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2012: A month-by-month look at the year in investments


IMA launches Global Equity Income sector and renames managed sectors; Chancellor George Osborne unveils the Financial Services Bill, in which he grants himself the authority to direct the Bank of England during times of crisis; Fred Goodwin loses his knighthood following RBS collapse in 2008.


Facebook unveils plans to raise about $5bn through an IPO; Greek Government fails to reach agreement over the terms of a new EU bailout; eurozone finance ministers later reach agreement on a second Greek bailout.; Bank of England expands its asset purchase facility by another £50bn; Japan also increases its quantitative easing programme by Y10trn to Y65trn.


FSA announces Hector Sants will step down as chief executive in June; Liontrust acquires Walker Crips; Apple announces it will pay its first dividend since 1995.


M&G overtakes Invesco Perpetual as UK’s largest fund firm; Old Mutual Asset Managers UK announces merger with Skandia Investment Group; ONS announces UK GDP contracted by 0.2 per cent in Q1, 2012, signalling return to recession; revised figures later show economy contracted by 0.3 per cent.


AIC announces plans to replace total expense ratios with an “ongoing charges” figure to improve their comparability with open-ended funds; Facebook floats on Nasdaq, which closes nearly flat at $38.23 a share.


IMA announces review of Absolute Return sector; Bureau of Economic Analysis announces US GDP increased by 1.9 per cent in Q1, 2012, below its 2.2 per cent first estimate; Barclays fined £290m for trying to manipulate Libor rates.


Bob Diamond resigns as Barclays chief executive over Libor scandal; eurozone finance ministers agree to offer assistance to Spain to enable it to recapitalise debt-laden banks.


Neil Woodford’s £9bn income fund is cut from Principal Investment Management’s white list for the first time since 2002; FSA launches consultation paper, including proposals to ban sales of Ucis to retail investors.


Ben Bernanke announces $40bn a month of US asset purchases; global fund managers take first overweight position in European equities since February 2011, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch fund manager survey. 


Official GDP figures indicate the London Olympics helped the UK economy emerge from recession in the three months from July to September, with growth of 1 per cent; US tax authorities postpone the implementation of Facta to allow firms more time to comply with the rules.


Barack Obama wins a second term as US president; Eurostat announces eurozone fell back into recession in Q3, 2012; Mark Carney, current governor of Bank of Canada, is named as next governor of Bank of England.


Autumn Statement sees chancellor lengthen time estimated to get Government deficit under control. Isa allowance increased to £11,520 and a consultation launched over allowing Isas to invest in AIM stocks. S&P joins Fitch and Moody’s in putting the UK’s AAA rating on a negative outlook.


EC’s attempt to clarify the AIFMD leaves a lot of uncertainty

This week, the European Commission published the long-awaited AIFMD Level 2 Regulation filing in the gaps in the picture sketched by the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The new regulation provides the technical substance behind fifty measures marked in the directive for further elaboration. The choice of regulation, rather than directive, as the legislative […]

Hornbuckle Mitchell freezes Sipp fees

Hornbuckle Mitchell has frozen the fees for its Full Sipp product next year. Advisers will be charged £490 for using the product in 2013. The cost of using the Full Sipp has remained unchanged since 2009. Hornbuckle Mitchell sales and marketing director Mary Stewart (pictured) says: We recognise that advisers are facing difficult times, with […]

Ladbrokes chooses L&G master-trust for auto-enrolment

Ladbrokes has chosen Legal & General to provide a master-trust defined-contribution pension scheme for its 14,000 staff. The new scheme will be available to all of the bookmaker’s eligible staff from its 1 March 2013 automatic enrolment staging date. Independent trustee firm Pitmans Trustees has been appointed to the scheme’s trustee board. L&G workplace savings […]

PruProtect hires Kevin Watkins as its new head of wealth protection

PruProtect has appointed Kevin Watkins to the newly created role of head of wealth protection. Watkins will spearhead Pru’s campaign to help wealth management advisers incorporate protection into their sales processes. He spent 30 years at Friends Provident, including a three-year stint as director of its UK individual protection businesses. PruProtect has a new team […]

Tax year-end planning for annual allowance

Last tax year-end there was a lot to think about in relation to planning. The introduction of the tapered annual allowance and the implications of moving to a fixed pension input period, the reduction in the lifetime allowance and potentially applying for protection, and the concern about changes to tax relief, to name a few. […]


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