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SG Life & Pensions starts offshore

Clements says: “The bond has a competitive charging stucture. The

multi manager fund of funds risk-graded managed portfolios are a

good method of diversifying investments and spreading risk.”

Turning to the bond&#39s disadvantages Ferguson says: "Timing

could work for or against depending on events." Clements

thinks that no free fund switches are a disadvantage. He goes on to

say: "The minimum contribution of £50,000 may be a barrier to

some individuals and corporations, although given the other product

features and active portfolio management £50,000 is not an

unreasonable floor."

Coverley says: "It has an unknown administration

capability." He expands on this and says: "It&#39s a new

product and new insurers, both have unknown capabilites."

Looking at the flexibily offered by the bond Coverley says: "It

offers a wide range of funds and some degree of charging

flexibility." Ferguson says: "In these days of reducing

charges I would have prefferred to see a limited number of free

switches a year."

Clements says: "The choice of multi manager managed funds

and preferred external funds provides a high level of investment

flexibility. Early encashment penalties are less stringent than many

similar products. The only major barrier to flexibility is the switching

charge of 0.5 per cent and absense of any free switches."

Commenting on SG&#39s reputation Elms says: "Being French is

not an advantage." Coverley says: "It has visually strong


Ferguson says: "I believe it has a sound reputation backed by

reasonable investment performance. Unfortunately as a company we

have not supported them – yet!"

Turning to SG&#39s past performance Coverley says: "Better than

average." Clements says: "SocGen have an enviable

record of above average performance with several of their own funds.

This product uses a multi-manager approach and the preferred

funds selected also have exceptional pedigrees."

Looking at the bond&#39s main competition the panel mentions offshore

bonds from Skandia, AXA Sun Life, Eagle Star, Scottish Equitable

International, Canada Life International and Clerical Medical


Clements goes on to say: "For individuals wishing to select

external funds Skandia will offer a wider choice."

Assessing whether the charges are fair and reasonable Coverley

and Elms think they are. Clements says: "The charging stucture

is very competitive."

Ferguson says: "Compared to other offshore products they are

fair and reasonable. Compared to onshore products they are

not." He goes on to say: "I believe offshore companies

have to look towards reducing charges to attract more onshore


The panel agree that the commission is fair and reasonable.

Ferguson says: "Most IFAs will make use of the commission

sacrific option."

Examing the product literature Coverley says: "It&#39s attractive and

legible." Clements says: "It&#39s simple, concise and


Ferguson says: "Good quality and easliy read, well put together

for ease of use by IFAs." Elms says: "It&#39s unimaginative

and impersonal."

Summing up the product Coverley says: "Built on an investment

house reputation it will take time to prove itself."

Elms says: "Anybody who knows about Lombard Odier and

Sarasin is likely to be investing directly with them."


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