View more on these topics

Pearls of wisdom

So Pearl triumphs and takes over Resolution as its latest jewel.

A City saga comes to an end. One top City figure makes a fortune, a second continues to build his even more substantial one. But what does it mean for policyholders and their advisers?

Well, they get to benefit from economies of scale potentially.

We also get to see a very interesting synthesis of the Resolution closed-fund model with that of Pearl. Pearl, we are led to believe, specialises in using the latest investment thinking and tools to boost returns, Resolution specialises in more prosaic financial engineering of merging funds and reworking contracts to release value.

How much more policyholders get now is a very pertinent question and we will be seeking this answer from Pearl.

We will also be asking some tough questions about Pearl’s communications. Some of these policies across a range of insurers were sold by direct sales forces and IFAs with all manner of assumptions and promises. In the case of some direct sales forces, one can assume a limited level of understanding on the part of the investor i.e. they probably didn’t really know what they getting for their money at the time.

It may be in policyholders’ interest to stay as they are looked after well from an investment point of view, or because they have a generous guarantee. But they will only know if they get the information. If they have an adviser, he or she needs a host of information to construct a proper financial plan around the “closed” investment and any other savings a client may have.

Anecdotally, Pearl has not been the fastest or finest of communicators in the past. As the biggest closed-fund operator on the block by a mile, it needs to raise its game in this area.

But the biggest casualty of the whole affair is Friends Provident. It has been left bereft of chief executive Philip Moore and of a strategy to please the City. It has been left on the sidelines in a deal which would have seen its most executive team playing second fiddle to Resolution’s. It also faces questions about how it will fund growth. And it is the parent of Sesame. We hope it comes up with some answers that can satisfy shareholders, advisers and policyholders.


HSBC opens property fund

HSBC launches its open global property fund, which will offer daily dealing, this week. The fund will be run by Guy Morrell and will be structured as a non-Ucits retail scheme with retail and institutional share classes.

Swip strategy

As Scotland’s secondbiggest investment company, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has been one of the busier asset management firms in recent months.

Positive notes

Global equity markets shrugged off some poor corporate earnings’ news and mixed economic data to post a positive performance in October, as risk aversion stemming from the recent credit crisis ebbed.

Caught in the crunch

The credit crunch could offer an opportunity to demonstrate the value of advice to clients.

Nigeria cover image - thumbnail

White paper — Nigeria International Insights

Jelf Employee Benefits closely examines healthcare provision and challenges within Nigeria. This will be of particular interest to HR decision makers with employees based in Nigeria, and assesses the environment, risks, facilities and safeguards that are relevant to organisations that are actively deploying expatriate staff in this location.


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