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Friends confirms closure of direct sales operation

Friends Provident has confirmed it is closing its direct sales operation following a review of its distribution strategy. Friends says about 500 staff will be affected, including the sales force, of whom 150 may become self-employed appointed reps.

The move means Friends will focus on distributing its products through IFAs, the enlarged AP channel and strategic partners.

Friends estimates the closure will save it £18m annually from 2004 onwards.


NU raises equity-release rate as cost of cash rises

Norwich Union is to increase the fixed interest rates on its mortgage-based equity-release product the Flexible Cash Release Plan to reflect the upward trend of long-term interest rates. The change, which comes into effect from November 24, means rates for IFA-introduced business rises to 7.35 per cent from 7.15 per cent and to 7.49 per […]

UBS adds emerging markets fund to retail range

UBS Global Asset Management has made its institutional UBS global emerging markets equity fund available to retail investors. The fund has a two-year institutional track record and is being added to the retail range to expand the offering to a total of six funds. It is managed by the UBS emerging markets team headed by […]

A consumer&#39s view

The call from the Consumers&#39 Association for a national network of state-funded independent advisers will not work for obvious reasons. The CA correctly points out that the FSA&#39s initiative on financial education will take at least a decade to have any discernible effect. But then it comes up with the suggestion that “as an immediate […]

Equity release a growing market for solicitors – Pru

Research from Prudential conducted among UK private client solicitors shows a growing need for advisory work in equity release. Twenty nine per cent of solicitors believe demand for legal guidance in the area of equity release will increase in the next five years and over the last two years, one in four (26 per cent) […]

Welcome to The Brunner Investment Trust PLC

Welcome to the latest update for The Brunner Investment Trust PLC from the trust’s portfolio manager Lucy Macdonald. Market Review Global equities ratcheted higher throughout February, buoyed by optimism about global growth and corporate earnings. All regions advanced, although Japan tended to lag many other markets. In sector terms, healthcare, information technology, consumer staples and […]


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