19 December 2007
The mortgage market has had a tumultuous year, with the first run on a UK bank in over 140 years and the devastating effects of the credit crunch.
New Star said goodbye to its joint head of fixed interest this week as Theo Zemek quit the firm to join Axa Investment Managers as global head of fixed interest.
Lower oil prices, the absence of significantly negative financial news, the announcement of the Bush administration's plan to help troubled homeowners and expectations for additional interest rate cuts have helped push US equity prices higher.
The new venture capital trust rules are more restrictive than was formerly the case but the best generalist managers should still be able to find qualifying companies with good potential.
Chris Ralph, one of the founding partners of multi-manager boutique Maia Capital, says he no longer feels like a small cog in a big machine.
Every year, the retailers moan they are having a dreadful Christmas, only for the figures to reveal that sales were not so bad after all. But there are reasons to believe that this Christmas may genuinely be more difficult. Higher oil prices, anaemic real wage growth and a slowing housing market are not the most auspicious conditions.
I went to work last week feeling very bleary eyed after watching the Hatton fight, (nothing to do with the Cobalt Christmas party last week, which I could not possibly talk about) and thought about his amazing spirit when taking on a truly great boxer in his own backyard.
Friends Provident is to impose a six-month notice period on its £1.2bn property fund due to the current market conditions.
The FSA has published a discussion paper reviewing liquidity requirements for banks and building societies, which calls for existing standards to be toughened.
It often helps to look at the past year and see how it went. Often, for those of us who work in or write about the financial services industry, it is a case of same old, same old.
The Investment Management Association (IMA) has welcomed the FSA’s push for greater transparency as part of its response to the Retail Distribution Review discussion paper.
The FSA may have to backtrack on its ruling to allow property funds to hold 100 per cent in direct property after the swathe of redemptions that has hit this market in the past few months proves just how important a buffer of liquidity is in such vehicles.
The debate on whether people are better off contracting back into the S2P has been keeping many an actuarial expert awake in recent years.
The market got off to a quiet but encouraging start this year but the first rumblings of trouble in US housing market were already audible.
As an industry, we use a terrifying amount of paper. For as long as I have been involved in technology, the vision of the "paperless office" has been held out as a nirvana that might one day be achieved.
Law-making, market turmoil and constant haranguing were some of the pension themes of the year.
What were the big investment themes of 2007 and how have firms fared in the difficult climate? Chris Salih asks four market commentators for their views.
Everything is relative when it comes to money I guess and in everyday life when we are buying books or going out on a Friday night we pretty much know what's what on the money front.
The Pension Bill 2007 has been published and, as expected, it includes reforms to improve the state pension scheme, introduce personal accounts and propose powers for the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority to design personal accounts.
The last 12 months have seen several significant events which have changed the shape of the protection industry.
Iread with interest that Nic Cicutti was pleased with his 25-year endowment policy that he took out in 1983. He was surprised that it was actually going to deliver what it said on the tin.
Thames River investment director Michael Warren says appointing multi-manager duo Gary Potter and Robert Burdett in March was one of the biggest moves in the firm's history.
What a year we have had in terms of compliance and regulatory activities. We have welcomed the overriding principle of TCF (which friends of mine in an advertising agency say sounds like a girl band), Mifid (a heavy rock band) and the RDR (an American rapper).What on earth will hit us next year?
One of my favourite Christmas songs sings the praises of silver bells and how they peal out at Christmas. This is not to be confused with jingle bells, which lacks gravitasIn business, we talk of "silver bullet" solutions - magic management ideas to solve a problem at a stroke.
Following reports of a bitter split within the Cabinet over the compensation package for victims of pension scheme collapses, the Government finally relented this week and announced a £2.9bn package for the workers.
My adviser has recommended that I transfer all my existing Isa, Pep and unit trust holdings on to something he calls a wrap. It is going to cost me 3 per cent of the value to do this. He says he will then manage my funds for an annual charge of 0.75 per cent. He tells me everyone is doing this and it means I will get better service. What do you think?
This week saw Bank of England governor let the cat out of the bag that the FSA, BoE and the Treasury all were aware in 2006 they could not deal with a failing UK bank.
As greater clarity emerges on exactly what advisers want the outcome of the retail distribution review to be, Aifa has summarised its position into effectively a return to polarisation, which it says could see the number of advisers treble to 100,000.
You tell us that 2007 wasn't too bad a year.
Some interesting relationships appear when you start comparing the relative tax merits of UK collectives, UK bonds and offshore bonds.