View more on these topics

Mutual life after Standard

The move by Standard Life to demutualise is a blow to UK investors and to IFAs. It limits choice and will hasten the pace of consolidation even if, for the moment, Standard remains independent.

No one should be surprised about the board&#39s decision to recommend a move to plc status. The FSA&#39s insistence on changes to the way the with-profits fund was run probably made it inevitable. Standard itself argues that, with the percentage of customers in the with-profits fund falling compared with other parts of the business, mutual ownership was not sustainable.

But was it the FSA&#39s fault? That is a debatable point. Several factors combined to bring Standard to this position, in particular, its own policy on guarantees and a cavalier asset allocation decision when markets were falling. It was Standard&#39s own decisions that brought it to a position where what had been one of the strongest funds in the country was the subject of intense regulatory scrutiny. Then and only then should there be a consideration of whether the FSA&#39s actions were Draconian.

Standard could have been given some leeway at least on the timetable. The forced selling of equities and crystallisation of losses for policyholders this year might have been avoided with a little more flexibility.

So much for the blame game. It is unlikely that a pro-mutuality campaign has any chance against the board&#39s recommendation although the two-year timetable is worryingly long. As for IFAs, they will consider what is best for their clients. This newspaper has always considered that mutuals offer valuable choice and hopes other mutuals on the life side and the building societies continue to prosper. But Standard Life is joining the ranks of the plcs. Money Marketing hopes that in the transition some of the best aspects of the company&#39s philosophy and way of doing business can be preserved.


Kevin Duffy on mortgages

Three things struck me at the recent Money Marketing awards dinner. First, the Rolling Stones wrote some truly iconic music that cannot be easily imitated. Second, after-dinner speaking to IFAs is nothing less than a mental assault course if your material has not been updated. And third, predicting award winners is an impossible task. Take […]

Tomas Carruthers

The glory days of the 1990&#39s technology boom might seem a world away but after an absence from the limelight, Tomas Carruthers, the one-time chief executive of Interactive Investor International, is making his move back into the marketplace. Carruthers has again taken the reins of the consumer fund supermarket Ample and will be developing it […]

Wise Investment – Wise Active Growth

Type: Oeic fund of funds Aim: Growth by investing in collective investment funds Minimum investment: Lump sum £1,000 Investment split: 30% UK equity, 21% UK growth, 20% managed mix, 10% European equity, 10% UK equity income, 8% Japanese equity, 1% cash Isa link: Yes Pep transfers: Yes Charges Initial 4%, annual 1.65% Commission:Initial 3%, renewal […]

A high price to pay for Bamford&#39s PI insurance

Your journal has now provided Nick Bamford with the opportunity to complain about his treatment at the hands of the wicked Professional Indemnity underwriting market twice in four weeks, yet there is another side to the story. At the eighth hour, I was asked to meet with Nick and his broker with a view to […]

Directors, limited liability partners and auto-enrolment

By Jim Grant, Senior Product Insight & Technical Support Analyst 6 April 2016 brought in changes to employer duties for directors and partners in limited liability partnerships. Here we explain exactly what’s changed. Before 6 April 2016… Directors of limited liability companies where there were no other directors or employees were exempt from the employer […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm