View more on these topics

True value of policy guarantees

Can it be true? Skandia closes guaranteed funds was the headline in the October 17 edition of Money Marketing.

But we were assured that this was the answer to a maiden&#39s prayer. This was the replacement for with-profits.

Peter Jordan does well to say “transparency is a tough act”. Of course it is, Peter. Those who manage with-profits funds and those of us who have been around in the industry for more than 10 minutes know that financial planning is a tough act. The only time it is not tough is when the markets are going up – then any fool can make money (and rash promises).

It is about time that the different sectors of the financial services industry recognised the strengths and weaknesses of those sectors.

The demise of the great name Marconi was reportedly brought about by its American masters wanting all five elements of their massive group to make profits all the time. That is just not how commerce works.

If you change the recipe you change the cake. Ron Sandler wants to change the recipe for a very successful cake – the with-profits cake – and he could end up with a tasteless, unattractive biscuit. Why are his opinions so valid? Because they are different?

Business is about making a profit. Giving service at a reasonable price should create a profit. Those profits should be distributed to those who provide the capital and used to improve the service we receive.

Over the last 10 years, we have seen profitability fall and an unprecedented decline in service. Call centres with staff barely out of school answering the phones subject to a time management regime that is laughable in the extreme.

Jordan&#39s admission that running life assurance funds involving guarantees is a tough act is certainly refreshing – and not before time.

Perhaps now policyholders with guarantees will not only understand what they have got but will also appreciate it. It would be nice if journalists actually came to appreciate the finer “elements” as well.

Terence O&#39Halloran



IMA holds two-day seminar on investment

The Investment Management Association is holding a two-day conference on the issues facing the investment industry at the Cafe Royal in London on November 4 and 5.The conference will be split between institutional and retail asset management and will include topics such as the creation of a single European market in financial services and the […]

Pru chief Bloomer made deputy chairman of FSA panel

Prudential group chief executive Jonathan Bloomer has taken on the role of deputy chairman of the FSA&#39s financial services practitioner panel.Bloomer, who has been a member of the panel since February 2001, replaces Schroder Salomon Smith Barney vice-chairman David Challen.Other new appointments include Threadneedle deputy chairman Alan Ainsworth and HBOS chief executive James Crosby. They […]

Take the lead

Why is that the FSA pays so much heed to the Consumers&#39 Association and proposes some bizarre and unnecessary regulations?The latest folly to come out of Canary Wharf is the news reported by Money Marketing (October 10) that the FSA is proposing to ban mortgage brokers from cold-calling.The reason for this? Because life insurance salesmen […]

First State joins Skandia fund range

First State Investments is joining Skandia&#39s fund range, with three funds becoming available from November 1. First State&#39s Asia Pacific, global emerging markets and Global growth funds are the first to become available to Skandia life, pension, multiIsa, multiPep and MultiFund investors.


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