Here’s your Friday IFA new round-up, what you need to know from the industry and the investment communities that’s happened this week. Read this when you have a few minutes to spare and you’ll be up to speed on almost everything.
Advisers raise red flag
Financial advisers have raised the red flag over people not tackling their long term financial planning early enough.
Advisers wonder if they can attract younger clients, which they see as one way of getting people to avoid the pitfalls that await in retirement. But, say advisers, early engagement isn’t always straightforward, with a third of advisers (33%) stating that they find it a real challenge to reach this younger group.
Recent research showed that 74% of advisers have raised a red flag over the issue and rank it as the biggest threat to financial security in retirement.
The findings come from Aegon’s new ‘Adviser Attitudes Report’. It tracks attitudes and concerns of the UK financial adviser market, and reveals that with three quarters of advisers’ clients aged over 45, they are looking to engage clients earlier to break the cycle. Although it’s early days, around one in nine advisers are already looking to close the advice gap and target younger people so that they understand the benefits of investing early.
Fairstone adds two new firms
Fairstone signed up two new advisory firms to its downstream buy out (DBO) programme. Chartermarque and Hammett and Petch Financial Planning have joined Fairstone. They add a total of £200m funds under management. Collectively, the deals bring seven new advisers and a team of support staff to the wider business as well as combined revenues of £1.4m. Fairstone now services 41,000 private clients with over £7bn in investment and pension assets.
BoE should avoid mistake
A Bank of England interest rate rise would be a mistake against backdrop of weak underlying growth says Russell Investments Strategists. In its Q4 2017 Global Market Outlook, the Russell Investments Strategists maintain a cautious tone on UK assets with concerns around consumer spending and housing, and have downgraded the outlook for UK equity valuations to neutral. On a global scale, the Strategists remain underweight U.S. equities, preferring Europe, Japan and emerging markets. They also see government bonds as expensive across regions and expect global yields to trend upward over the next year.
CISI supports first ever FPSB, #WFPD17 day
The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) UK is delighted to be supporting the first ever Financial Standards Planning Board (FPSB) World Financial Planning Day (#WFPD17), Wednesday 4 October.
World Financial Planning Day will be taking place during the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) World Investor Week (#WIW2017).
ONS occupational pension schemes stats
new statistics from the ONS showing that total membership of occupational pension schemes in the UK was 39.2 million in 2016 – the highest level recorded by the survey and representing an increase of 17.1% compared with 2015 (33.5 million).
Some good pension news
Ross Andrews, director of fixed rate bond provider, Minerva Lending, said: “Auto-enrolment, based on this evidence, is having the desired effect. More people are now actively putting aside money for their retirements, and it’s this which is going to help the UK defuse the impending pensions time bomb.
“The country is getting older and if we aren’t saving, the strain on the public purse could become overwhelming in the coming years. The fact that the employment market is as strong as it is will also be a factor in the rise in active membership. More people in jobs means more people paying into pensions. The added dividend from all this activity will hopefully be a better attitude to saving in general. It may be enough to spark a cultural wave, prompting the broader habit of saving and investing for the future among far greater proportions of the population.”
PLSA launches final DB report
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) launched the final report of its Defined Benefit (DB) Taskforce Opportunities for Change which considered a range of options to help pension schemes facing the challenges of underfunding, weak employer covenants and lack of scale.
Intelliflo forms GDPR working party
Intelliflo has formed a working group comprising representatives from 11 major networks and advice firm customers to identify and solve challenges for financial advice firms arising from the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Northview appoint senior executive
The Northview Group, which includes lenders Kensington and New Street Mortgages, has announced appointed Craig McKinlay to the role of Sales and Marketing Director for the Group. He joins the firm from 2nd October 2017, replacing Vice Chairman of Group Lending Keith Street, who will step down at the end of October.
Vitality and Disney team up to help families get fit and healthy
Insurance company Vitality and Disney announced a new collaboration to encourage families to be more active and to live healthier lives. The agreement sees the launch of Vitality Healthy Kids inspired by Disney, which provides fun and engaging ways to help children be more physically active, eat better and develop healthy habits by using Disney characters as inspiration.
Hargreaves Lansdown reveals AIC data
Hargreaves Lansdown told us that data published by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) reveal that advisers and wealth managers purchased record amounts of investment trusts on adviser platforms in the first half of 2017.
Purchases of £514 million were the highest recorded for the first six months of the year, and 74% higher than the £296 million of purchases in the first half of 2016.
PIMFA welcomes May Stance
PIMFA, the UK’s leading trade association in the personal investment management and financial advice sector, welcomed Theresa May’s pledge to ensure a smooth and orderly Brexit.
Lloyds Banking Group Senior Risk Manager appointed President of CISI Yorkshire branch
Emma Spratley Chartered MCSI has been appointed President of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) Yorkshire branch.
VAM Global Group appoint Mooneer Salehmohamed as the new Managing Director of MATCO and as VAM Group General Counsel. MATCO is the Group’s Administration and Trust Company based in Mauritius and makes up for around half of the VAM Group, along with VAM Funds.
Tilney bolsters research team with new appointment
UK investment management and financial planning group Tilney has appointed Harry Driscoll to its investment research team. He joins the firm as a senior fund analyst.
The Share Centre picks Babcock International
Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, picks his share of the week, Babcock International. He said: “Engineering support services company, Babcock International, is our share of the week this week following its recent promising trading update. The group stated that trading was in line with expectations and it reiterated guidance for the year. Interested investors should note that all four sectors of the business were reported as making progress.”
Sanlam accelerates development of Private Office proposition
Sanlam UK, part of Sanlam Limited, has accelerated the development of its Private Office proposition by appointing Jonathan Moon and Will Cayzer. They join from Close Brothers Asset Management and assume the roles of Business Development Director and Business Development Assistant respectively.
Canada Life expands team
Canada Life Individual Protection has expanded its distribution team with the appointment of two new Relationship Managers: Joanna King and Evie Plumb.
Comment on record breaking UK tourism
Commenting on July’s record breaking UK tourism numbers and how four million overseas visitors came to the UK, Guy Ellison, Head of UK equities at Investec Wealth & Investment, said: “The pick-up in in-bound tourism is welcome, with London likely to have been the prime beneficiary. It was always anticipated that in-bound tourism would see a material pick up in 2017 thanks to the sharp devaluation of sterling, though the terrorist attacks in London undoubtedly deterred some visitors.
“Expect the international hotel brands to have benefitted from stronger occupancy (though for many London is a small proportion of their estate) with perhaps some spill-over impact to the UK’s independent hotel names and the likes of Whitbread’s Premier Inn. Merlin, with its cluster of tourist attractions in London (The Eye, Tussauds etc.) and other sited within range of the capital (Legoland) should also have benefitted from a pick-up in visitor numbers – though the less clement weather over August may have dampened demand for outdoor attractions.”
Adam Smith Institute not happy about Uber
The Adam Smith Institute made its feelings known about the Uber ruling. Sam Dumitriu, research economist at the Adam Smith Institute, slammed the decision saying: “TfL’s decision to revoke Uber’s license is a disaster for Londoners. They are choosing to punish the 3.5 million Londoners who regularly use Uber just because it’s cheaper, it’s safer, and it’s quicker. This decision jeopardises the livelihoods of 40,000 drivers who choose to use the app because it gives them valuable flexibility.
“The only people that will benefit are the Black Cab lobby who have crushed a competitor through cronyism, rather than providing a better service. Londoners will face higher prices, longer wait times and will no longer benefit from a safe service where every journey is logged and tracked by GPS. Sadiq Khan likes to claim that London is open, but this decision sends a powerful message that London is completely closed to innovation, competition and business.”
Gender pay gap for managers revealed
New research from The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR revealed that the gender pay gap for managers in the finance sector is 33.9%, an average of £18,118 per year. A percentage considerably lower than the average gender pay gap across all UK industries – currently 26.8%.
Olliff speaks out on ‘one size fits all’ remuneration policy
Barry Olliff, CEO of City of London Investment Group PLC had something to say on the “one size fits all” remuneration policy in the Financial Services industry: “As City of London Investment Group Shareholders will be aware, while complying with our regulatory responsibilities, we are reluctant to be compartmentalized into the “one size fits all” environment that has recently been promoted as the way that certain Financial Service companies should be run in terms of their Remuneration Policy.
“Specifically, we are going to resist, to the extent possible, employee Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are being promoted as a solution to the selfishness and greed that have been referenced as contributing factors to the instability that developed around 2008 and what ultimately became known as the “Financial Crisis”.
“Having followed this industry for over 50 years it seems to me that the employee KPI approach, while addressing a small component of the problem, does not deal with its root cause.
“In my opinion, not only are Financial Service companies being encouraged to measure employee performance over a discrete (and I would suggest excessively short term) period, but this performance does not necessarily relate to a firm’s profits, reputation, long-term viability or its strategic positioning in the marketplace.”