7 October 2009
The debate surrounding performance fees is set to become increasingly mainstream, according to research by Skandia Investment Group.
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Aviva is echoing B&CE in calling on the Government to introduce a flat rate of tax relief on pensions contributions of 30 per cent.
The Institute of Financial Planning says it had its best financial year in 2009 despite having to take a loan of £75,000 from two of its directors.
Bestinvest has downgraded its rating of the Artemis global growth fund after severe underperformance in 2008 and 2009.
Tory plans to raise the state pension age from 2016, a decade earlier than planned, have been welcomed by the financial services industry.
Gordon Brown has suffered a torrid year. His popularity has slumped in spite of saving the world at least three times in various G20 summit meetings. Having taken decisive action in pouring billions into the banking system at the height of the financial crisis, New Labour finds itself presiding over the worst recession in generations and the ruination of the public finances.
Business volumes in UK financial services firms grew for the first time in two years, according to a survey from the Confederation of British Industry and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Churchouse Financial Planning has launched an internet-based independent financial advice service for pensions, annuities and ISAs.
The past month has seen the 10th anniversary of Helm Godfrey and while I obviously took the time to appreciate the good fortune our company has had over the decade, I have also used the occasion to cast my mind back to when it all began.
The Phoenix Group has confirmed that former Network Data appointed reps could be liable to pay clawback on policies that are cancelled even though Phoenix is now receiving the trail commission.
Back in March, I mentioned that I was starting to detect signs of optimism among commercial property fund managers after a torrid couple of years. Don Jordison and Chris Morrogh at Threadneedle had done better than most during the downturn because they had kept a lot of the fund in cash.
Theresa May has just delivered her speech on solving the welfare habit - but is it more about saving the public purse?
Well Bono on a Tory party video is a bit of a change. You won't have seen that on TV as the Beeb and Sky won't show the propaganda but getting Bono to endorse Tory international aid policy is - you have to admit - a bit different!!
Steve Bee says the phasing in of pension reforms could lead to some strange outcomes.
Money Marketing revealed this week that the Conservatives are seriously considering developing a flexible lifetime savings vehicle, warning the Government's recent delay to auto-enrolment "casts a shadow" over personal accounts.
They say one of the signs that doctors look for when trying to diagnose insanity is someone repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
I am proud to be a member of the Institute of Financial Planning but I must confess to an ongoing puzzlement.
I started thinking why so many people were getting flustered about the RDR. It occurred to me that those firms which are already very client-focused and offer excellent client service with a proper remuneration structure and good qualifications are not really going to be too affected by the RDR. It is not going to make such a massive difference to their businesses as they are not likely to go through any kind of upheaval or transition in order to be RDR-ready.
Having fallen off the radar of the retail distribution review, firms in the non-advised sales sector have grouped together to form a new trade body.
Threesixty is offering a support package for IFA firms to help them move into the discretionary fund management sector.
One of the big debates that has taken place over recent years concerns the desirability of adopting a diversified investment strategy. Popular wisdom has it that, by building a portfolio of diverse asset classes, investors would be protected against any setback in a particular area.
Minister of state for pensions and the ageing society Angela Eagle is unfazed by what she calls the "scare-mongering" of the pension industry and opposition parties who are calling for reform of public sector pensions.
IFA Promotion chief executive David Elms has been applauded by the industry for "working tirelessly" to raise the profile of IFAs, ahead of his resignation due to ill-health.
Former Prestbury chief executive Lee Birkett is planning to take legal action over aspects of the deal which saw Prestbury advisers transfer to Personal Touch last September.
In 1986, JO Hambro Investment Management launched as a private client firm, set up to run money for the Hambro family. The group has maintained this focus on looking after portfolios for private individuals and families although it is now also offering internally managed equity and fixed-income funds to external investors.
In response to the article, RDR will end conflicts of interest (Money Marketing, September 24), while there is a clear case for the RDR in terms of gaining increased consumer understanding and trust, our recent survey revealed that a huge number of IFAs have strong concerns.
Fitch Ratings has warned that the recent house price rise reports are only atemporary respite.
The FSA has fined London-based investment bank and stockbroker Seymour Pierce Limited £154,000 for failing to establish effective controls to guard against employee fraud.
The FSA has published its final rules on liquidity requirements, including enhanced systems and control requirements and granular and more frequent reporting standards.
The Financial Services Skills Council has appointed Liz Field as interim chief executive following its submission for re-licensing to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills last week.
The publication of the net asset value of the underlying cells which CFArch cru funds invested in has now been delayed until next month.
I don't know why you deem it necessary to give a whole page to the views of Clive Briault. I find it galling that someone who has failed in his responsibility to a: give £380,000 of our money (and our relates to all decent hard working advisers who pay their regulatory fees and know if they didn't then they risk losing their income and livelihood) and b: then feels he has the right to have a view on matters. If you have such views, you should have made them known and done something about ...
Former IFA Association director general Garry Heath is looking to raise £25m to fund a new IFA consolidation vehicle.
Henderson has appointed former New Star sales head Simon Hillenbrand as director of UK sales.
Aviva is to bring its UK life and general insurance businesses together under the leadership of current UK life chief executive Mark Hodges who takes on the new role of UK chief executive.
House prices have recovered to the level of a year ago. Figures from Nationwide show the average UK house price was £161,816 in September compared with £161,797 in September 2008.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell says the credit crunch was caused by a power failure in the financial system which must be addressed to prevent it happening again.
Apart from advising on suitable investments for existing trusts (a potentially important market for those looking to collaborate with solicitors, especially in light of the 25 per cent increase in the rate of tax to be suffered on trust income from April 6 next year), for many years, the only "retail" trusts that most financial advisers had to deal with in connection with "new" investments were those connected with insurance policies - first protection and then investment.
The FTSE 100 broke 5,000 in September and Mark Harris from Henderson New Star has suggested that it could reach 5,500 by the end of the year. What is your opinion on the immediate outlook for UK equities?
Only a very small section of the IFA market offers a life planning service to clients but support for the area seems to be growing, albeit very slowly.
Equity Isas have struggled but now have their chance to flourish.
Jubilee Financial Products' decision to delay the launch of four of its plans in anticipation of a market correction has resulted in clients missing out on the recent market rally.
“The hope is that we do not return to the dark ages of being specialist lending junkies.”
Pensioners from the engineering trade campaigned on Brighton seafront outside the Labour conference to put pressure on the Government to restore their full pensions.
The value of ministerial pensions has risen by 30 per cent to £9m this year, according to the Liberal Democrats.
Lloyds Banking Group is considering a £15bn capital raising in an effort to withdraw from the Government-sponsored asset protection scheme, according to the Financial Times.
Long-term care seems to have finally made it on to the political radar following the Government's recent green paper and the Conservatives' home protection plan proposals.
Macquarie has set up a support service to help advisers transform their businesses in line with the retail distribution review.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme chief executive Loretta Minghella is stepping down next spring after five years in the role.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has voted to hold the base rate at 0.5 per cent for the seventh successive month.
The FSA and providers of mortgage payment protection insurance have agreed a package of measures for consumers, including refunds of around £60m.
Norwich & Peterborough is making 36 staff redundant from its head office including finance director Richard Wells.
The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority is honing its position on what investment options it should offer future members of personal accounts.
The default retirement age plays an important role in preventing employers from making older workers redundant, according to minister of state for pensions and the ageing society Angela Eagle.
The administrator for Lehman Brothers' European unit is drawing up a new plan to allow it to distribute a "very significant portion" of £5.6bn of securities assets to creditors. In an October 5 statement, administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers said the alternative plan would seek a speedier return of Lehman assets currently under its control.
Partnerships are a traditional vehicle which allow individuals or companies to come together in pursuit of a common goal, profit.
Nick Cann warns the RDR does not do enough to differentiate types of firms.
The regulatory framework is a barrier to new streams of financial services entering the market. according to Aegon head of public affairs Francis McGee.
Earlier this year, I met an IFA for a drink. As sometimes happens after the second or third pint of Guinness is going down nicely, we started swapping war stories, with me telling my adviser chum a few of my greatest editorial cock-ups and him confessing to some of his finest moments in front of a client.
Northern Rock latest to quit the equity release sector.
Scottish Life has changed its property pension fund back to offer price. The firm switched the fund, which was worth £595m at the end of August, to bid price in November 2007.
Aviva chief financial officer Philip Scott is joining Royal Bank of Scotland as a non-executive chairman of a new risk committee at the bank.
Who would be a UK equity income fund manager? I don't mean from the point of view of quality of life, which is presumably no shabbier than that of any other manager, nor am I alluding to how the hunt for decent, sustainable and, ideally, rising yields is not as straightforward as it used to be. After all, these days, a portfolio yield of 4 per cent is generally deemed quite competitive, thank you.
Axa has called for the number of investment funds to be cut by a third to help boost private investment.
As newsflow and sentiment change through economic and investment cycles, investor demand for different asset classes ebbs and flows. This, in turn, drives changing relative performance trends through the cycle. The credit crunch period since the summer of 2007 has been more extreme than the cycles of recent history but ultimately it has been no different in its influence on demand and performance.
The MSCI emerging markets index fell by 0.33 per cent in dollar terms in August as fundamentals caught up with the significant price rises in the first half of the year.
I value my financial adviser, but he only seems to get in touch when he has something to sell. I am pretty sure he continues to get paid commission each year from my investments but he does little to justify receiving these payments. The last time I raised this, he argued the money was a deferred reward for the initial work. Does this sound fair?
Lloyds Banking Group's oversubscribed £4bn securitisation last week has been welcomed as a positive sign of investor confidence returning.
The Consumer Protection Insurance Engagement Campaign is looking to make the public understand and appreciate the importance of protection products through persuasion or shocking them into action - but can it work?
Having reread the latest retail distribution review paper, I am left somewhat puzzled as to exactly what independence means.
Over the last 10 years, IFA Promotion chief executive David Elms has worked tirelessly to promote the value of independent financial advice to consumers.
The Conservatives are considering plans for a flexible lifetime savings vehicle and warn that the latest delay to auto-enrolment “casts a shadow” over personal accounts.
The Conservative Party has watered down its previous commitment to raise the inheritance tax limit to £1m, suggesting this would now be done during its first term rather than as a priority.
Conservative Shadow Business Secretary Ken Clarke has revealed a future Tory Government would allow the public to nominate unpopular regulations to be reviewed by Parliament.
FSA chairman Lord Turner believes the flawed supervision of cross-border banks in the European Union needs to change in order to tackle those banks that are too big for smaller countries to bail out.
Lack of any single, strong, identifiable investment theme today is leaving many investors scratching their heads wondering which way to go. Corporate bonds were certainly all the rage in the first quarter but equities have posted greater returns in recent months and are starting to tempt investors back in. But where should they go? Will there be another correction that makes it more appealing? Should they wait?
Vanguard is looking to break into the UK defined-contribution pension market within the next three years following interest from scheme providers about including the firm's index trackers in their investment line-up.
In the course of conducting a comprehensive review of the with-profits market, which included detailed consumer interviews, it has become clear that with-profits planholders are being let down by providers through their use of inadequate and, in some cases, misleading and obfuscating product literature.
The Government is aiming to bolster the Post Office's banking arm with a full range of financial products but there are concerns about how this move will affect financial services firms.