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Hargreaves Lansdown wins giant pension contract

Hargreaves Lansdown has clinched a deal to provide pension services to global oil giant BP in the latest stage in a drive into the traditional territory of employee benefits consultants.

The IFA will provide annuity services for additional voluntary contributions held by BP&#39s 28,000 active and deferred final-salary scheme members and all money purchase employees.

BP is the latest in a string of blue-chip companies to sign up with HL for annuity service, including J Sainsbury, Marconi, ITN, Xerox and Rentokil Initial. It is in talks with another FTSE 100 company for a similar deal expected to be announced shortly.

HL says it is capitalising on pressure on the global employee benefits consultants which has been brought about by pensions simplification, the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution, the 1 per cent cap and improved technology.

Pensions research manager Tom McPhail says: “For a long time, the employment benefit consultants have enjoyed a cosy relation with the big companies but the world is changing fast.

“We are showing that we can provide more efficient and cost-effective service in the defined-contribution environment.

Mercer European partner Robert Ivey said: “You cannot say appointing the annuity scheme is undermining the central employee benefit consultant relationship. But IFAs are increasingly seeing big corporate clients as a big prize.”


Euro vote on directive could send Sandler suite crashing

A leading MEP has warned that a vote on amendments to the European Union investment services directive could decide the future of the Sandler suite of products.Conservative MEP Theresa Villiers believes if proposed changes to the ISD are not adopted by the EU parliament in Strasbourg this week, the UK Government could face a major […]

Threadneedle appoints Backhouse to fixed income team

Threadneedle Investments is appointing David Backhouse to its fixed income team as an investment analyst in investment grade credit. Backhouse joins from Gartmore where he was a credit analyst working on investment bonds and crossover credits. Threadneedle head of fixed income Robert Stirling says: “We have a highly regarded fixed income team of 30 investment […]

Pensioned off

In last week&#39s article on the importance of wrapper choice in determining pension alternatives, I highlighted the importance of the tax treatment of the various retail investments that can be used in this decision-making process.The tax implications of the various product wrappers are relatively well known among advisers. For many of their more affluent investors, […]

Lib Dem MEP calls for an end to &#39irresponsible lending&#39

Opening the Liberal Democrats party conference today in Brighton MEP Diana Wallis leader of the UK Liberal Democrats in the European parliament called for an end to Labour and Conservative “blocking” of European legislation like the Consumer Credit Directive “that would get to grips with irresponsible lending”.


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