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Willis Owen scraps price pledge after trail payback

Willis Owen has ditched its price pledge offer for investors after returning the trail commission to investors in half of the funds involved in the offer for the past year.

The firm launched its price pledge offer in February 2011. It promised to refund the trail commission to investors if the value of the fund fell over the 12 months from May 1, 2011 to May 1, 2012.

Six funds were included in the offer, including the £784m Miton special situations portfolio, £510m Kames strategic bond, £784m Schroders income maximiser, £1bn BlackRock UK absolute alpha, £722.2m Insight Investment Absolute UK equity market neutral and £547m JPM cautious total return funds. Three of the funds were down over the year to May 1, including the Schroders income maximiser fund, which fell by 5.7 per cent, the JPM cautious total return, which was down by 7 per cent, and the BlackRock UK absolute alpha fund, which fell by 3.4 per cent.

Trail commission for each of the funds was 0.5 per cent of the value of the investment. The pledge applied to investments made between February 14, 2011 and April 30, 2011.

A Willis Owen spokesman says: “A successful 2011 Isa campaign saw a brief trial of the price pledge offer. We will honour those investors who took advantage of this. However, given the relatively low number, the offer is not being repeated.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of advice Danny Cox says: “Investing in the markets is for the longer term and measuring success based on a short-term horizon is a high-risk strategy.”


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