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First national Sesame conference to focus on the RDR

Sesame is to hold its first national conference in December focusing on the impact of the retail distribution review, the rise of wrap and other regulatory matters.

The event, called Sesame Symposium, will include speeches from Aifa chairman John Gummer, former Which? chief policy adviser Mick McAteer, Standard Life chief executive Trevor Matthews and FSA director of small firms Stephen Bland.

Topics of debate will include the impact of the RDR and the outlook for small adviser firms, the rise of wrap and fund platforms and the threat to independence, discussion around chartered status and whether commission is really a bad way of buying products.

Sesame expects around 400 people to attend the event that will take place at the Park Plaza, Riverbank Hotel in London.

Sesame chief executive Patrick Gale says: The conference will offer advisers an exclusive opportunity to hear first hand the views of some of our industrys leading opinion formers, and take part in a series of lively and challenging debates.

At a time of fluctuating markets and deepening regulation, advisers continually face the challenge of delivering value to their clients and profit for their firm. We are designing the event to enable advisers to gather as much expert insight as possible, in order to help inform their decisions in 2008 and beyond.

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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