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Network Data to take top ARs to Marrakech

Network Data has confirmed that it will still be taking its top producers on an all-expense paid trip to Marrakech in Morocco.

The network, which has come under heavy criticism from some of its own ARs for late commission payments, is currently in acquisition talks to be bought up by one of several rival networks. It is also in the process of selling its £5m headquarters, Botley Manor.

But it has confirmed that it will still be running the annual getaway to North Africa on the weekend of May 7, which was pre-arranged at the start of 2008.

The event is being sponsored by Bright Grey, LV=, Legal & General, Scottish Provident and Scottish Equitable.

Network Data chief executive Alex Cotton says no money has been set aside for the event, which is being subsidised by the sponsors. She says: “I am not concerned about this. It is not Network Data money, and we are taking no money from brokers.

“If we had booked this event now it would be a different story, but it was organised more than a year ago, this is the third year we are running this. Anyone can win a place on the weekend, all ARs are entitled, but we cannot go back on our word, we promised this to the top producers.

“We are stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one – many people, including our sponsors, would be unhappy if we cancelled it.”

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HBOS chiefs defend sales strategies

The former chiefs of HBOS have defended themselves in the face of heavy criticism over the “sales culture” which a former risk director said led to the HBOS downfall.

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I first started using a platform in 2003 just after a lot of the main platforms were marketed but I approached the task of choosing one with trepidation.

Personal Touch buys equity-release firm

Personal Touch Financial Services has acquired Equity Release Solutions and launched its own retirement arm, Personal Touch Retirement Solutions.

Transit vanguard

As an industry, we are still considering the full ramifications of the retail distribution review but the proposals will present opportunities and challenges for all advisers.

Can UK companies satisfy global appetites?

By Mark Martin, Manager of Neptune UK Mid Cap Fund

Rapid economic and income growth is leading to a dramatic shift in diet towards protein products right around the globe. UK companies such as Genus, the world’s largest livestock breeder, are benefiting from this increasing demand. Mark Martin, manager of the Neptune UK Mid Cap Fund, discusses this investment theme.


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