9 May 2007
Abbey looks set to launch into the sub-prime market in a tie-up with investment bank Merrill Lynch, Money Marketing understands.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has given his strongest hint yet that a Conservative Government would move to scrap or reduce stamp duty on shares.
The ABI has welcomed the FSA’s conclusion that there was no evidence of widespread misselling in the contracting out of Serps.
I was gripped with a sense of deja vu when reading the ABI's draft response to the FSA distribution review.
Recent inflation data published by the Office for National Statistics has called into question the Adviser Fund Index panellists' predictions on interest rates.
A mean-spirited financial adviser repeatedly stole from an elderly client to fund a luxury lifestyle.
Fifty-six per cent of advisers believe recommendations from other intermediaries is the most important factor when choosing a new online business service.
IFAs have backed Fidelity’s decision to replace Anthony Bolton with Sanjeev Shah.
AEGON Asset Management is strengthening its Institutional business development team with the appointment of Jonathan Dadswell as head of corporate pensions and Mandy Amadou as consultant relations manager.
Aegon technology shut down last week after 22 years.
Aifa has called for the delivery of a regulatory dividend to the industry in exchange for its commitment to a principle based regime.
M&G has named Greg Aldridge as the new lead manager of the £456m international growth fund, replacing Graham French.
The Pensions Trust has re-elected John Alleston as chairman of its board and Clive Unitt as deputy chairman.
Alliance & LeicesterPlusMortgage Five-Year Fixed
Alliance & LeicesterSelf Certified - 2 year Base Rate Tracker 5.15%
Artemis has reassured advisers that the buyout of parent group ABN Amro will not affect the running of the fund firm in any way.
Shares in Friends Provident rose 8.4 per cent yesterday on the back of speculation that the life group is being eyed by Axa for a potential takeover.
Treasury economic secretary Ed Balls says he will raise complaints made in Parliament about Barclays' payment protection insurance sales procedures with the FSA.
Treasury Economic Secretary Ed Balls will be the main spea-ker at Aifa's annual dinner.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has raised the base rate by 25 basis points to 5.5 per cent, as was widely anticipated.
BarclaysDefined Returns Plan Issue P8
BarclaysDefined Returns Plan Issue P8 - Annual Kick-Out Option
Barclays Global InvestorsiShares FTSE Bric 50
Beacon HomeloansFastrack Three-Year Fixed
Beacon HomeloansLight Adverse Two Year Fixed Rate
Bedlam Asset ManagementCherry Picker Investment Trust
Here is a poser for you - when is good news "not so good" news?
When conditions turn, the patient stockpicker should be able to play the bond market to their advantage.
Neal Underwood on the growing battle between big and small multi-manager companies.
The smart money is on some significant changes being introduced as a result of the retail distribution review, with the first discussion paper due out in June.
What will be the Chancellor's legacy for the financial services industry?
Disagreement over the future direction of interest rates means that the advantages of cappedrate mortgages are difficult to weigh up. By Helen Pow.
Caris, Caris what on Earth is Caris as the song doesn't exactly go.
Nicola York reports that the ABI feels misunderstood over its proposals to shake up distribution.
Cazenove says its strategy of investing exclusively in absolute-return equity funds in its multi-manager managed equity fund will generate higher returns than its peers in the long term.
Cheltenham & GloucesterFive Year Fixed Year Buy-to-Let
Cheltenham & GloucesterTwo Year Buy-to-Let Tracker
The Chartered Insurance Institute has introduced chartered status for financial planning firms in a bid to reinforce professionalism in the industry.
Like the spoof letter at the start of this column, the ABI's language is ludicrous.
Outsourcing company Connect Mortgages is going to select its best brokers based on criteria such as professionalism and ethical practice and discard the rest.
Simon Burgess, managing director of Britishinsurance.com, believes that emerging consolidators may offer a better deal than networks for advisers who are looking to retire and sell their business.
Cru Investment Management has started a lending service to finance IFA practice buyouts.
Dalton Strategic PartnershipMelchior Selected Trust: UK Opportunities Fund
It is only one week now before Fidelity unveils Anthony Bolton’s long-term successor who will head up its £3.1bn Fidelity UK special situations fund.
Anthony Nutt, manager of the Jupiter income trust and high-income fund, says the search for companies that pay growing dividends is going global.
Such is investor demand for income that funds with this mandate now extend into regions normally associated with growth, such as Japan and the Far East. With competition so heated in the UK equity income space, where the four biggest funds all have assets of more than £3.5bn, numerous geographical portfolios with an income target have been launched.
Distribution Technology has launched Dynamic Point of Sale, a proposition supporting the advice process from customer acquisition through to ongoing client management.
The outrageous charges being made by lenders for mortgage exit administration fees has brought the industry into disrepute with the public.
What can we learn about markets from Eugene Fama's efficient market hypothesis?
Fortis Private Banking has signed an agreement to supply clients with qualitative fund research from Standard & Poor's Fund Services.
Outgoing FSA chief executive John Tiner says the life insurance industry is unrecognisable today compared to when he joined the regulator in 2001.
The FSA has fined Charterhouse Consulting Wealth Management £122,500 for carrying out discretionary portfolio management without permission and for various conduct of business failings.
The FSA says it has found no evidence of widespread misselling after concluding its investigation into contracting out of S2P.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has received letters from over 700 former clients of Exeter Fund Managers after it was declared in default last week.
Quite a few sets of results have landed on my desk over the last week with Burns-Anderson, Mint, Positive Solutions and St James’s Place all quick to shout about their booming businesses from the rooftops.
Last week, Aifa hosted a gathering of some of the leading advisory firms, the regulator and consumerists to spell out four key changes that Aifa sees as instrumental to the long-term health of financial services.
Up to 500,000 women in the UK may be missing out on a full state pension because of a flaw in an automated HMRC system, according to adviser Grant Thornton.
HSBC InvestmentsGIF Bric Freestyle
Technology is essential to IFA firms but should they buy off the shelf or bespoke?
JupiterEuropean Income Fund
Sam Shaw looks at what might be in store for a sub-prime pioneer.
Credit Suisse has added to its UK equity team, with Marcus Hankey moving from Legal & General to become director and portfolio manager.
The Lawrence House cautious managed fund has taken a position in the Chelverton UK equity income fund while replacing the L&G all stocks gilt index fund with Gartmore's high-yield corporate bond fund.
Leeds Building SocietyFee Free Three Year Fixed Rate
The problem with process-driven investment philosophies is that the time always comes when they seem to break down. Stockmarkets are unfortunately made up of lots of human beings who, of course, behave both rationally and irrationally. Sometimes, therefore, the market will behave somewhat bizarrely and scupper even the most watertight process temporarily.
Lutine AssuranceLong Term Assurance
Which? took a controversial line on critical illness insurance this month by calling it a luxury product.
During 2006, Beckett Financial Services instigated a strategic review to consider the best way to evolve our client proposition to ensure that we maintained a client offering that continued to place us at the forefront of the advisory market.
Manor ParkGlobal Growth Fund - Jun 2007 Series
Manor ParkUK Capital Growth Fund - Jun 2007 Series
Manor ParkUK Selected Growth Fund
Former IFA Ivan Massow claimed in court last week his business was wrecked by Zurich over an agreement to sell protection insurance and mortgages to gay people.
FSA chairman Sir Callum McCarthy has told journalists they should be pleased with the way they make consumers aware of their rights.
Providers and advisers must work together to improve the current model.
Reading Bill Mott's first report on the PSigma income fund that launched recently, I was encouraged by the stance he is taking.
Mint saw a fourfold profit increase last year and the firm says it is on course to grow its turnover to £15m this year.
Providers faced tough questions at today's Money Marketing Live regarding the ABI's retail distribution review proposals but stressed to the packed room that a move to factory gate pricing would be in the best interests of advisers and their clients.
MPC Investors has announced that Ajay Gambhir, who joined from JPMorgan Asset Management at the beginning of May, is to launch a European equity long/short hedge fund on 17th September 2007.
The House of Commons' debate on home information pack legislation has been scheduled for May 16.
Nationwide has been criticised by brokers for withdrawing its 25-year fixed-rate mortgage deal last week.
NDF Administration7.25% Fixed Income Plan April 07
NDF AdministrationExtra Growth Plan April 07
NDF AdministrationGrowth Kick Out Plan April 07
New Star's multi-manager team is holding a range of exchange-traded commodities in its active and tactical portfolios.
New platform provider Parmenion is to target boutique fund firms as part of its plan to offer outsourced investment for IFAs.
For a long time, I have been concerned about the implications of the popular nil-band IOU trusts which require the use of tenants in common change from the more usual joint tenants and then the first spouse to die places their half of the house in a trust up to the value of the nil band.
Octopus Asset Management is looking at making changes to its Hygea venture capital trust after its net assets fell from just under £5.7m to £4.3m last year, making it one of the worst performers in the market.
Aegon and Openwork are extending their partnership to include Aegon Scottish Equitable International's 5 for Life investment plan.
"I'm doing something called a webcast today with Fidelity. No idea what it involves but it sounds exciting and I've got my Spiderman suits ready for it."
To those at the sharpest end of financial services regulation, it must be very hard not to feel that your rights have been trampled upon for the greater good of ensuring an entirely risk and self-responsibility-free investment environment for the voters of the UK.
A third of IFAs believe Fidelity will bring in a big-name external hire to replace Anthony Bolton when he steps down from its £3.1bn special situations fund.
The life and pension industry must create a clearly differentiated and upgraded advice offering for consumers that gains traction before personal accounts come into force in 2012, says global profess-ional services firm Towers Perrin Tillinghast.
Pink Home LoansFees Assisted Offset Remortgage
With reference to the story headlined, Mortgage book falls at Kensington (Money Marketing, April 19), I can confirm this is because we sold 0.6bn of whole loan sales during quarter one, turning a gross increase in the mortgage book of 0.3bn in that time to a net decrease of 0.3bn (7.2bn to 6.9bn).
In my last column, my ire was directed at the Association of British Insurers for its equivalent of Custer's last stand. Since then, it seems to have watered down its views on commission but the core of its submission to the FSA's retail distribution review remains much the same as the previous "draft".
Positive Solutions made an operating profit of £332,000 last year after suffering a £27.2m loss in 2005.
Critical-illness providers have been revamping their products to accommodate the Association of British Insurers' latest changes to its statement of best practice.
Dawnay Day Quantum's latest range of protected commodities funds have benefited from recent market volatility to almost double their participation in the asset classes' growth.
Which? has come under attack after it claimed critical-illness insurance is a "luxury product" but providers say it is an essential part of financial planning.
PrudentialPrudential Managed Defensive Fund
PrudentialPrudential Cautious Managed Growth Fund
Pensions minister James Purnell has asked the industry to cost controversial proposals to convert contract-based schemes into trust-based schemes to prevent levelling down.
HM Revenue & Customs' initiative to document clear technical standards for how discounts are calculated with discounted gift trusts has been welcomed by the industry.
HM Revenue & Customs could soon crack down on factory gate pricing over concerns that tax relief is being used to pay advisers rather than boost savers' pension pots, experts are warning.
HM Revenue & Customs could soon crack down on factory gate pricing over concerns that tax relief is being used to pay advisers rather than boost savers’ pension pots, experts are warning.
The public relations chief of Cofunds has ranged far and wide in his career in fund management circles and now he is leaving the UK to settle down in New Zealand. Interview by John Lappin.
The FSA is to consult on how to distinguish between truly fee-based advisers and IFAs paid by fees and commission using the retail mediation activities return.
The presidential election in France has exposed that country to an unprecedented degree of scrutiny.
Sesame advisers are divided over the firm’s acquisition by Friends Provident with some fearing it will compromise their businesses and others believing it will not make a difference.
Sesame is introducing a training and development programme focusing on business skills and management for advisers.
Seven Investment ManagementCF 7IM Ethical Fund
Sanjeev Shah has been named as the replacement to Anthony Bolton on Fidelity’s £3.2bn UK special situations fund.
Sanjeev Shah will be appointed as the replacement to Anthony Bolton to run Fidelity’s £3.2bn UK special situations fund, sources close to Money Marketing understand.
Chris Salih analyses investment satellite Rensburg mid-cap growth.
Standard Life's UK life and pension sales leapt by 52 per cent in the first quarter, driven by strong Sipp demand.
Skandia MultiFundsProtected Portfolio Investment
Only half of small adviser firms met the FSA's treating customers fairly deadline, with the regulator warning it will take enforcement action against firms if it becomes aware of significant consumer detriment.
Smith & Williamson Investment ManagementBritish Country Inns 4
SPMLMinor Adverse Three Year Fixed Self Cert
Standard Life's critical-illness insurance claim statistics for 2006 show that the proportion of claims it declined more than halved from 2005.
Standard Life has bought a 25 per cent stake in IFA support service provider threesixty services.
The Association of British Insurers has appointed former Standard Life head of public affairs Margaret Craig as its new director of life and savings.
The Ministry Of Defence is offering a life insurance product in partnership with Sterling Life to provide cover for the armed forces.
The summer party season kicked off in style last week at the Penrose party which was packed to the hilt at peak time.
Lawyers warn that offshore account holders may get more protection outside HMRC's partial amnesty on tax.
The Keydata dynamic growth plans have proved very popular with investors. The latest issue gives a return of six times any rise in the FTSE 100 index, subject to a maximum return of 60 per cent over a period of five years and eight months.
Seventy per cent of IFAs believe clients will need to accept higher levels of risk when planning for retirement, according to new research.
Tenet has been given the green light by the FSA to passport advice to clients in Spain and Gibraltar as it looks to target the expatriate market.
Why the IFA group's latest recruitment drive could prove a disappointment.
The mass market would be better served by product providers than IFAs, according to JS&P Towry Law.
Advisory process was flawed for pension move.
Canada Life Group Insurance Division is alerting pension scheme administrators to an error in the HM Revenue & Customs' audited account process for stand-alone group life schemes.
At last Gordon Brown is within touching distance of the power he has been craving for so long and he has wasted no time in setting the scene for what his Premiership will look like.
First of all I should probably introduce myself. I shall be writing about the wonderful world of mortgages at Money Marketing for you lovely people for the foreseeable future.
Which? has jumped to the defence of IFAs, saying the Association of British Insurers' calls for a regulatory clampdown on the adviser sector and a light-touch regime for direct salesforces would hit consumers.
Fidelity is entering the retirement market with lifestyle funds aimed at six target retirement dates but could IFAs do a better job by picking funds themselves? By Helen Pow.
WoolwichBuy To Let Lifetime Tracker
Zurich Financial ServicesGuaranteed Capital Account 12