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A rollercoaster ride of a year comes to a close

The year 2000 will prove to be the one when almost everything changed.

Just about any provider that could merge, sell up or demutualise did so.

It saw the creation of the country&#39s number one life and pensions office, known as Norwich Union, the number two fund manager in Invesco/Perpetual and the number one network stable in Misys.

Bradford & Bingley took over Charcol, demutualised and pursued an advice-led strategy. But Standard saw off the baggers.

Commission battles raged as everyone struggled for a share of a decreasing pie, while several of the industry&#39s more popular figures departed though no company admitted to “sacking” anyone.

The Labour Party&#39s brewing resentment over the pension review finally took shape with the axing of polarisation. Ministers also stubbornly refused to increase the margins on stakeholder despite plucking this unworkable number out of thin air.

The FSA failed its first big test abysmally with the closure to new business of Equitable while with the panic depolar isation of stakeholder pensions it proved to be the Government&#39s lackey.

Most importantly, IFAs held their own in business terms although there will surely be lucrative offers to multi-tie along with the Christmas cards
. Given the hostile regulatory and business climate, we would not blame any readers who tie. But we stick to the belief that the best way to offer best advice and thus to market an inter mediary business is as an independent.

Finally, for our readers we have two fest ive season messages. Don&#39t let the buggers get you down and Merry Christmas.


Zifa mortgage business up 50 per cent

Zifa announces it has doubled its mortgage introduction business this year to £600m from £300m in 1999. The latest CML figures indicate there has been a decline in mortgage business over the last quarter but this doesn&#39t seem to have affected Zifa. This is the second year, Zifa has been active in the mortgage introduction […]

The good, the bad and the mixed…

Aifa director general by Paul Smee“2000 was the year of the consultation paper. In battalions they came, sometimes two at once, thick with draft rules and questions. The good, the bad, the indifferent, and, most of all, the mixed. “The good. Some sensible stuff on risk-based regulation, a relaxation of over-prescriptive training requirements, a decent […]

Finsbury life biotechnology fund up 15 per cent in six months

Finsbury Life Sciences Investment Trust announced a net asset value per share increase of 15.4 per cent over the six months to September 30, 2000. Investing in European life science companies with a particular emphasis on biotechnology, the Finsbury fund was buoyed by the sequencing of the human genome, announced in June this year. Finsbury […]

investment view

“It&#39s a funny old world,” mused the chairman of Betelgeuse Investment Funds as he gazed across the storm-tossed waters of the Thames from his mahogany-panelled office. No one could say that the year 2000 was without significance. It was, after all, the first year of the new millennium. There was a distinct whiff of curate&#39s […]

Life cover for life

When someone mentions whole of life plans, most people will think of a niche product that serves as an inheritance tax planning tool for high-net-worth clients. And it’s really not surprising they’ve been pigeonholed in that waybecause before the arrival of RDR in 2013, that’s more or less exactly what they were. For advisers thinking […]


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