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Did pride come before David Aaron&#39s fall?

Bruce Love&#39s obituary to the once glittering career of bon viveur David Aaron should be a salutary lesson to other firms with big, mass-mailable client banks.

While the PIA issued no guidelines specific to the marketing of Scarps, the issue of suitable risk warnings in promotional literature has been with us for many years.

How can something as fundamental as this have been overlooked by a company of such respected and long established pedigree as David M. Aaron?

The problems that have led to the downfall of Aaron&#39s business would very probably never have happened if the firm been a member of a (good) network.

The reason for this is that before member firms are allowed to issue any marketing and promotional material (of their own), this is subject to rigorous examin-ation prior to approval.

At the time, all the nitpicking and to&#39ing and fro&#39ing are a pain in the neck, I will admit, but those of us who have gone though the process must surely now be very glad we did.

Research bulletins are issued regularly which also include risk ratings for such products (some are firmly not approved for recommendation) and mandatory paragraphs for the relevant letters of recommendation.

Someone has to spend time (and thus be paid for) doing this kind of groundwork so why not tap into a centralised facility that does it for you?

A firm the size of David Aaron&#39s could probably have negotiated with a network a very modest retention rate which would have been offset by all sorts of savings in-house.

It might have dented his pride and spirit of indep-endence a bit but such a price would surely have been worth paying compared with what has happened now.

Julian Stevens




Society bids to raise standards

The Chartered Insurance Institute is setting up the Society for Mortgage Professionals in its effort to raise professional standards across the financial services industry. The society will link the CII&#39s existing mortgage-related examinations and the online competency tool mortgage Assess along with additional support through semin-ars, workshops and guidance notes. Richard Fox, the current compliance […]

Farrow&#39s view

I doubt there were too many tears shed when it emerged that David M Aaron had been banned by the FSA for misselling precipice bonds. The personal finance press gets a great deal of criticism from the financial services industry for over-egging stories and scaremongering but on the subject of precipice bonds I think we […]

Gartmore – Gartmore Portfolio: Cautious Strategy Fund

Type: Oeic multi-manager fund of funds Aim: Income and growth by investing in UK bond funds, UK equity income funds, property funds and cash Minimum investment: Lump sum £1,000, monthly £50 Investment split: 100% in UK bond funds, UK equity income funds, property funds and cash Isa link: Yes Pep transfers: Yes: Charges:Initial 5%, annual […]

Regulation Reminders

Over the next few weeks, those nice people at Money Marketing have asked me to put together a checklist of things mortgage intermediaries need to have in place as regulation is introduced. A kind of “Did I turn the gas off and lock the back door?” view of everything that a firm new to regulation […]

Artemis Monthly Distribution Fund: positioning and outlook

Managers James Foster and Jacob de Tusch-Lec outline the fund’s investment approach and discuss current investment themes and outlook for the bond and equity markets. As James and Jacob confirm, the Artemis Monthly Distribution Fund’s aim is to generate an income from both equities and bonds. They explain their investment approach in each asset class, the sectors where they are […]


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