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Firms not ready for bear market, says Cazalet

Life companies are psychologically and technologically unprepared for a sustained bear market, according to analyst Ned Cazalet.

He told the round table meeting that current stockmarket woes are heavily influenced by life companies and pension schemes offloading shares over the last couple of years.

He said the average life company has 14 different systems and many are simply unaware of their liabilities, with the bull markets of the 1980s and 1990s allowing the companies to paper over the cracks.

Cazalet warned that by the end of the summer, current favourite life companies would either close to new business or be replaced by new companies.

He said: “They are not psychologically or technologically equipped. A lot of companies will be taken out of the life industry by the autumn.”

Needanadviser.com director Ashley Clark says: “I agree, although some companies are investing in infrastructure. IFA favourites are going to change, although, as an IFA, we would rather have the choice but they are not going to be around.”

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