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Four sight saga for the new year

It is hard to look further than consolidation, which will reach fever pitch this year as the malnourished get eaten up by the gluttons.

New Star, exhausted by 2003&#39s acquisition spree, may – that&#39s may – allow other groups to get a look in, so keep an eye on the heavy-hitters targeting potentially vulnerable groups such as Henderson, Morley and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. Or they could just buy lots of struggling tiddlers with a quick tug on the pursestrings.

The year will also be notable for staff turnover, which will become so frenzied that many fund managers, having been in the employ of most groups at some stage or other, will end up working for the company where they started their careers – at vastly inflated salaries, naturally, this is the fund management industry after all.

And the Isa season – well, what Isa season? Fund groups are getting pretty twitchy, and it is easy to see why. But not to worry – the once-a-year brigade will still blindly plough into corporate bond Isas and if the market kicks on in the New Year then investors will start snapping them up at the exact point when it hits a plateau. Hold on, I think I&#39m starting to get déjà vu here…

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