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Execs back higher standards

Fifty-five per cent of financial services executives think that higher professional standards for IFAs will attract more graduates and talented new entrants to the sector.

The survey of 136 senior executives across the financial services industry by Pinsent Masons also found that 75 per cent are very supportive of the retail distribution review proposal to create a professional standards board for organisations distributing investment, life and pension products.

Ninety-six per cent say they are in favour of minimum professional qualifications within the financial advisory market and 97 per cent back a system of professional standards and qualifications, including continuing professional development, which mirrors standards in other professions such as law and accountancy.

Fifty-five per cent of respondents believe that these measures will attract more of the most talented new entrants, particularly graduates, into financial advisory careers, but 30 per cent disagree, mainly because they do not think that the industry will offer these entrants sufficient income and that graduates are not suited or experienced enough to advise on and sell financial products.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters is running a free session for university careers advisers on opportunities in the industry at the CASS Business School in Moorgate on May 28.

Employers taking part for the financial sector include Fidelity International, the FSA, ACCA, FactSet, Aviva, Grant Thornton and Swiss Re.


The going rate

During the first quarter of this year there were many gloomy predictions as to the speed and size of the “inevitable” decline in annuity rates.

Turning points

The introduction (from the next tax year) of a 50 per cent top rate of income tax (and a rate of 42.5 per cent on dividends for these taxpayers), the removal (subject to tapering) of higher-rate relief on pension contributions for those with income of £150,000 or more and an effective rate of tax of 60 per cent (as a result of the withdrawal of the personal allowance from next year) for those with an income over £100,000 will all combine to make tax planning more in demand. And not just for the relative few who will be caught by (at least the first two of) these changes.

Polar Capital rebases Japan fund currency

Polar Capital has changed the base currency of its $200m (132m) Japan fund from dollar to yen to reduce currency fluctuations for investors.The group has made the move in the light of the recent strengthening of the yen against the dollar and sterling. In addition, the group will add an institutional hedged share class, following […]

Iain Chadwick

The Budget 2015: a brief overview

Following George Osborne’s delivery of his sixth Budget as chancellor and the last of this current parliament, we have provided a brief overview of the initiatives put forward in his statement, focusing on the topics that have an impact upon the pensions landscape, savings, personal taxation and businesses.


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