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Mega Merger: What does the £5.6bn Aviva/Friends Life deal mean for advisers?

The proposed £5.6bn mega-merger of Aviva and Friends Life will result in thousands of job losses and rock the foundations of the UK pensions, protection and investment industries, experts are predicting. Last week, the Aviva and Friends Life boards revealed detailed discussions on the biggest pension deal in years. The Friends Life board has indicated […]

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Old Mutual Wealth scraps Skandia brand

The Skandia platform and all UK operations have rebranded to Old Mutual Wealth with effect from today Skandia, which launched in the UK in 1979, was acquired by Old Mutual in 2006. Old Mutual Wealth includes the 3000-strong adviser network Intrinsic, which was acquired in February, the platform business, and its asset management arm Old […]

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Octopus to offer VCTs through Transact

Octopus Investments is to allow investors to buy and hold shares in its Venture Capital Trusts through adviser-facing platform Transact for the first time.  The launch of the service follows a change announced in the Finance Bill 2014 which allows investors to buy VCTs directly via a platform. Previously, investors could only transfer their holding to […]

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Tesco posts record loss of £6.4bn

Tesco has posted a record loss of £6.4bn, one of the biggest losses outside of banking in British corporate history. In its annual results, published today, the supermarket group revealed it made a pre-tax loss of £6.38bn in the year to the end of February, compared with a pre-tax profit of £2.3bn the previous year. […]

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SNP targets ‘unfair’ pension charges

The Scottish National Party has warned that while it backs pension freedoms, it plans to identify and target “hidden” and “unfair” charges. In its election manifesto, published earlier today, the SNP says it backs the principle of giving pensioners more freedom over how to spend their retirement pot. However, the party warns: “We must ensure adequate […]

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Profile: Old Mutual Wealth’s Carlton Hood on the right way to deliver vertical integration

If you meet Carlton Hood, Old Mutual Wealth’s customer director, don’t mention meerkats. Hood was chief executive of the price comparison website Confused.com when rival firm Compare The Market unleashed its popular ‘Compare The Meerkat’ advertising campaign in 2009. “That was the biggest challenge of my career,” he jokes. On a more serious note, Hood […]

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UK economy ‘to grow 2.8% in 2015’

The UK economy will take uncertainty created by the general election “in its stride” and grow 2.8 per cent this year, the EY ITEM Club says. The consultancy’s spring forecast, which uses HM Treasury’s economic modeling, predicts gross domestic product will hit 2.8 per cent this year and 3 per cent in 2016. This is […]

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Brian Tora: Is the market pricing in future risks properly?

With the general election campaign now in full swing, our domestic market is displaying the sort of nervousness that might be expected when the final outcome is so uncertain. Building a base above 7,000 for the FTSE 100 is now looking a tough challenge. While the success or otherwise of the majority of those companies […]

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Tory ‘Right to Buy’ extension slammed by political rivals

Conservative plans to extend the Right to Buy programme to housing association tenants were slammed in last night’s BBC opposition leaders debate.  The Tories announced the plans ahead of their manifesto launch last week, promising that 1.3 million tenants could qualify for discounts of up to 35 per cent in seeking to buy housing association […]

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Is Shell/BG merger a catalyst event or natural market evolution?

The £47bn merger of Royal Dutch Shell with BG Group could be one of the biggest of the past 10 years, with the resulting company having a value of more than £200bn.  If the deal goes through, the combined company would be worth 9 per cent of the FTSE 100 and around 7.5 per cent of […]

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Ukip to investigate advice ‘voucher’ system for retirees

Ukip has promised it will work to guarantee free advice to pensioners, as well as sharply increasing the budget for at-retirement guidance services. Alongside plans to overhaul state pensions announced yesterday, Ukip described current offerings from The Pensions Advisory Service and Citizens Advice as “completely inadequate”. It states that a Ukip government would make funds […]