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Friends ready to raise pension commission

Friends Provident is set to introduce an alternative charging structure on its personal and group pension products, subject to the removal of the RU64 rule.

Advisers can take a fund-based commission plus a percentage of the premium agreed with the client up to a maximum yet to be set by Friends Provident which it says will be in single figures. The company says this will overcome the problem of front-loading charges on the pension.

The charging structure will sit alongside its mono-charge contract which offers advisers solely fund-based commission and will not affect the client’s fund choice.

The FSA’s consultation on the removal of the RU64 rule ends in October and the regulator has said that, if agreed, it is aiming to have the requirement withdrawn by the end of January. Any delay in this or change of heart from the FSA will see Friends’ plans either put back or dropped.

Friends head of pensions Jeremy Ward says offering advisers a bigger remuneration package will boost pension sales because the monocharge contract pays so little in the early years.

He adds: “It will be a simple structure with an annual and premium-based charge on regular premiums. We are not going down the road of a heavy front-end load and there will be limits on the premium-based charge.”

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “There are concerns that raising the annual charge on stakeholder and removing RU64 will move us back towards more expensive products.”


Workshops to push exam success rates

Financial services training firm Professional Development Partnership is running a range of workshops to boost exam success rates. The workshops – to be held around the UK – run from October 4-13. Each workshop is designed to complement self-study and reinforce and consolidate learning. Delegates can participate in an interactive revision workshop. Subjects covered include […]

Small-cap manager quits firm

US small-cap manager Rob- ert Graham Brown has left Threadneedle. Brown joined the company as a graduate trainee in 2001 and he has been managing the American smaller com- panies growth fund since early 2004. Threadneedle says it plans to recruit a replacement for Brown as soon as possible. The firm has appointed Samuel Morley […]

Property deal in partnership

Ansar Housing is introducing an Islamic house purchase partnership contract. Under the property purchase agreement, which is claimed to be compliant with Sharia law, the company and client jointly purchase the property. Under a separate agreement, the buyer rents the property and, during the tenancy, the client can buy some or all of Ansar’s property […]

Leading Edge – April 2017

There is little doubt 2017 will be a year of political uncertainty. Leading Edge is Royal London Asset Management’s regular review of investment markets. This edition explores some of the impacts that this uncertainty is having on investors, from the pitfalls of prediction within UK equity investing to the dangers of opting for convenience over […]


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