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Product Matters

Norwich Union Investment Funds&#39 recent launch of sustainable future funds was not altogether unexpected.

Last year, Morley Fund Management, the fund arm of NU, acquired the Henderson/ NPI socially responsible investment team led by Clare Brook.

Brook and her team have an enviable track record and have dem-onstrated that socially responsible investment can be very profitable.

What has surprised me is the range of funds available – it is very comprehensive. It makes sense when you consider the public is becoming more aware of SRI.

For example, many members of occupational pension schemes will have read about their scheme&#39s stance on this type of investment. This stems from legislation requiring scheme trustees to declare their approach to social and environmental issues.

That appetite is growing and IFAs should be covering the issue with clients. In time, the demand will require that a broad fund range is available and Norwich Union is positioning itself to meet that demand.

It is a similar situation to the Schroders Style fund range. Instead of launching a fund that will sell like hot cakes, NU is playing a long game and is strategically positioning itself.

NU is demonstrating a strong long-term commitment to the investment funds marketplace.

It will be interesting to see how NU balances its sales of life company investment products such as unit-linked bonds with investment funds.

My guess is investment fund sales will grow at the expense of unit-linked bonds.

James Dalby is head of research at Bates Investment Services


L&G pensions track global indices

Legal & General is offering two new pension funds to follow global equity market returns for long-term investments.The global equity index fund invests 70 per cent in L&G&#39s UK equity index tracker fund and 30 per cent in its overseas equity index tracker fund.The global equity fixed-weight fund invests 60 per cent in L&G&#39s equity […]

Strong interim results from Standard Life

Standard Life increased new business premiums by 94 per cent to £1.6bn in the four months from November 16, 2000 from £821m in the same period the previous year. Sales of savings and bonds increased by 198 per cent over the same period, to £511m from £171m, while group pensions and annuities were up 111 […]

Diggle still has an IFA role at the Revenue

Former Treasury head of home financial services Paula Diggle will continue to exert significant influence over IFAs as she begins her new job at the Inland Revenue next week.Diggle was until recently the senior civil servant in charge of the industry at the Treasury and will now be deputy director savings and pension schemes policy […]

Has the big gun shot itself in the foot?

The big high-street lenders will be watching Nationwide Building Society&#39s sales figures over the coming months to see if its flat-rate approach is winning and keeping business. But some commentators are predicting Nationwide will have to make an embarrassing U-turn and start offering front-end discounts to new borrowers, possibly before the end of the year.Nationwide […]

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Pension freedom: wish you were here?

Out there lies a warm ocean of desert islands, sun, sand and palm trees, where individuals can choose how and when to tax-efficiently access their pension fund and realise the retirement dreams they have worked so hard for.


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