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Cofunds gets a new shareholder and reaches fund pact

Fund supermarket Cofunds has bolstered its depleted coffers by signing up retail fund administrator International Financial Data Services as its fifth shareholder.

The move comes as Cofunds&#39 backers – M&G, Jupiter, Gartmore and Thread- needle – have concluded months of wrangling by striking a deal with FundsNetwork parent Fidelity which ensures the funds of each company are available on both platforms.

Cofunds and FundsNetwork hope that their backers&#39 funds will be available on both platforms from mid-December but acknowledge that it could be early January.

IFDS will become an equal 20 per cent shareholder in Cofunds as part of the investment deal, which comes just weeks after the supermarket published a financial statement showing it made an operating loss of £34.6m in 2001.

Although Cofunds is not divulging details, chief executive Clive Boothman says IFDS&#39s investment will “help on the financial side quite considerably”.

The other shareholders are believed to have ploughed a total of £80m into the business.

Cofunds will be able to use IFDS&#39s IT resources if the supermarket should need to, which Boothman says highlights how the deal represents more than a cash injection.

He says: “This development offers not only capital investment but also access to the very considerable intellectual and technological resources of IFDS. It also maintains the independent model, which has been Cofunds&#39 trademark.”


Product matters

In a week when there was talk of more life offices scaling back their stakeholder operations or pulling out altogether, it was refreshing to hear of a new player in a shrinking market. Although not a stakeholder pension by exact definition, the Witan Investment Trust simple contribution plan is very similar, and is more cost-effective […]

Outside edge

“The truth, minister, is that if you insist on a 1 per cent cap, we will not be able to pay for lower-earning people to be advised to invest in stakeholder pensions.“The consequence of that truth is that, eventually, our competitors will realise that they cannot profitably participate in this market and you will fail […]

Tax-free cash and relief on pension contributions to remain – Brown

Chancellor Gordon Brown has ruled out the abolition of the tax free-lump sum on pensions in the forthcoming pensions Green Paper.In today&#39s pre-Budget report Brown also said tax relief for pension contributions would remain for employees, employers and the self-employed.

Witan Investment Trust – Witan Single Contribution Pension

Monday, 25 November 2002 Type: Personal pension Minimum premium: Lump sum £3,600, monthly £234 Minimum-maximum ages: From birth-75 Fund links: Witan investment trust Charges: Purchases – dealing 0.2%, transaction £6, sales – dealing 0.2%, transaction £50 Allocation rates: Premium minus £50 Minimum term: One day Commission: None Tel: 0800 0828180


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