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Shareholder pressure ousts Watt at EFM

Edinburgh Fund Managers chief executive Iain Watt has been forced to quit following months of intense pressure from shareholders, including institutional investor Hermes.

In a dramatic boardroom shakeout, chairman John Wright and three non-executive directors have also left the embattled company, which is likely to face another takeover bid or radical reconstruction following a strategic review in the coming weeks.

Hermes, which had a bid for EFM dismissed last November, is believed to have led other shareholders, including Artemis and Prudential, in ousting Watt, who they blame for the massive collapse in the firm&#39s share price over the past year.

The share price has fallen by more than 70 per cent and EFM suspended its interim dividend after losing management of the £1.1bn Edinburgh Investment Trust, to Fidelity in August. The trust accounted for more than £5m of EFM&#39s income.

Chief investment officer Anne Richards and chief operating officer Rod MacRae – the only remaining directors – have been appointed joint managing directors.

EFM says: “The executive directors determined that it was in the best interests of the company for the future that Iain Watt be removed from the board.”

Simpsons of Brighton partner Andrew Merricks says: “The writing was on the wall when it lost EIT.”


Pru cuts terminal bonuses again

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55% pass mark for mortgage exam in October

Nearly 1,300 people passed the Mortgage Advice Qualification exam out of 2,352 candidates who sat the test in October, says the Chartered Insurance Institute.The figure takes the total number of holders of the qualification to 11,162, with the CII having a further 5,220 candidates registered to take the exam.To assist the remaining advisers to pass […]

Use of Bare Trusts

Regardless of what may emerge in respect of the CTF it is worth remembering that ordinary “private trusts” in bare or nominee form already offer the opportunity to use the child&#39s (beneficiary&#39s) capital gains tax exemption each year regardless of who the settlor is – parent or otherwise. The parent could also be the trustee. […]

FSA fines Abbey Life £1m for endowment misselling and other failings

The FSA has fined Abbey Life Assurance Company £1 million for mortgage endowment misselling and other deficiencies in compliance procedures and controls between 1995 and 1999.Between 42,000 and 46,000 mortgage endowment and 3,000 to 4,000 other customers may be due compensation currently estimated to be between £120m and £160m.Abbey Life closed to new business in […]


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