Gregor joined Money Marketing as features editor in 2006 becoming deputy editor in 2009. He started his career as a trainee at the Sunday Times and has also worked for Pensions Management and as a freelance journalist.
IFA consolidator raising £1.6m to add to £3.3m raised in 2013 to fund its acquisition programme.
More and more advisers are seeing that increasing their level of qualifications can help demonstrate their value to clients
Annuity providers share prices hit heavily by news that pensions savers will no longer have to buy an annuity.
Moody’s has placed RBS on a negative watch.
Alliance Trust increases profit, net asset value per share and share price as Alliance Trust Savings returns to profitability.
Edinburgh-based pension and investment company expected to warn of the risk to the business in next week’s results.
The financial services industry will continue to evolve in response to market and regulatory pressures and businesses need to ensure they are as prepared as they can be.
From financial exclusion to inflexible products and a pension system that is too complex, Age UK chief executive says action needs to be taken to ensure people are better prepared for retirement.
Advisers should plan their CPD schedule for 2014 now to avoid trying to meet their requirements at the last minute.
House prices increased by 8.4 per cent in 2013 despite low numbers of house buyers.
Vanessa Owen, head of annuities and equity release at LV=, champions a joined-up approach to fund retirement
Low level of sales since the RDR have led to L&G closing its with-profits bond to new business.
Low level of sales since the RDR have led to L&G closing its with profits bond to new business.
Mattioli Woods chief executive Ian Mattioli says growing awareness of the cost of advice will force small IFAs out of the industry.
The Chancellor has been busy making difficult decisions but rest assured that we are still “all in this together”.
Mattioli Woods chief executive says a greater focus on costs caused by the RDR will lead to consolidation in the financial adviser market and the end of the small IFA.
With its constant tinkering with the rules for auto-enrolment, is the DWP undermining the chances of auto-enrolment working?
Improving professional standards continues to gain in importance this year as the CII and IFP announced appointments to oversee their efforts to improve professional standards
The National Skills Academy for Financial Services is to launch a two-year programme to help broaden the diversity of the workforce in financial services
The reliance on property purchase as a trigger for protection sales
From managing a pop band to insuring a Mafia hitman, few people in financial services have had a career as interesting or varied as life insurance salesman Peter Rosengard.
The new Personal Finance Society president talks about improving professionalism in the industry and winning consumers’ trust
The political stalemate in the US and concerns on the debt ceiling have caused stockmarket jitters.
The main result of the German election was no surprise but eurozone recovery could be shaped by the make-up of the new coalition government.
Winning the right to host the 2020 Olympics could help Japan to complete its economic reforms
The number of women training to be financial advisers is up by 100 per cent in the last three years.
Mortgage sales have rebounded strongly in 2013 but so far the protection market has not experienced any knock-on effect
Financial markets expect the Bank of England to discount forward guidance and increase base rate as early as the end of 2014 as economic recovery gather pace.
The new president of the CBI says the case for independence has not yet answered difficult questions on cross-border regulation and currency.
For new CII president Tom Woolgrove, the RDR is all about increasing professionalism and improving consumer outcomes.
An increase in the number of simple protection products should be seen as a good thing if it increases people’s engagement with with protection.
More advisers expected to increase their qualifications to boost their businesses and earnings.
Financial Services employees are amongst the most dissatisfied with their work life balance, with only accountants more unhappy with their lot.
Apprenticeship schemes have been growing fast in financial services but planned Government reforms of the way apprenticeships are managed and funded could upset their growth.
A stagnant economy means the number of graduate jobs in financial services has dropped by 45 per cent.
JP Morgan Asset Management has added a CPD training facility to its adviser website.
If financial advisers can build trust amongst consumers the advantages for consumers and the opportunities for advisers could be considerable.
Despite few new job opportunities in recent years, financial services employees are reasonably satisfied with their career prospects.
Money Marketing understands L&G plans to start building homes on land it owns.
Government plans to link life expectancy to state pension age will have far-reaching implications for retirement planning
The FCA’s final rules for platforms has caused platforms to try and position themselves as the best placed to help advisers deal with the new rules.
The FCA has warned execution-only services could be subject to advice rules if customers believe they have received advice.
School leavers and graduates are being offered more routes into financial services.
The last few years have seen a wide discrepancy in pay increases depending on seniority within a firm, rather than business success.
Retail investors are moving out of fixed income but for those that remain, corporate bonds are offering a balance between historic low gilt yields and the risk of high yeild.
The rise of social media offers new opportunities for recruitment but there are potential pitfalls for both employers and employees.
With China set to overtake the US to become the world largest trading nation, investors are increasingly looking east for their equity investments.
Following a record year in 2012, UK dividend growth is expected to slow in 2013.
US FATCA regulations are not only changing the way that financial institutions deal with the US but are starting to set a standard for wider co-operation
The latest Investment Trends report into wraps and platforms offers a real insight into the continued evolution of the market.
Developing existing staff can keep down staff turnover and benefit businesses.
The difference between UK equity income funds run on a total return and those geared towards paying income can make a difference to investors.
The new Tisa chairman says there is a lot more the industry can do to improve competition in asset management and consumer outcomes.
You could say that John Warburton’s entire working life has been determined by rules and regulations.
Smith and Williamson has changed a lot from its inception in 1881 but head of investment and banking David Cobb intends to ensure the business is fit for the new world.
With annuity rates continuing to fall should people be looking at other investment options?
Reform of the MPs’ pension scheme could help them drive through the rest of the public sector pension reforms.
Foster Denovo launches iniative to boost adviser numbers in the south-east.
Elections for the US Sentate rather than the presidential race could have a bigger impact on US equities.
Last week’s Cabinet re-shuffle was David Cameron’s first significant re-organisation since the coalition Government came to power in 2010.
Despite Bill Goss’s prediction of the death of the cult of equities, rising inflation makes equities more attractive
From bluechips to start-ups and credit cards to mortgages, Just Retirement’s Stephen Lowe has had a varied career to date but he predicts big things for the retirement income market.
Financial advice was not the first choice of career for Addidi managing director Anna Sofat.
Standard Life has released more details of its RDR ready product charges for its Sipp, wrap and FundZone
Emerging markets may not provide safe havens but they are winning over growing numbers of longer-term investors, reports Gregor Watt
Perspective Financial Management’s group operations director has a few golden rules when acquiring new businesses - do not lose the advisers and take care not to destroy what made that business successful in the first place.
Gregor Watt reports that fundamentals are changing for the better in the Asia excluding Japan sector, with inflation falling and attractive valuations
What are the best funds for income? download
Using total returns to assess equity income fund performance does not always identify the best sources of income.
Chancellor George Osborne has warned that a financial transaction tax would hit individual savers rather than the banks.
Chancellor says a financial transaction tax would damage the City and would unfairly target savers
Gregor Watt reports on moves to reinforce safeguards on payment protection insurance as a new wave of PPI complaints hits the ombudsman.
MetLife is launching a fixed-term annuity to replace the Living Time product it has been distributing.
The turbulent markets make buying an annuity a tricky proposition and getting it wrong could mean losing thousands in the long term.
HSBC global head of ETFs says a shift in the market towards low-cost, passive management is driving the phenomenal growth of exchange-traded funds and he believes the company can become a top 10 player in the European market by keeping its offering small and simple Interview by Gregor Watt
Gregor Watt reports that the recent swings of the stockmarket have brought out investors eager to snap up what they believe to be bargain equities.
CWC Research’s Clive Waller believes the protection market is gently dying but the RDR could be the catalyst needed for a revival
Hornbuckle Mitchell says the number of Sipp holders that have become orphan clients has more than doubled in the last 18 months as a result of the RDR.
The Treasury to introducing clause in the Finance Bill to stop Qrops being used for tax avoidance.
NS&I to re-introduce inflation-linked savings following new issuance target for 2011/12
Chancellor George Osborne says tax cut is not an opportunity for banks to pay less, as bank levy will rise.
Pica chairman Tom McPhail says tweaking the annuity rules and nudging people towards shopping around would help to mend a broken system.
Gregor Watt says demand for income means that UK equity income funds are still the biggest draw in town despite other alternatives starting to appear.
Standard Life launches online, execution only pension to appeal to non-pension savers.
The Treasury is to allow people in unsecured pensions who are below the new minimum retirement age to buy an annuity without incurring a tax charge.
The Treasury will allow clients in drawdown but below age 55 to buy an annuity without unauthorised payment charge
The principal of Plan Money says he has restructured the firm and changed its name from CBK to offer differing levels of service.
Gregor Watt’s exam diary: QCF level 3 is too low for new entrants but grandfathering is a different matter.
Alico brand dropped and UK wealth management products to be streamlined as MetLife completes acquisition.
Resolution has announced plans to acquire Bupa Health Assurance.
James Hay managing director Tim Sargisson claims that a lack of due diligence among smaller Sipp companies risks damaging the Sipp brand.
Aegon says cuts are not a kneejerk reaction.
Scrapping the age 75 annuitisation rules could boost the market for scheme pensions by offering wealthy savers a way to sidestep the proposed cap on retirement income.
Gregor Watt surveys the structured product scene still in the shadows of the big counterparty collapse.
Michael Johnson, author of a new reform paper, explains the radical steps he believes need to be taken to stimulate the savings market.
Gregor Watt and Lee Jones consider the potential of lesser-known emerging markets as doubts arise over the continuing performance of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Opt-out rates for Nest could rise to 40 per cent, almost double Govt forecasts, according to Society of Pension Consultants president.
Fidelity head of retail distribution has overseen a period of great change for the IFA industry and as further change is on the horizon, he remains optimistic for the industry’s prospects.
“Two exams down, three more to go to reach the certificate in financial planning before the quest for QCA level four and the real fun begins.”
MM deputy editor Gregor Watt ruins Valentine’s Day to pass his first exam on the road to QCF level 4.
The CBI says increasing National Insurance will hold back growth and plans to tax bankers bonuses are just an attempt at ‘headline grabbing’.
“If mortality continues to improve, many people working today will spend almost as long in retirement as they do in employment and this raises real questions on how people pay for their retirement.”