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Beard&#39s a gooner

The old City dictum, never trust a man with a beard, is being challenged by yet another financial services mover and shaker, Darragh Leeson of Prudential. He was spotted at last week&#39s Money Marketing boat party sporting the beginnings of a peppery grey goatee.

But all is not what it seems. Leeson&#39s real intention is to do a Robert Pires of Arsenal fame. The goatee is a transitional phase which he was forced to adopt because, not being a morning person, when he tried to grow the Pires number, he kept forgetting and shaved it off at least twice. He will now grow a full goatee before trimming it to reveal the Pires version.

The Diary wonders if Leeson secretly doesn&#39t give a fig about Pires but is really emulating his real hero – tax planning oracle and Money Marketing columnist Tony Wickenden, who began the trend in financial circles.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier&#39s outfit at the MM boat party managed to combine the stylish with the functional, after he was warned he could be made to walk the plank as punishment for leaking a story to another publication.

Heeding the threat of one irate hack that he might end up in the Thames, Dampier removed his coat to reveal a lifejacket. Said Dampier: “I don&#39t have waterwings but I thought I should come prepared.”


&#39Get an IFA&#39s advice when marriage is all shook up&#39

The carve-up of marital assets that is likely to follow actor Nicholas Cage&#39s divorce from Lisa Marie Presley should remind couples in similar circumstances of the need to seek expert advice, says Bradford & Bingley.B&B says high-profile celebrity separations, including the ending of singer Jennifer Lopez&#39s marriage to Cris Judd after only eight months, should […]

Consumer panel fights filtering

The Financial Services Consumer Panel has attacked the FSA&#39s mortgage regulation proposals and is warning that the new sales processes will confuse borrowers.Its response to CP146, the FSA&#39s Approach to Regulating Mortgage Sales, argues against the introduction of three types of selling process – information-only, full advice and a “middle way” of filtering questions falling […]

A consumer&#39s view

There are two important messages from the Chancellor&#39s pre-Budget statement which IFAs should pass on immediately to their clients.First, anyone with a significant amount of borrowing, in particular a big mortgage, should fix or cap the rate as soon as poss-ible. Depending on how mortgage fixed-rate packages react, it might even be worthwhile paying a […]

Product Equitable Life findings delayed until summer

The Penrose inquiry has confirmed it will not publish its findings into the Equitable Life collapse until next summer and is ruling out an interim report despite calls from MPs.The secretary to the inquiry issued an open letter last week confirming the publication timetable after Liberal Democrat trade and industry spokesman Vincent Cable condemned the […]

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Paul Fidell, Head of Business Development (Investments), writes about one of the primary challenges for those involved in estate planning. He looks at dealing with investment uncertainty in these low growth, low inflation but still volatile investment conditions. Protection of capital, to leave something for beneficiaries, is a fundamental objective of many people’s plans for […]


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