House of Lords economic affairs committee has branded Financial Services Compensation Scheme levies “unfair” and called for calculations to be based on firms’ levels of risk.
House prices rose by 1.2 per cent in May, according to the latest Nationwide House Price Index.
Joint committee on human rights chairman Andrew Dismore has written to City minister Lord Myners demanding to know why the FSA will not introduce a 15-year long stop for advisers.
IFAs are increasingly looking to develop their own wrap propositions rather than use an existing provider, according to Platforum managing director Holly Mackay.
Advisers are the key to restoring confidence in the financial services industry, Cofunds chief executive officer Brett Williams has claimed.
News that the an Abu Dhabi-government owned petrol firm plans to sell its large stake in Barclays has pushed the FTSE and bank stocks down in early trading.
Investec Structured Products has launched its ninth tranche of structured products.
Investors are turning their back on global emerging markets according to the Investment Management Association fund statistics for April.
Income protection sales increased by over 13 per cent in 2008, a report by Swiss Re has revealed.
Jersey lawyers say new legislation due later this year will offer fund promoters more choice in how they structure their investment vehicles.
Former Hamptons Mortgages managing director Jonathan Cornell has joined IFA First Action Finance as head of communications.
Keydata Investment ServicesExtra Income Plan
Today Nationwide revealed that house prices increased by 1.2 per cent in May, but upcoming house price indices may tell a different story.
Creditors of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Isle of Man have voted against a scheme of arrangement put forward by the IoM authorities. The KSFIOM Action Group says the scheme would have offered little more than liquidation.
The Isle of Man courts have granted an winding up petition against Kaupthing Singer Freidlander seven months after the company was placed under a liquidator provisional.
Legal and General has increased its mortgage payment protection insurance premiums by around 20 per cent.
Mike Amey has relinquished control of two funds at Allianz Global Investors (AGI) after the firm reshuffled the managers on the Pimco team.
Legal & GeneralCapital Protected Triple Index Plan 2
Legg Mason head of retail sales Andy McNulty has been made redundant following a restructure.
Stockmarkets have had a strong bounce since reaching a low in early March. The debate now is whether this is the start of a new bull market or a so-called "bear market rally", with further falls just around the corner. The jury remains out.
The Bank of England has revealed that lending in the UK rose slightly over April.
Lloyds chiefs will have to face down growing concerns from shareholders at next week’s Lloyds annual general meeting if they are to seek re-election.
Mortgage clubs have hit back at the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association for releasing a survey suggesting that appointed representatives originate better quality loans than directly authorised brokers.
Macquarie Group has successfully completed its £330.9m share purchase plan.
Mortgage brokers are probably feeling more than a little persecuted as the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association, the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association and the National Housing Federation have all lined up to put us in the dock.
Financial Ombudsman Service chief ombudsman Walter Merricks has admitted that the "wider system" of complaints handling is not working.
Metlife is in talks with bancassurers about a tie-up for the distribution of its variable annuity products.
Money Portal has entered into exclusive discussions with a bidder looking to acquire the firm, Money Marketing can reveal.
We are all hoping predictions that the economy is now in better shape and bottoming out of recession are correct. One thing that is certain is that the downturn has had a fundamental effect on people's financial planning and on how they regard financial matters.
Financial services must be the laughing stock of other industries with our "roll over and play dead" attitude. We have a history of being dumped on to the extent that it is now self-perpetuating.
Collins Stewart has revealed that six building societies are in talks with the firm to set up a co-operative that would issue covered bonds to help ease their mortgage-funding problems.
Nationwide's profits before tax fell 69 per cent to £212m for the year to April 4.
Network Data Holdings has been placed into administration and will begin to be wound down by appointed administrator Baker Tilly.
Novia has made Investec Bank’s high interest cash deposit available on its platform.
OBSR has given A-ratings to funds from Allianz, Franklin Templeton and Schroders.
Karen Olney has been made redundant from her post as chief European equities strategist at Banc of America Securities—Merrill Lynch, Fund Strategy understands.
I once attended a day's training on the importance of planning. As an ice-breaker, we were told the cautionary tale of a roofer who, not wishing to carry 500 pounds of shingle down a ladder by hand at the end of a job, loaded said shingle into a metal barrel, attached it to a pulley positioned atop his scaffolding and released the rope from the ground.
Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne and FSA chairman Adair Turner are just two of the high-profile names speaking at the Association of British Insurers' biennial conference, in partnership with Money Marketing and KPMG.
Hugh Osmond is in the final stages of agreeing a debt restructure of his Pearl Group, according to The Sunday Times.
Paradigm Partners will host its inaugural conference for partner firms in September at Hotel Don Carlos in Marbella.
Paternoster chief executive Mark Wood is in discussions with the FSA about suspending the firm's licence to buy new pension schemes.
A laptop belonging to The Pensions Trust which contained the details of 109,000 members of six pension schemes has been stolen from an office in Buckinghamshire.
Business Lending, the commercial property lender, says pension funds will provide the catalyst for renewed lending.
The YouGov/Money Marketing monthly IFA survey shows almost a 50/50 split regarding the issue of whether the Government's Budget decision to cut pension tax relief for people earning over £150,000 will significantly damage long-term savings.
Aegon chief executive Otto Thoresen believes the industry needs to change the way it looks at people's retirement savings in order to engage with consumers.
One of the most keenly asked questions in the pensions sector is a step closer to being answered.
IFA consolidator Perspective Financial Group has acquired Multiplex Financial Trustees, making it its seventh acquisition to date.
The number of private medical insurance complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service increased by 39 per cent in the last financial year, its annual review has revealed today.
Positive Solutions has confirmed it is investigating a claim for possible fraud against one of its advisers.
Industry experts say savers need to revise their retirement expectations to avoid disappointment in the level of income provided by personal accounts.
Prudential has ruled out launching its own platform, arguing the regulator may take a dim view of IFAs using single-provider platforms in the future.
What do you think about the Government's response to the Rugg review which proposes a register of private landlords? Do you think this will sort out issues in the buy-to-let market or will it reduce the supply of private-rented accommodation?
Dudley Building Society has urged the FSA to set the record straight about the financial strength of societies following speculation over the future of West Bromwich.
Ascentric says it is hearing from adviser firms that are looking to develop consumer platforms to help them offer an advice proposition to lower-net-worth clients.
Gartmore has announced it is to buy Rensburg's corporate bond fund which will be run by John Anderson.
Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall hit out at platform providers, claiming re-registration of client assets is too stressful.
I have recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and am concerned about what pension benefits I am going to be able to leave to my wife. Can you advise me?
Net retail fund sales in Britain fell by nearly 75% from 2006 to 2008, from a high of £15.3 billion in 2006 to £3.9 billion in 2008, according to sales from the Investment Management Association (IMA).
The idea of being sufficiently wealthy to be able to live outside the UK while being close enough to take advantage of its commercial and social facilities has been attractive for many people throughout many years.
Rockingham Retirement is set to launch a whole of market annuity service in a bid to help people with small pension pots get a better deal.
Rowanmoor has integrated Dunstan Thomas’s front and back office systems to its Sipp service.
The Government has brought secondary legislation to Parliament that will bring sale and rentback within the scope of the FSA.
Santander is to rebrand Abbey as well as its other UK retail brands Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester to its own name from 2010.
George wakes up in the morning and says: "I don't want to go to school today, all the teachers hate me, the kids in the class hate me, the caretaker hates me, even the lollipop lady hates me." Susan replies: "But darling you have to go to school, you're the headmaster".
Richard Phillips has confirmed he is moving to GLG Partners following its acquisition of Soci? G?rale Asset Management (SGAM). The firm has also outlined the plans for its fund range.
Many Sipp investors are being forced to use specific solicitors, property managers and insurance companies to invest in commercial property.
The FSA has revealed that six people were arrested today in connection with an ongoing investigation by the regulator into suspected insider dealing.
While some companies continue to drag their feet when it comes to annuity transfers others are looking at ways of serving their customers better.
The success story of many an investor's portfolio in the first half of the decade, UK smaller companies, dropped down the pecking order as advisers look to tackle market falls.
Smith & Williamson Investment Management has announced the appointment of Andrew Groves as associate director – sales.
Nationwide has revealed that to access the Government's credit guarantee scheme, it would have to pay 65 per cent more than Lloyds Banking Group.
The time for building societies to crow about their virtuous position in the financial services landscape is well and truly over.
Building society chiefs left last week's BSA conference with their tails firmly between their legs after a severe dressing down by the regulator.
Henderson New Star is planning to launch a European special situations fund headed by European fund manager Richard Pease.
Standard Life InvestmentsUK Equity Recovery Fund
Standard Life Investments has made the stockpicking skills of its head of UK equities David Cumming available to retail investors for the first time.
Sarasin & Partners is to launch a sterling hedged version of both its Equisar global thematic and equity income funds.
Artemis Fund ManagersStrategic Assets Fund
When Home of Choice chief executive officer Gerry O'Brien invited me to become a non-executive director last year, I not only needed to do due diligence but also to under-stand the issues they faced and be satisfied that my executive experience (with Thinc, Bradford & Bingley and Merrill Lynch) would be of value to HoC.
Dave Duddings Threadneedle European Smaller Companies fund has a glowing performance record. Despite a slump in skyscraper projects, its two biggest stocks are in the elevator business.
Dave Duddings Threadneedle European Smaller Companies fund has a glowing performance record. Despite a slump in skyscraper projects, its two biggest stocks are in the elevator business.
Last week, I started to look at investments that may represent valid alternatives to investing through pensions for those disenchanted and affected by the removal of higher-rate tax relief on pension contributions.
A number of hires at Thames Rivers has resulted in management changes across its European and credit desks.
The Centre for Policy Studies is calling for the Financial Services Authority to become a subsidiary of the Bank of England.
Following a recent meeting between leading retirement advisers, the ABI, Origo and provider representatives, we are writing to record our continuing support and growing enthusiasm for the Options' initiative. The performance delivered by Options' participants demonstrates a real achievement, which has started to directly benefit customers using the Omo.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell has announced the appointments of Isabel Hudson and Bruce Rigby as non-executive directors of the Pensions Regulator.
Santander will save itself £180m a year once its UK brands all merge under the bank’s single brand.
Odey Asset ManagementUK Absolute Return Fund
Arrears in prime residential mortgage backed securities rose in the first quarter of this year with Bank of Scotland’s arrears leading the way.
American consumer spending saw a slight fall in April, according to figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
Veritas Asset Management is considering adding an emerging markets team and also focusing on individual sector strategies.
Technology-based network Virtual Net says it has opened its doors to Money Portal advisers and firms that want to set up on their own following the announcement that an possible acquisition is in the pipeline.
Financial migration strategists Montfort International says changes in the Australian Budget have created an advice minefield for qualified recognised overseas pension schemes.
The Financial Ombudsman Service has highlighted a rise in upheld complaints against mortgage lenders over arrears fees.
West Bromwich has refuted reports that its accounts are being held back by KPMG.
West Bromwich Building Society is considering legal action against Which? after the consumer group attacked its latest bond as encouraging savers to invest above the £50,000 FSCS limit.
Looking back, it must have been the tape recorder. I like to take one along to fund manager interviews but this was a new purchase. New-fangled, too, in that it is digital and so contains nothing so prehistoric as an actual tape. What's more, I had neglected to roadtest it beyond the unimaginative, if traditional, "One-two, one two" so I think I had a right to feel nervous.
Lloyds Banking Group could be required to sell Scottish Widows or Clerical Medical due to its receipt of state aid if the European Commission forces a restructuring.
Choosing the right platform will not increase the exit value of an IFA firm, says Money Portal group head of strategy and distribution Alan Easter.
Former XL Re Life marketing manager Petra McFarlane is joining global reinsurer Gen Re.
Zurich has launched a new factory-gate priced international portfolio bond aimed at high-net-worth UK residents.
An adviser has slammed Zurich after claiming the group offered implied advice to his clients.