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Neil Liversidge: The trouble with the EU referendum

Democracy is in a state of fundamental change in our country and I do not just mean the recent election. As a nation we have been navel-gazing on the EU since 1973 and on devolution for about as long. The seemingly insoluble questions of whether the UK should be in or out of the EU […]

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Hermes poaches Aviva exec for real estate arm

Hermes Investment Management has appointed Aviva’s head of European retail funds, Philip Nell, as fund director for the company’s real estate unit, Hermes Real Estate. He will join the £6bn real estate arm on 20 July and report to to Hermes Real Estate chief executive Chris Taylor. Nell will also work as fund manager of the UK Private Rental […]

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Tales from the frontline on pension freedoms

It has been noticeably quiet for us on the pension front since the reforms were introduced. It appears consumers have heeded the various warnings to avoid rushing to make decisions. We expect to advise a large number of clients on pension freedoms over the next three to five years but hopefully these will be on a […]

How tax relief changes will hit pension contributions

The highest earners in the country would lose out more on pensions tax relief under the Conservatives than the Liberal Democrats. Each of the major parties has indicated cutting the tax relief on higher earners following the general election. Scenarios modelled by Fidelity Worldwide Investment show someone earning £250,000 a year and making gross pension […]

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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