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James Hay sipps the fruits of external funds

JAMES HAY

Select SIPP

Type: Self invested personal pension plan.

Minimum investment: £50,000.

Investment choice: Select funds option: funds run by Aberdeen, Baillie Gifford, Dresdner RCM, Gartmore, Invesco, Merrill Lynch, Newton, Orbitex, Prudential M&G and Standard Life. Self investment option: stocks and shares quoted on UK stock exchange, stocks and shares traded on recognised overseas stock exchange, unit trusts, Oeics and Investment trusts, commercial property and insurance company managed funds.

Charges: Annual 0.75 per cent. £550 property charge if James Hay’s solicitors are used, £900 if client’s solicitors are used.

Options: Select or self invested.

Commission: Initial 0-3 per cent.

Tel: 01722 420100.

Jeremy Parrott, managing director, Birnbeck Finance

Brian Norlund, managing director, Abacus Independent Financial Planning

Alan Cocken, managing director, Carduc Robinson Financial Advisers.

Investment options 8.3

Flexibility 7.7

Company’s reputation 6.7

Past performance 5.3

Charges 7.3

Commission 7.0

Product literature 7.0

James Hay has brought in the select self-invested pension plan (Sipp) a pension plan with links to external fund managers such as Newton, Aberdeen, Gartmore and Merrill Lynch.

Examining how well the product fits into the market, Parrott says: "It fits in extremely well. The plan offers all of the features required under a Sipp, but at an extremely competitive cost."

Norlund says: "Looking at the most up to date research available, there are over 30 different Sipp wrappers available. The great majority are offered by life offices and very few of them offer genuine choice to the Sipp investor. James Hay has come up with a product that gives the truly discerning investor a very broad range of opportunity."

Cocken says: "The James Hay select Sipp does little to widen the attraction of the Sipp. James Hay already markets directly to the public and through IFAs with its previous Sipp contract and apart from the select fund managers option and charges changes there are only a small number of alterations."

Turning to the type of client that the product is suitable for, Norlund says: "Most Sipps are set up to take advantage of property purchase opportunities and in this area the plan charges are expensive. The select Sipp from James Hay is more suited to the client who wants to have an active hand in making investment decisions without having to deal with many different investment management groups."

Cocken says: "Although the minimum premium is £50,000 for investment or transfer, the product would be better for those with considerably bigger funds, particularly if they are close to retirement. I would not consider any drawdown or phased drawdown on funds of less than £150,000."

Parrott says: "Looking at the charges, this product is suitable for anyone with a PPP. The minimum criteria of £50,000 investment clearly favours larger funds, although there are a huge number of PPPs with at least this amount in force."

Looking at the marketing opportunities that the product will provide, the panel are split, with Cocken unable to see it providing any further marketing opportunities than are already around.

However Norlund says: "This plan is an attractive alternative to the existing wrapper products from Skandia and AIG. The client with larger funds, looking for wider diversity than the traditional personal pension offers, will be attracted by this product."

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