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NU&#39s with-profits fund will take on all comers

Norwich Union has thrown down the gauntlet to the fund management community, saying its with-profits product will take on all comers in the fight for long-term business.

NU Life chief executive Gary Withers told IFAs at last week&#39s Money Marketing Live conference that he sees fund managers&#39 attempts to offer products that aim to mimic with-profits as a compliment to his business.

He said he takes heart from fund managers who do not offer with-profits but are trying to create something like it.

But Withers also said ill-informed media perceptions of with-profits must change and the public must be educated about the product which he said was now better managed, more transparent and able to offer investment flexibility and guarantees.

But Hargreaves Lansdown head of pension research Tom McPhail says insurance companies are pushing with-profits because it is the only option in the investment market that investors cannot get elsewhere.

McPhail says insurance companies are adopting the wrong strategy by pinning their hopes to with-profits because they will not make any profit out of it and inv-estors will look elsewhere.

Withers said: “I am sitting on a huge with-profits fund and have no issue with someone without one trying to create something that looks like it. It is a backhanded compliment. If fund mana-gers create a synthesised with-profits fund, we will compete with our with-profits fund. I question whether what they create will work in other economic environments than the current one.”

McPhail says: “I do not see it in investors&#39 interests going into with-profits or ins-urance companies&#39 pinning their hopes on finding with-profits investors. These days, the insurance companies do not have much that investors can&#39t get elsewhere and with-profits is their unique selling proposition which is why they are pushing it.”


Parker fights corner for smaller societies

Incoming Building Societies Association chairman John Parker of Stroud and Swindon Building Society is keen to use his experience as chief executive of one of the smaller societies to help alleviate regulatory pressure on those societies with fewer resources. He says: “The pressure of regulation is acute for smaller societies. The large societies such as […]

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Brokers slam Bupa over firm&#39s &#39appalling&#39 processing of CI cover

Bupa has been accused by Lifesearch of having “appalling turnaround times” in processing new critical-illness business and other brokers have joined in the criticism. Lifesearch says it is dismayed by Bupa&#39s turnaround in applications, saying its staff have been left on hold for up to 45 minutes. Nursing Home Fees Agency says it has taken […]


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