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Arise Sir Richard Branson

The controversial founder of Virgin Direct and scourge of IFAs Richard Branson has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year honours list.


Branson, the scourge of IFAs since forming Virgin, is the most high profile financial services figure receive an honour.


Honours which may find more favour with IFAs include a knighthood for the long-serving chairman of Schroders Winfried Bischoff and Simon Corbett, formerly of fund managers HSBC Investment Management.


The chief executive of Nationwide Building Society Brian Davis, who has made defending the society&#39s mutual status a key concern of his tenure, receives a CBE.


Two heads of charities with a strong influence on the future direction of financial services in the UK also received honours.


Sally Greengross the chair of Age Concern and veteran campaigner on long term care and pension issues becomes a life baroness. She was instrumental in the launch of Age Concern Financial Services headed by Peter Gatenby late last year.


Joel Joffe, the chairman of Oxfam and former member of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care, becomes a Baron. Prior to his charity work he held a senior position at Allied Dunbar.


Sir Winfried says: “I am delighted to receive this honour which I believe is first and foremost a tribute to the achievements of Schroders.”


Brian Davis says: “This honour recognises the important role building societies play in consumer finance. I have been fortunate to have been associated with Nationwide during a very successful period.”


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