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Horlick takes up Virgin&#39s gauntlet

Société Générale Asset Management joint managing director Nicola Horlick has called Virgin Direct&#39s bluff and accepted its challenge to bet £6,000 that she can beat the FTSE All Share index.

The move follows a series of stunts designed by Virgin Direct to bait what it calls "the financial old guard".

Virgin enlisted racing tipster John McCririck to deliver the challenge.

If Horlick fails to beat the index by two percentage points each year for the next three years, she must pay £6,000 to a charity chosen by Virgin.

If she wins, Virgin will pay an equal sum to a charity of her choice.

But Virgin may have met its match with Horlick. Not only has she agreed to take up the challenge, she has issued one of her own.

Horlick is challenging Virgin to beat the FTSE All Share index with its tracker in each of the next three years or pay £6,000 to charity.

City of London bookmaker City Index is quoting odds of 10-1 that SocGen will win.


ScotEq Intl business rises 118% to £197m

Scottish Equitable International&#39s new business soared by 118 per cent last year. The Luxemburg subsidiary of Scottish Equitable saw new business increase to £197m last year from £90m in 1996. SEI deals in single-premium business. UK-sold new business made up almost 80 per cent of the offshore arm&#39s new business, with a total of £155.7m. […]

Demutualisation Down Under

Australia&#39s biggest mutual, the 148-year-old Australian Mutual Provident, is expected to get the go-ahead next week from its 1.7 million members for a demutualisation deal that will give policyholders up to £5bn. Australian economic observers have watched the £34bn corporatisation of the UK&#39s financial institutions, particularly building societies, and know the windfalls to members have […]

Pension opportunity knocks

The de minimis rules are seen by many as an easy way to fund pension benefits for low earners without contributions being restrained by those low earnings. Of course, it was always the case (and still is) that, at some point, remuneration would have to be at an app-ropriate level to justify the benefits provided […]

Fine Weather

As reported in Money Marketing&#39s February 11 issue, Morgan Grenfell&#39s All-Weather equity fund is based on an existing pension fund. Because of its protection strategy, absolute-return performance comparisons can be misleading. Comparisons for this type of fund should be made using risk-adjusted returns. The fund is ranked first in its sector since launch on this […]


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