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ACA appoints new chairman

The Association of Consulting Actuaries has elected Adrian Waddingham as its new chairman. Waddingham, a founding partner of actuaries and consultants Barnett Waddingham, will take office from June 1, replacing Mercer HR Consulting worldwide partner Gordon Pollock, who had been in the position for two years.

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Pru could pass rivals on with-profits, says Cazalet

Prudential could gain significant distribution in the building society sector by nailing its colours to with-profits distribution, says a top independent analyst. Cazalet Consulting analyst Ned Cazalet believes the post-depolarisation carve-up could enable the Pru to overtake Legal & General and Norwich Union, the biggest players in the sector. Axa and Zurich also have links […]

Material benefits

The Material Girl&#39s latest world tour sold out almost as soon as the tickets hit the UK box offices. But lender Northern Rock and Clarion Events, the organiser of this year&#39s Mortgage Business Expo, have got their mitts on a pair of tickets for the Madonna Invention tour. They intend to auction the £150-a-head tickets, […]

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From another planet

I was interested to read Terrence O” letter (Money Marketing, April 29). I have read his odd letters over the years and have refrained from providing comment but his latest suggests he is firmly upon another planet as far as the debacle of with-profits is concerned. Sadly, it would appear that Mr O’ continues to […]

Key Retirement points to equity release boom

Specialist intermediary Key Retirement Solutions estimates that the number of consumers entering the equity release market rose by 36 per cent last year and it expects this trend to continue. The report says that as people see a continued fall in their income post-retirement and a rise in the cost of living, equity release will […]

Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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