View more on these topics

Swayed by the winds of change

The IFA investment industry gathered in an unusually gloomy Madrid last week for the second annual Sway investment conference.

Over 100 of the UK&#39s leading investment advisers arrived on Wednesday afternoon in what is billed as Europe&#39s sunniest capital only to be disappointed to find it had been sunnier at home.

Not that the weather mattered, as there was no be time for sunbathing or sightseeing with a packed schedule of speeches and networking.

The Sway Senate programme is the rising star in the conference circuit and is seen by many delegates as the premier event, overtaking established rival Pims.

Sway aims to put some of the biggest fund management names in front of the biggest- business-producing IFAs. This year, 25 fund managers were ready to tell them their view of the world and why to invest with them.

Delegates heard of defensive attitudes to Europe, why the thematic approach will conquer all, how the market had bottomed out and even, according to Royal & Sun Alliance Investments, how equities were dead to be replaced by high-yield corporate bonds.

Many firms tilted back to technology and the US, with more bulls in those sectors than Spain&#39s best matadors could handle.

The conference started

on Wednesday, promising a marathon of 26 main platform speeches, 10 boardroom sessions, three dinners and two lunches – all this to fit into just 60 hours. Unfortunately, for some delegates, the itinerary proved to be something of an data deluge as many struggled to take everything on board.

The short straw of the first speech fell to Schroders Andy Brough who boldly went where no man has gone before with a Star Trek-themed talk on the benefits of investing outside of the FTSE 100. He claimed TMT funds were the greatest corporate mugging ever and extolled the benefits of private finance initiatives as the investment opportunities of the future.

Investec&#39s Jamie MacLeod followed with, Fund Manage-ment -Whatever Next? He attacked the inappropriateness of many fund firms&#39 marketing material, saying: “Sex in the City should remain on Channel Four” and have no part in spicing up investment ads.

Newton predicted the return of stockpickers over the top-down approach, claiming fund managers who look for anomalies in the market will win over those that jump on the bandwagon.

M&G, to the theme of The Great Storm, forecast last year&#39s TMT aberration was a one-off not to be repeated.

The highlight of Thursday&#39s heavy schedule was SG Asset Management&#39s Nicola Horlick slamming index funds and passive management.

We also heard from Winterthur&#39s Mike Kellard who pointed to the importance of investment advice on income drawdown and why investment IFAs should forge closer links with their pension counterparts to tackle this market.

Standard Life Investments head of strategy Andrew Mill-igan explained why he bel-ieves we are coming to the end of the worst bear market since 1973.

But Britannic Asset Management predicted that volatile markets are here to stay as a result of hedge fund launches and higher levels of sophistication among retail investors.

One of the best speeches came on Friday as ABN Amro&#39s Dick Turpin explained why geography was a thing of the past to be replaced by global investing.

The majority of delegates left the conference believing it was worthwhile.

Many said that they would attend again next year although some voiced concerns over the amount of information that they were expected to take in over the three days.

Recommended

Independent view

As a completely independent broker, I am supposed to be totally against proposals that small brokerages could be multi-tied and describe themselves as quasi-independent. I do not know the exact structure and obviously how far these proposals will all go but let us take the ultimate step. A small firm of practitioners (for instance, two […]

Five year fixed Next in buy-to-let queue

Mortgage Next has joined forces with Mortgage Express to offer a buy to let five-year fixed rate mortgage.The mortgage is available for loans of up to 80 per cent of valuation and is fixed at 6.35 per cent until June 3, 2006. An unlimited number of properties can be bought, within a total advance of […]

Fix is good for Mortgage Next

Mortgage Next is targeting first time homebuyers and people looking to remortgage their homes with the two-year fixed rate mortgage.The mortgage has a fixed rate of 5.58 per cent for loans of up to 95 per cent of valuation for the first two years of the mortgage. After the fixed rate period it reverts to […]

Watchdog prepares for surge in complaints

Steve Petrie is a consultant with John Joseph FinancialThe Financial Ombudsman Service is setting up three sections dedicated to complaints against IFAs. The three IFA-specific divisions will cover complaints relating to mortgage endowments, occupational pension products and all other types of complaints. The move follows a massive increase in its workload due to complaints relating […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    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

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com