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Did you stay up?

Well done, Michael Portillo, for his self-deprecating manner.

The former Conservative MP recently told a forum of IFAs how the moment of his demise – when he lost his Parliamentary seat, followed his home and his career in politics – was voted the third best moment of the 20th Century by Observer readers and Channel 4 viewers.

He says Tony Blair even used a clip of that moment as part of the montage of highlights as he gave his parting speech last week.

Portillo says: “If that was a highlight for Mr Blair, then I do feel very sorry for him indeed.” “I might not sound upmarket but I do have a silk hanky.”

Positive Solutions executive chairman David Harrison.


Short circuit

The sub-prime mortgage market was always expected to be the source of most problems after regulation but the FSA also has misgivings about the prime sector.

Prime Professions in PI deal for IFAs

A group of former Alexander Forbes directors has set up a professional indemnity brokerage for IFAs.

Prime Professions has been servicing the legal, accounting, construction and insurance professions for a year and is about to target financial services intermediaries.

The firm says it is launching to the IFA community on November 1 to coincide with the renewal date for most IFA contracts.

Prime says it will offer an indication of PI renewal terms without the need to complete a proposal form.
The firm has been added to the panel of brokers for insurance company Chubb.

Prime says it is the biggest threat in the market to rival companies PYV, NCG and First City’s non-network IFA business.

Managing director Duncan Philpott says: “We want to get back to talking to clients and moving away from the old-style values. People’s changing attitudes and a softer market bring the opportunity to make a difference.”

But PYV chief executive Neil Pointon says: “I would have thought that a new underwriter would have brought more value than a new broker. If I was an IFA, I would be very wary of a new firm without a proven book of business.”

Loansome traveller

Offshore mortgages: RBS International chief executive Ian Henderson explains to Philip Scott how he targets potential markets and why borrowers should be careful of speculating in foreign markets despite the lucrative deals often portrayed in TV property programmes

Is property starting to get shaky?

Property has become the increasingly favoured asset class for many investors over the last few years and money has been pouring into UK property funds.


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