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Old Mutual Wealth 2014

Old Mutual appoints new chief exec

Old Mutual has appointed Standard Bank Group director Bruce Hemphill to replace Julian Roberts as group chief executive. Roberts will stay with the company until Hemphill’s start date, expected to be towards the end of the year. Hemphill will be an executive director based in London. Roberts has been at the helm of Old Mutual […]

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Curtis Banks plans £85m AIM float

Sipp provider Curtis Banks plans to float on the AIM stock exchange in a move expected to value the business at £85m. The firm, which started trading in 2009 and currently administers more than 26,000 Sipps, expects to raise £7.5m through the issue of new equity. Trading in the shares is due to commence on […]

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Insolvency Service: Drawdown pensions out of scope for debt collectors

Savers with drawdown accounts will not be forced to increase the amount of income they take in the event of bankruptcy, the Insolvency Service has confirmed. In March, the Government said “undrawn” pensions were out of debt collectors’ reach. But the definition of undrawn was not made clear. However, in an email seen by Money […]

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.

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