24 November 2004
Norwich Union is charging 10 per cent on the first five years' premiums for its price-busting non-stakeholder pension for the full advice market.
Alliance & Leicester confirms 85 per cent of all its online mortgage applications submitted by mortgage intermediaries receive a decision in principle within 60 seconds.
Abbey is reintroducing its flexible plus mortgage range after having to suspend the products in the run-up to M-Day.
This is my last attempt at a column. There is much which I will miss about the IFA sector and it has been a privilege to represent (most of) the IFA community for five years.
Modelling tools can shine a light into the vital area of setting an asset allocation strategy for IFAs.
IFA portal Assureweb says it is developing multi-tie solutions for a number of former clients of rival The Exchange.
Axa Life says it looks forward to depolarisation and helping IFAs make the right choices for their businesses.
Bankhall's plans to launch a multi-tie have been delayed because of mortgage regulation while its profits have slumped since last year.
The FSA has launched a blistering attack on the way that banks incentivise their sales forces to sell volumes of products without suitable advice.
Baring Asset ManagementBaring Directional Fund (US$)
Baring Asset Management has created the Baring Directional Fund (Euro) and Baring Directional Fund (US$) to give international investors access to the investment strategy used in the sterling dominated directional global bond trust.
Despite losing advisers, Berkeley Berry Birch IFA group has achieved a profit in the last six months and increased productivity.
The House of Commons may have overturned the Lords' vote against compulsory annuitisation at age 75 but the issue will take centre stage when the Pensions Commission delivers its final report says pension guru Steve Bee.
Irish financial services giant IFG is pulling troubled subsidiary Berkeley Jacobs Financial Services out of pension-release business in an attempt to limit further losses.
BM Solutions director of mortgages Michael Bolton confirms he is not leaving the lender after speculation he would be taking a post with Countrywide Financial.
Mortgage distribution group First Mortgage Options says it has been inundated by demand for Cemap training courses since M-Day.
Some lenders whose KFIs weren't available online on M-Day have got their act together but many still don't offer this facility and there are still no-go areas. Portability is a particular problem, with most lenders unable to produce an online KFI when a product is ported and some not able to produce one manually.
Brewin Dolphin SecuritiesVentus VCT
Bristol & West MortgagesTwo Year 1.85% Discount
Britannia Building Society is launching a new 10 year fixed rate mortgage at a rate of 5.39 per cent up to 95 per cent LTV.
Refinement of the sales pro-cess for equity-release products and the identification of tax and benefits will bring a boost for brokers, intermediaries were told at Expo 2004 last week.
Jupiter Unit Trust Managers chief investment officer Edward Bonham Carter says he bel-ieves investors should be putt-ing cash for their children into emerging markets.
Much has been said about the multi-tie market but how will distribution change after the ending of polarisation?The models being discussed seem to include five or six of the biggest providers in the UK, who represent more than 70% of the market.
More than three-quarters of employers with final-salary pensions expect to face future funding difficulties, according to the NAPF's latest annual survey.Ten per cent of private sector final-salary schemes closed to new members in 2004 compared with 26 per cent in 2003 and 19 per cent in 2002.
Former Coutts & Co chief executive Andrew Fisher has been appointed chairman of John Scott & Partners,Fisher, who is credited with turning round the fortunes of Coutts from a loss-making operation to a profitable business, joins the wealth management firm to lead further growth of John Scott.
IFAs believe that the coup of signing Mike Felton will breathe life into the M&G UK equity range.
IFAs have welcomed the launch of child trust funds, although few have committed to selling them.
Financial services companies are failing to meet the FSA's requirements for Treating Customers Fairly according to the latest research from consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Lancashire and England cricket all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has scooped Cheltenham & Gloucester's Man of the Year award.
Jupiter head of fund of funds John Chatfeild-Roberts has hit out at multi-managers who claim to settle for consistently average performance.
Charcol's co-founders look set to buy back the firm in the first week of December.
I recently had a rather strange experience while reading a document from the FSA.
The FSA has ruled out authorisation grace periods for appointed representatives but has opened the door for IFA firms to sign up advisers left in the lurch if rival networks collapse.
Penrose Financial Public Relations founding partner Louise Hatch has left the group following a series of boardroom disagreements.
The Government is pressing ahead with the controversial home information packs.
Huntswood Outsourcing is launching an endowment compensation calculator which it says will reduce the cost implication to the industry by over 90 per cent.
Bright Grey products dir-ector Roger Edwards bel-ieves reviewable definitions for critical-illness cover are not consumer-friendly and will lead to over-complicated definitions.
IFAs are being asked to voice their opinions on the future of the industry under new FSA regulations at a series of Origo workshops.
There will not be enough people working and paying taxes to support the Government pension promise, says Tony Byrne.
There is suddenly optimism about the outlook for equities but it is based on a thin foundation.BRIAN TORA
Investors have told the AITC that they want to see more managers rewarded for good performance.
JO Hambro Capital Management is looking for up to 5m for a C share top-up issue for the leisure & media venture capital trust.
JPMorgan Fleming has established the JPMF Europe dynamic (ex-UK) Fund, an Oeic that invests in a portfolio of 50-100 European stocks.
Barclays Financial Planning commercial director Alan Keegan has left the firm.
Legal & General Mortgage Club is offering an exclusive fixed rate loan from Norwich & Peterborough with a rate of 5.44 per cent fixed for ten years.
Marlborough Fund Managershigh Yield Fixed Interest Fund
IFA Millfield is reviewing its relationship with financial software company Sirius and is believed to be dropping the company altogether.
Two-year fixed rates and ext-ended overhangs could leave mortgage intermediaries facing misselling claims, according to experts at the Mortgage Business Expo 2004.
Hamptons International Mortgages has set out what it thinks will be product winners and losers for the mortgage market in 2005.
Mortgage Trust, the specialist buy-to-let lender introduces a two year fixed rate BTL product exclusively to Savills Private Finance.
Mortgages Direct director Peter Gladdy says the finan-cial services arms of estate agent Spicerhaart will not be "bullied" into using mortgage lenders' KFIs.
The question of how best to run multi-manager portfolios has become a topic of great debate. Led by a particular group of multi-managers, it suggests that providing top-quartile returns is a risky strategy.
Choosing the right network first time will prove the most cost-effective choice in the long term. Stick with well-established ones and be wary of fringe operators who come into the market without the resources to carry on.
Networks are no longer adding value to IFA firms, rather they add costs and complexity while doing nothing to enhance the IFA's adviser-client relationship. Networks are now proving to be the dinosaurs of the industry.
New Star Investment Funds has topped the 5bn mark for retail assets under management after only three years in operation.
Next week's D-Day may have been dubbed depolarisation day but it does not have to stand for decision day.
Noble & CompanyUniVen VCT
The specific risk areas for mortgage intermediaries in a regulated world are lead generation, suitability and initial disclosure documents, says Norwich Union technical manager (mortgage development) John Whitehead.
Old Mutual has its sights on a UK life insurer as it looks to spend a 1bn war chest to build its market share.
Axa Sun Life's chief executive has brought the firm's protection products to the market bang on time and he hopes to provide brokers with flexibility but he believes that multi-ties are inevitable.
With the FSA unveiling the rules for the depolarised market on Decem-ber 1, we ask leading industry figures how this will affect advisers.
Platinum Capital Manage-ment has created a multi-manager hedge fund of funds with a minimum investment level of 30,000 - half the amount it usually sets for its products.
Protection advisers are not prepared for regulation in January and must catch up with other sectors to avoid misselling, says Mortgage Portfolio Services mortgage planner Simon Chalk.
Prudential and Norwich Union are telling hundreds of thousands of policyholders they are better off opting back into the state second pension.
Schroders multi-manager team will help IFAs get to grips with justifying renewal commission and outsourcing investment advice.
Multi-distribution platform Thinc has appointed former Bradford & Bingley Group financial services director Roderic Rennison as group operations and strategic relationships director.
Net retail fund sales in the third quarter slumped to their lowest level since 1996, according to the Pridham report.
Sarasin Chiswell Sarasin CI Global Property Fund
IFAs must avoid misselling by making clients fully aware of the risks in investing in the new Schroder recovery fund, says manager Ben Whitmore.
Scottish Friendly joins a handful of other firms which have opted to offer the Government's child trust funds.
The protection business has been left reeling after the Financial Ombudsman Service refused to reveal details of a critical cover case.
Sesame is ranked the highest-earning IFA company, according to IMAS Corporate Advisers' latest research.
Small mortgage networks that have failed to gain enough appointed representatives are already looking at mergers and acquisitions in a bid to stay afloat.
Standard Life confirms it will be cutting 126 jobs from its intermediary sales division and sales-related support team.
Standard Life has slashed its individual stakeholder commission, introducing minimum qualifying premiums and terms and scrapping intermediary single-premium and transfer remuneration.
Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has designed a property fund for high-net-worth investors which can invest up to 100 per cent directly in commercial property.
Are you committed to keeping your firm independent as the FSA introduces new rules that will allow multi-ties?
The Parliamentary Ombudsman is to probe Whitehall pension policy decisions and the outcome could be billions in compensation for occupational scheme members.
Tillinghast is lobbying the FSA to introduce projections that better illustrate the risk/reward profile of different asset mixes to consumers.
Tilney investment ManagementOpal Tailored olutions Series 2
How many times have you had to make a call or arrange a new meeting with a client to tell them of an unexpected loading, exclusion or decline? The way to avoid it is to set their expectations properly at outset you have to know quite a lot about underwriting.
Technology stocks look set for a rocky 12 months although value can be found in specific companies, fund managers claim.
Trade bodies are warning that the FSA's amended with-profits proposals are grossly unfair and will punish investors who hold policies until maturity.
CB Home LoansSelf-Certification 3 Year Flexible Fixed
UCB Home LoansBuy-to-Let 5 Year Flexible Fixed
Noble & Company is sponsoring the UniVen VCT, a venture capital trust that invests in university spin-out companies and other early stage intellectual property based companies in the technology sector.
What counts with the PPF, we now learn, is not when the employer goes bust but when the pension scheme winds up.
Our panel of experts give their views on why lenders were not ready for M-Day and if there should have been a transitional period.
Helen Monks investigates the problems that beset the mortgage industry on M-Day.
Next week, the FSA publishes multi-tie rules singnalling the end of the polarisation era. How long will it be before multi-tie operations launch and who will be setting them up?Alison Bone looks at the depolarisation plans for the key industry players.
Since the start of mortgage regulation, both lenders and intermediaries have reported the problems they have suffered with key facts illustrations and other aspects about processing mortgages.
Winterthur multi-manager is planning to extend its range of Elite funds in the new year.
Younger employees are failing to save for their retirement, according to Aon Consulting.
Zurich's decision to offer advisers equity participation in a multi-tie business it plans to launch in the New Year has refocused attention on ways of incentivising intermediaries.