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Who is Andrea Leadsom?

Pensions minister Steve Webb reckons people approach him in the street thanking him for his work in Government but it seems newly appointed economic secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom is lacking the same charismatic appeal.

Plucked from the Treasury select committee, Leadsom is highly capable and once, apparently, told the Chancellor to “F**k off” (although she denies it).  

But word reaches WSJ that an MP’s office recently called Treasury HQ asking to be put through to Leadsom’s team. Switchboard responded: “Sorry, how are you spelling that?” WSJ would have been tempted to reply: “M.I.N.I.S.T.E.R.”

Worse still, after being accidentally cut off, the caller rang again and asked a different operator for Leadsom’s office. Again the name was unrecognised despite the fact that Leadsom’s post is the fifth most senior in the Treasury.

WSJ can only guess that perhaps Leadsom has followed in her dear leader’s footsteps and changed her name, confusing Treasury staff. George Osborne was Gideon Oliver Osborne until he changed his name, aged 13, presumably in preparation for a political career where it would be hard enough for a Baron-in-waiting to convince the great unwashed he was one of them. 

Not that a silly name has done for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s everyman image.



Sesame makes £31m complaints provision

Sesame Bankhall Group has set aside £31m for customer redress following a review by parent company Friends Life. Friends revealed the complaints provision in its half-year accounts this morning and added there is “considerable uncertainty” surrounding the results of its review. Sesame was fined £6m by the FCA in June 2013 for failing to ensure investment […]

Mikael Down

FCA explains Sipp cap ad rethink

Since we took over regulation of the Sipp market in 2007 we have had some concerns about the capital adequacy of those operating in the market. We have seen a number of firms go out of business, which has put consumers’ pension savings at risk. The results of our thematic work have also given us […]


FCA throws lifeline to small Sipp firms

Small Sipp providers have been handed a lifeline by the FCA after the regulator significantly watered down proposals to increase capital requirements across the sector. The regulator has been talking tough on Sipps since it first proposed ramping up capital requirements in November 2012. Despite this rhetoric and a number of high-profile investment failings linked to […]

Pensions-savings-retirement-piggy bank

Dentons completes Sipp acquisition

Pension administrator Dentons has acquired MAB Pensions Sipp book for an undisclosed sum. Dentons says the deal will add around 125 Sipp plans to its portfolio. The firm now administers over 4,000 Sipp and SSAS plans. Dentons joint managing director Ian Stewart says: “We have made no secret that we are an acquisitive firm, but […]

Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.


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