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Plymouth, United Kingdom
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About Neil
Freelance Financial and Business Journalist
Freelance City Editor of The IFA Magazine and website. 
UK Editor of getBUX trading app.
Content writer and SEO for number of financial websites.
Member NUJ.
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Fact Checking

One last virtual event – but perhaps the most important of all

04 Apr 2024  |  blogs.timesofisrael.com
The article reflects on the virtual Yom HaShoah UK Commemoration, which was held during the COVID-19 pandemic and served as a unifying event for the Jewish community to remember the Holocaust. Despite the challenges and 'Zoom fatigue' experienced from a year of virtual events, the CEO of JLGB emphasizes the importance of participating in the upcoming virtual commemoration. The article mentions the loss of over 250 Holocaust survivors and refugees in the UK due to COVID-19 and highlights the significance of hearing first-hand testimonies from survivors like Icek Alterman, Arek Hersh MBE, and Vera Schaufeld MBE. The author encourages participation in the next virtual ceremony, which is designed to be family-friendly and accessible via YouTube and other devices.

Credit: AI-generated image (disclaimer)

04 Apr 2024  |  medicalxpress.com
The article discusses the current state and future of bionic implants, highlighting that while many body parts can be replaced with mechanical versions, the experience is far from the superhuman abilities depicted in science fiction. Dr. Michael Stevens from UNSW Sydney's Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering explains that although there is no technical limit to the number of bionic parts a person can have, managing them can be burdensome. He also discusses the challenges of replicating certain body parts and the power supply issues for bionic devices. The article touches on the ethical and philosophical questions surrounding bionics, such as the definition of life in the absence of a pulse, and Dr. Stevens' research aims to make artificial hearts respond more like real ones.

Monthly Portfolio Investments Report on Form N-port (public) (nport-p)

04 Apr 2024  |  ih.advfn.com
The article appears to be a guideline or a set of instructions for financial reporting, specifically for investment holdings and derivatives. It outlines the various data points that need to be reported, such as the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) of the issuer, balance, currency, value in U.S. dollars, payoff profile, asset type, issuer type, country codes, liquidity classification, fair value hierarchy, coupon type, interest arrears, description of reference instruments, conversion ratios, transaction categories, collateral categories, derivative instrument types, terms of payments, depreciation, and details on index or custom basket components. These instructions are likely aimed at ensuring standardized and transparent reporting for funds, which could be part of regulatory compliance or financial disclosure requirements.

Shamik Dhar's Economic Predictions for 2019

04 Apr 2024  |  ifamagazine.com
Shamik Dhar, Chief Economist at BNY Mellon Investment Management, predicts a global economic slowdown in 2019, particularly in the US and China, affecting world trade growth. He anticipates lower global equity returns but suggests markets will be supported by a slower pace of Fed rate hikes. Dhar outlines several risk scenarios, including faster-than-expected interest rate increases and a divergence of markets from economic fundamentals. Despite these risks, he does not foresee a recession, citing a strong US labor market and controlled inflation. Dhar advises investors to be prudent, consider non-traditional hedges, and re-evaluate US equity allocations. He also sees emerging markets as a potential opportunity, especially if trade tensions ease and the Fed pauses rate hikes, which could lead to outperformance relative to developed markets by mid-2019.

Not specified

04 Apr 2024  |  ifamagazine.com
A new poll by Spearvest, conducted by Censuswide, indicates that consumers are anticipating a major financial crisis and housing crash in 2019. The survey, which included 1,000 participants, revealed that 44% expect a financial crisis worse than that of 2008, and 41% foresee a housing crash occurring this year. The poll also highlighted a lingering distrust towards banks, with only 14% of respondents having forgiven banks for the 2008 crash and 55% doubting that banks have their customers' best interests in mind. Additionally, 60% of those surveyed believe banks should increase their charitable contributions. Wael Al-Nahedh, CEO of Spearvest, commented on the need for the financial services industry to regain public trust and emphasized the challenging year ahead for investors.

Celebrating a Bright Future for Youth Volunteering

04 Apr 2024  |  blogs.timesofisrael.com
The article discusses the fifth anniversary of the JLGB's eVOLve youth volunteering and skills initiative, which was celebrated at the Roundhouse in London. The event highlighted the achievements of young volunteers in the Jewish community who have logged over 150,000 hours of service through the eVOLve platform. The initiative aims to empower Jewish youth to engage in meaningful volunteering, enhancing their employability and skills, and to become active citizens. The celebration featured a performance by R&B artist Craig David and was supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group, which, along with other funders, is providing financial backing for the expansion of the eVOLve initiative. The article emphasizes the positive impact of youth volunteering on addressing societal issues and the importance of continued support for such programs.

From University Project to $20.5m Logistics Success: The Premonition Story

04 Apr 2024  |  unsw.edu.au
Brad Lorge, Matthew Moss, and Kenneth Wong, co-founders of the logistics company Premonition, met at UNSW in 2011 and went on to create a startup now valued at $20.5m. Their journey began with a project for Foodbank Australia during their second year, which led to their participation in Microsoft's Imagine Cup, where they placed third in the World Citizenship category. Although Foodbank Australia couldn't support a major rollout, Crossmark took interest in 2016, leading to the incorporation of Premonition. The company experienced rapid growth, servicing clients like CouriersPlease and Aramex Blu, and was acquired by Shippit in early 2022. The founders reflect on their learning experiences and the importance of seizing opportunities and making connections at university. They credit Professor Richard Buckland of UNSW as a significant influence on their entrepreneurial journey.

Elijah Blue Allman says he has been clean and sober for three months as judge denies mom Cher's bid to be conservator

20 Oct 2023  |  Mail Online
A judge denied Cher's request to place her son Elijah Blue Allman under a conservatorship, citing insufficient notice and lack of shared confidential information. Cher argued that Elijah's drug addiction and health issues made him incapable of managing his trust fund, fearing he would spend it on drugs. Elijah, who appeared healthy in court, opposed his mother's bid, stating he has been sober for over 90 days and is under professional care. He prefers his wife, Marieangela 'Queeny' King, as his conservator if needed. The court has scheduled a continuation of the petition for January 29.

How Business Intelligence Can Transform Customer Experience in Financial Services

05 Apr 2023  |  financedigest.com
Neil Martin, commercial director at Qbase, discusses the challenges and opportunities for digital transformation in the financial services industry. He notes that the industry has been slow to move away from legacy systems, but the rise in customer expectations and competition is driving change. Martin highlights the role of Business Intelligence (BI) in leveraging customer data to improve experiences, offering personalized services, and identifying new opportunities. He explains how BI can create a unified customer view, identify gaps in the customer journey, and reduce risk by monitoring unusual behavior. Martin emphasizes that while the shift to effective use of BI may seem daunting, it is achievable with quality data, the right tools, and expertise, ultimately benefiting both customers and internal operations.

Understanding the Inheritance Tax Implications for Different Estate Sizes

05 Apr 2023  |  ifamagazine.com
Neil Jones from Canada Life discusses the peculiarities in the effective inheritance tax rate for different estate sizes in the UK, as revealed by a report from the Office of Tax Simplification. The tax rate for estates worth up to £1 million rises steeply, plateaus for those between £1 million and £9 million, and then declines for estates over £10 million. Jones explains that ultra-high net worth individuals often use family investment companies and trusts to pass on wealth, which can be more tax-efficient than direct inheritance. He notes the difference in asset composition between high and low-value estates, with larger estates holding less in UK residential property and more in securities and 'other assets'. Jones suggests that similar strategies could benefit smaller estates and emphasizes the importance of planning and consulting a financial adviser. He also outlines methods to reduce an inheritance tax bill, including various types of trusts, agricultural relief, business relief, and life insurance policies.

Fears about energy independence in the wake of the war in Ukraine that caused an oil and gas supply crisis have accelerated the global transition to renewable energy.

05 Apr 2023  |  knowridge.com
The article discusses the global shift towards renewable energy, accelerated by the war in Ukraine and the resulting oil and gas supply crisis. Professor Renate Egan from UNSW highlights the influence of cost savings from solar and wind power in this transition. The article mentions efforts by Denmark, Norway, and the European Union to reduce reliance on Russian energy by investing in renewable sources. It also addresses the risk of dependence on China for solar panel manufacturing. The impact of the energy crisis on Australia is noted, along with the country's progress in renewable energy adoption. Professor Egan expresses optimism about the future of renewables, citing economic benefits as the primary driver of the shift towards greener energy sources.

Brexit Endgame: The Logical Predictions and the Role of Logic in Uncertain Times

01 Apr 2023  |  ifamagazine.com
Donald Maxwell-Scott from Rowan Dartington discusses the current state of Brexit negotiations, emphasizing the uncertainty and the logical outcomes that could be predicted. He criticizes Theresa May for not involving other parties sooner, especially after Gina Miller's case, which required parliamentary approval for Brexit. He also mentions Jeremy Corbyn's refusal to cooperate unless a no-deal Brexit is ruled out, which Maxwell-Scott believes would weaken the UK's negotiating position. He highlights the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on the EU, particularly the German car industry, and suggests that Germany's economic situation makes a no-deal Brexit unlikely. He also speculates on the outcomes of another UK election and the improbability of a no-deal Brexit or a second referendum. Finally, he humorously suggests that MPs should not be paid until the Brexit impasse is resolved, drawing a parallel with the US government shutdown over Trump's border wall.

Limited tickets available at the door for this evening’s concert – cash sales only.

09 Aug 2022  |  belfastinternationalartsfestival.com
The Belfast Music Society is hosting a concert to launch the album 'AURA', which features solo piano music of Irish Airs composed by Neil Martin and performed by Ruth McGinley. The event, part of the Northern Lights Mini-Fest, will also include a special appearance by author Glenn Patterson. The album presents Irish airs in a classical musical style, offering both familiar and lesser-known pieces. Tickets for the concert are available at the door for cash purchase.

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18 Jul 2022  |  chroniclelive.co.uk
As the UK braces for extreme heat conditions, employers are reminded of their legal health and safety responsibilities towards their employees. The Met Office has issued a 'Red Extreme' heat warning, with temperatures expected to reach 40C. LegalVision's employment practice leader, Comfort Nkang, advises employers to ensure a reasonable workplace temperature and consider measures such as flexible working hours, relaxed dress codes, and providing fans or air conditioning. The TUC has suggested a maximum temperature for action at 30C, or 27C for strenuous work, and recommends providing outdoor workers with water and sun protection. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) emphasizes that while there is no maximum workplace temperature, employers must control health and safety risks, including heat.

New Covid 'super booster' could be delivered to 30 million people

04 Jul 2022  |  examinerlive.co.uk
Concerns have arisen that large events may be spreading new strains of COVID-19 across the UK, potentially leading to renewed travel restrictions. Moderna has developed a new vaccine, codenamed 214, which is reportedly five times more effective than previous vaccines and could be approved soon for distribution to 30 million people. The UK is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, with the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 causing over 300,000 infections daily and more than 1,000 hospitalizations per day. Dr. Paul Burton of Moderna has indicated the UK's interest in the new vaccine. Dame Jenny Harries has advised the public to continue normal activities with precautions, and NHS Providers anticipate a challenging period ahead with both COVID-19 and seasonal flu.

Primark to raise prices on autumn and winter collection as costs soar

31 May 2022  |  chroniclelive.co.uk
Primark, a fashion retailer known for its affordable prices, is set to increase prices on its autumn and winter collection due to rising costs. John Bason, the finance director of Primark's parent company AB Foods, expressed regret over the decision but cited inflation and the strengthening US dollar as reasons for the price hike. AB Foods, which also owns Twinings and is a major sugar producer, reported a 131% increase in pre-tax profit to £635 million and a 25% increase in revenue to £7.9 billion for the six months leading up to March. Despite the price increases, Chief Executive George Weston emphasized Primark's commitment to maintaining price leadership and affordability amid economic uncertainty.

Legal considerations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee street parties

30 May 2022  |  chroniclelive.co.uk
The article discusses the legal considerations and regulations surrounding the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the UK, particularly focusing on street parties and the sale and consumption of alcohol. Licensing experts from Poppleston Allen provide insights into the requirements for hosting street parties, including liaising with local authorities, obtaining necessary licenses for entertainment and alcohol sales, and adhering to public space regulations. The article also touches on the special extension of pub opening hours until 1am on certain dates, the rules for decorating public spaces, live music permissions, and the implications of accepting financial contributions for alcohol without a license. Additionally, it addresses the legal aspects of drinking in public areas, noise levels, underage drinking laws, and the responsibilities of street party organizers for cleanup after the event.

Jubilee Celebrations and Legal Considerations for Street Party Organisers

30 May 2022  |  examinerlive.co.uk
The article discusses the legal considerations and licensing rules for those planning to host street parties in the UK during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. It highlights the special extension of pub opening hours until 1am on certain dates and the need for liaising with local authorities for street closures, entertainment licensing, and alcohol sales. The piece outlines the rules for decorating, live music, food and drink sales, and the implications of accepting financial contributions for alcohol without a license. It also touches on the legal aspects of drinking alcohol in public areas, noise levels, drinking age laws, and regulations around raffles and social gambling activities. Organizers are advised to clean up after events to avoid fines.

How to Save Money on Dining Out and Takeaways During the Cost of Living Crisis

30 May 2022  |  chroniclelive.co.uk
The article provides tips from Which? on how to save money while enjoying meals out or takeaways during the cost of living crisis. Suggestions include signing up for chain restaurant mailing lists for discounts, bringing your own alcohol to BYOB restaurants, ordering directly from restaurants instead of using delivery apps, opting for free tap water, becoming a mystery diner, joining dining clubs like Tastecard and Gourmet Society, finding vouchers and discount codes, taking advantage of 'kids eat free' offers, and booking online through websites like OpenTable for special deals. The article also mentions the high markups on wine in restaurants and the potential savings from avoiding bottled water.

4 steps to better manage your customer data

12 Oct 2021  |  cxm.co.uk
The article discusses the impact of poor data quality on businesses, highlighting how it can lead to time-consuming reporting, skewed decision-making, and difficulties in integrating new systems. It emphasizes the negative effects on customer relationships, such as creating a negative brand perception and loss of trust. The article references a report by Experian, which states that on average, organizations believe 32% of their data is inaccurate. It offers practical tips for organizations to improve their data quality, such as limiting data requests, minimizing duplication, ensuring consistent data formatting, and establishing data quality processes within teams. The article suggests that investing time in data quality can lead to better customer relationships and improved organizational productivity and decision-making.

Coastal wetlands can be saved from sea level rise by recreating past tidal regimes

01 Jan 2021  |  phys.org
A team from UNSW Sydney, led by Associate Professor Will Glamore, has developed a system called the 'Tidal Replicate Method' to restore coastal wetlands threatened by climate change and rising sea levels. This method uses an algorithm to mimic natural tides, optimizing ecological conditions for wetlands. It operates SmartGates in tidal channels to control water flow onto the wetland. The system has shown promising results in increasing saltmarsh vegetation and could be crucial for Ramsar sites, which are wetlands of international importance. The research, funded by NCIG, has been published in Scientific Reports and demonstrates the potential for wetland restoration to contribute to carbon storage and provide ecosystem services. The team emphasizes the economic value of these services and the cost-effectiveness of the SmartGate installations.

From No to Yes: We quit the US only to find UK on same dark path

25 Jul 2020  |  thenational.scot
The author reflects on the political and media landscape of the US and the UK, drawing parallels between the two. They note the polarization in both countries and the influence of undisclosed money in politics. The author expresses disappointment with the current state of the BBC and the UK media, which they feel has become polarized and misleading. They also touch upon the high cost of healthcare in the US as a factor in their return to Scotland. The author criticizes the UK's growing debt and government dishonesty, and condemns the rise of food bank usage and child hunger in Scotland. Despite these issues, they find solace in Scottish humor and believe in the potential for Scotland to thrive independently, indicating their support for Scottish independence.

Cowgills Wealth launches in Ilkley

21 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Jacobs Financial Services, based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, has been rebranded as Cowgills Wealth following its acquisition by Cowgills in 2015. The firm has undergone a significant rebranding and refurbishment program. The Ilkley office, led by financial planning directors Shaun Davison and Spencer Bennett, aims to continue providing wealth management services to its local clients. Cowgills Wealth is expanding its brand across the north with new branding and a website. Managing partner Paul Stansfield expressed enthusiasm for the growth in the Yorkshire region and mentioned ongoing recruitment to support the team's expansion. Cowgills, established in 1983, boasts a turnover of over £13m.

The SimplyBiz Group Acquires Defaqto for £74.3m

20 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
The SimplyBiz Group has completed the acquisition of Regulus Topco, the owner of Defaqto, for £74.3 million. To support the acquisition, SimplyBiz announced a conditional institutional placing at 180p per share to raise £29.1 million. SimplyBiz, a leading provider of compliance and business services in the UK, will keep Defaqto operating independently within the Group, with its current management, including CEO Zahid Bilgrami, remaining in place. Defaqto, which assesses over 43,000 financial products, will benefit from greater resources to develop its products and services in the FinTech sector. The acquisition is expected to enhance SimplyBiz's services to the banking and general insurance sectors and deliver value for shareholders. Both companies have expressed positive outlooks on the acquisition, emphasizing strategic fit, cultural alignment, and growth opportunities.

Standard Life Aberdeen wins dispute with Lloyds Banking Group/Scottish Widows

19 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Standard Life Aberdeen has triumphed over Lloyds Banking Group/Scottish Widows in an arbitration dispute regarding the termination of investment management agreements. Lloyds had terminated the agreements on 14 February 2018, but the arbitration panel ruled in favor of Standard Life Aberdeen, stating Lloyds was not entitled to do so. The assets in question are valued at around £100bn, and Standard Life Aberdeen has not seen a material withdrawal of these assets since the dispute began. The company is now considering its next steps while continuing to manage the assets for Lloyds' customers. This decision is a significant win for Standard Life Aberdeen and a setback for Lloyds' venture into wealth management. Negotiations between the two parties will follow to resolve the situation, potentially involving a mix of asset management retention and compensation for early termination.

Sheraton Financial Planning becomes CISI Accredited Financial Planning Firm

14 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Sheraton Financial Planning, located in Fareham, Hampshire, has been recognized as a CISI Accredited Financial Planning Firm by The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI). This prestigious status is awarded to firms that exhibit the highest standards of excellence in financial planning. To achieve accreditation, firms must demonstrate a commitment to client-centered service and maintain these standards annually. Sheraton's director, Jason Eldrid CFP Chartered MCSI, expressed that the accreditation reflects the firm's dedication to providing exceptional lifestyle financial planning services aimed at helping clients reach their life goals. Jacqueline Lockie CFP Chartered FCSI, Head of Financial Planning at CISI, commended Sheraton for their commitment to financial planning excellence.

Investment Platforms Market Study, Final Report: Industry Feedback

14 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
The FCA's Investment Platforms Market Study Final Report has been received positively by major investment platforms. Hargreaves Lansdown, represented by Tom McPhail and Chris Hill, supports the findings and is committed to the STAR initiative for faster asset transfers. Fidelity FundsNetwork, through Jackie Boylan, welcomes the proposed ban on exit fees and supports ease of switching between platforms. Adrian Lowcock of Willis Owen applauds the move towards no exit fees and calls for further clarity in fee structures. Nick Blake from Vanguard Europe endorses the FCA's efforts to improve competition and supports a total ban on exit fees to facilitate easier provider switching. The report is seen as a step towards a more efficient and consumer-friendly investment platform market.

Spring Statement: comment

13 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
The article discusses reactions from various industry experts to the UK's Spring Statement amidst Brexit uncertainties. Philip Smeaton of Sanlam UK notes the overshadowing of the statement by Brexit, with the Chancellor presenting positive news on tax receipts. Ritam Gandhi of Studio Graphene highlights the lack of substance in the statement but acknowledges the commitment to the tech industry. Nikolas Kairinos of Fountech.ai sees the statement as a 'fiscal non-event' but appreciates the funding for innovation. Alex Neilson of Investec Click & Invest views UK equities as valuable despite Brexit. John Phillips from Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart suggests incentives like stamp duty relief to stimulate the housing market. Phil Spencer, a property expert, criticizes the Chancellor's housing plans as insufficient and calls for a long-term strategy. The article captures the mixed sentiments of professionals regarding the economic and political climate in the UK.

Kingswood expands services

07 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Kingswood, an AIM listed integrated wealth management group, has expanded its services to include personal taxation, SME and corporate finance services. Gary Wilder, the Group CEO, emphasized Kingswood's ambition to become a global wealth and investment management platform offering a comprehensive suite of services. The company now provides a range of services for SMEs, such as accounting, annual tax compliance, and corporate finance support. Patrick Goulding, CEO of Kingswood's operating platforms, highlighted the strategic advantage of the expanded services. Kingswood boasts over 4,500 active clients and manages assets worth £1.9bn, with goals to be globally recognized in wealth and investment management.

IFAs might be underestimating appetite for investments that balance growth and positive environmental impact

07 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
The article discusses a new trend in investment preferences among British adults, highlighting a significant interest in financial products that offer both growth and a positive environmental impact. According to online research by Impax Environmental Markets and YouGov, nearly half of British adults prefer their Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) to recommend investments that balance financial returns with environmental benefits. This preference is consistent across age groups, including those over 55, and is more pronounced among women. The article also touches on the issue of 'greenwashing' in the finance industry and mentions efforts by The Investment Association and the EU to establish clearer definitions and labelling systems for green investment products.

deVere CEO acquires UAE wealth adviser

01 Mar 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, has acquired Credence International, a wealth management and advisory firm based in the UAE. The acquisition will not impact Credence's operations in Australia. Credence International will continue to operate as an independent brand under the leadership of CEO Chris Ferguson. Both Green and Ferguson express optimism about the acquisition, highlighting the potential for client benefits and business growth. Green emphasizes his commitment to enhancing client outcomes, while Ferguson looks forward to the opportunities for expansion with Green's resources and expertise.

Fairstone completes acquisition of Pensions and Wealth Management Services

27 Feb 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Fairstone, a chartered financial planning firm, has finalized the acquisition of Pensions and Wealth Management Services (PWMS). This acquisition is part of Fairstone's Downstream Buy Out (DBO) model, which incorporates IFA firms into the group. PWMS, which manages investment and retirement portfolios, brings 400 clients, four advisers, and four support staff to Fairstone, along with £1m in gross fee income and £200m in funds under management. Lee Hartley, CEO of Fairstone, praised the acquisition, emphasizing the cultural fit and client-focused nature of PWMS. Company principal David Halsall of PWMS expressed confidence in joining Fairstone, highlighting the support framework and commitment to independence that Fairstone provides.

Wilcox Young expands team

05 Feb 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Lidia Kowalska has been appointed as an Independent Financial Adviser at Wilcox Young. She has over 13 years of experience in financial services and joins from Millfield Wealth Management, which is a Partner Practice of St James’s Place. Kowalska has previously worked with HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group as a Mortgage and Protection Adviser. She aims to assist clients with investment choices and tax rules to help them achieve their financial goals. Dan Weldon, Director at Wilcox Young, expressed his delight at Kowalska joining the team, citing her extensive experience and commitment to high standards of financial advice.

Mattioli Woods plc Announces Profit Increase in Interim Results

05 Feb 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Mattioli Woods plc, a wealth management business, has reported a profit increase in the first half of its financial year. The company's total client assets reached £8.79bn, with revenue rising by 2.8% to £29.2m and profit before tax increasing by 3.7% to £5.6m. The firm has also built up cash reserves of £16.4m and has a new operational office in Leicester. CEO Ian Mattioli MBE emphasized the company's commitment to reducing client costs through operational efficiencies, which has also improved their margin. The company's investment services, including the Private Investors Club and funds managed by Amati Global Investors, have seen significant inflows. Mattioli Woods is confident in meeting its profit outlook for the year and achieving its long-term goals.

Kingswood acquires Thomas & Co Financial Services for £3.3m

01 Feb 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Kingswood, an integrated wealth management group, has acquired Thomas & Co Financial Services, a financial advisory firm based in Oxfordshire, for a total consideration of £3.3m. The payment includes an initial £1.5m and up to £1.8m in deferred sums contingent on performance metrics over three years. Thomas & Co reported a pre-tax profit of £460,000 for the year ending December 31, 2017. The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive for Kingswood and aligns with its strategy to expand in the UK wealth and investment management market. Thomas & Co, with £150m in assets under advice, will continue operating from its Abingdon office, and its team will join Kingswood, which now has over 4,500 clients and £1.9bn in AUM/AUA. Kingswood also launched an enhanced Managed Portfolio Service. Gary Wilder, Group CEO of Kingswood, and Joe Berry, Founder of Thomas & Co, both expressed positive sentiments about the acquisition and future collaboration.

AFH staff back Mind in 2019

30 Jan 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
AFH staff have committed to raising funds for the mental health charity Mind throughout 2019. Mind is a national charity that offers support and advice to those facing mental health issues and works towards improving services and promoting understanding. The AFH team aims to surpass the £11,200 raised in 2018 for Birmingham Women’s Hospital. Charity co-ordinator Jenny Read emphasized the importance of Mind's work, noting that one in four people experience mental health problems annually. Rebecca Hastings of Mind expressed gratitude for the partnership, highlighting how the funds raised will support their information services and advocacy efforts for those with mental health issues.

Baillie Gifford Multi Asset Income Fund appoints Gregory Turnbull Schwartz as a manager

25 Jan 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Baillie Gifford, an independent investment partnership based in Edinburgh, has announced the appointment of Gregory Turnbull Schwartz as a manager of its Multi Asset Income Fund. Schwartz, who is the head of Baillie Gifford’s Investment Grade Credit team, has been involved with the fund since its inception in 2018. He will be joining Steven Hay and James Dow in managing the fund. The announcement comes ahead of Gerald Smith's retirement in April 2019. The fund aims to provide an income that rises with inflation and invests in a variety of assets including global equities, real assets, and fixed income investments. James Budden, the director of Retail Marketing & Distribution at Baillie Gifford, highlighted Schwartz's central role and his increased responsibilities in decision making and portfolio construction.

Brewin Dolphin Issues Quarterly Trading Update

23 Jan 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Brewin Dolphin, a UK wealth management firm, has released its quarterly trading update for the end of 2018. The update, as explained by CEO David Nicol, reflects a period of economic uncertainty and lower market levels. Despite these conditions, the company has seen strong net discretionary inflows, surpassing their 5% target. However, intermediary client activity has slowed due to the uncertain environment. Brewin Dolphin's total funds decreased by 7.7% to £39.5bn, with discretionary funds down by 7.2% to £34.9bn. The company's total income also fell slightly by 1.6% to £77.7m. Nicol remains confident in the company's business model and long-term growth prospects, emphasizing their disciplined focus on operating expenses and selective investment in the business.

Schroders supports new CISI Financial Planning Mentoring Scheme

17 Jan 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Schroders, a global asset management company, has announced its support for the CISI’s Financial Planning Mentoring Scheme by providing an exclusive helpline for the scheme's mentees and mentors. The mentoring scheme, which began on January 1, 2019, is designed for members of the CISI and its Financial Planning Forum who are seeking professional development in financial planning. Mentors in the scheme are highly regarded professionals with the Certified Financial Planner designation. Jacqueline Lockie, the CISI Head of Financial Planning, expressed gratitude for Schroders' support, noting that the helpline will assist with a variety of queries, thereby offering a significant benefit to participants and contributing to the growth of the financial planning profession.

An unnerving 2018

17 Jan 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
The article discusses the economic trends and monetary policy shifts that occurred in 2018 and their impact on global markets. It highlights the US Federal Reserve's quantitative easing withdrawal and interest rate hikes, the collapse of Bitcoin and US tech stocks, and the slowdown in global growth. The article also touches on the economic effects of Brexit on the UK, the protests in France, and the US-China trade war on Germany. Despite the challenges, the author remains cautiously optimistic about selective equity buying opportunities in 2019. The piece emphasizes the importance of diversification in investment strategies in the face of market volatility and the ongoing concerns regarding debt at various levels.

Increasing the FOS award limit will inevitably damage consumers and increase PII costs says Ken Davy

03 Jan 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Ken Davy, Chairman of The SimplyBiz Group, criticizes the FCA's proposal to increase the Financial Ombudsman Service's compensation limit from £150,000 to £350,000. Davy argues that the current limit is already higher than the compensation for banking failures and that increasing it would harm the advice market by driving up Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) costs, reducing the number of advice firms, and limiting consumer access to advice. He also expresses concern about the FOS's ability to handle larger claims and suggests that such matters are better suited for the courts. The SimplyBiz Group's response to the FCA consultation paper outlines their disagreement with the proposal, emphasizing the negative impact on the advice market, firms, consumers, and the PI insurance market. They suggest periodic reviews of the compensation limit rather than automatic inflation adjustments and stress that the proposal could increase financial pressure on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Clarisse Djabbari becomes Head of Strategy and Development at Amundi ETF, Indexing and Smart Beta

02 Jan 2019  |  ifamagazine.com
Clarisse Djabbari has been appointed as the Head of Strategy and Development for Amundi ETF, Indexing and Smart Beta. She will be reporting to Fannie Wurtz, the Managing Director of the division. Djabbari has a rich professional background, starting her career at Deloitte in 1995, and later holding various managing positions at Société Générale CIB. She also served as Deputy CEO of the ETF business at Lyxor Asset Management. Djabbari is an alumna of the Audencia Business school with a Master in Finance.

Fairstone completes acquisition of Belasis

19 Dec 2018  |  ifamagazine.com
Fairstone Group, a chartered financial planning firm, has recently acquired Belasis IFA, a Darlington-based independent financial advisory firm. This marks Fairstone's fifth acquisition under its Downstream Buy Out (DBO) model, which gradually integrates firms into the group. The acquisition adds £500,000 in gross fee income and £50 million in funds under management to Fairstone, along with 1,250 clients, five advisers, and two support staff from Belasis. Belasis IFA is known for its services in retirement planning, investment portfolio management, and other financial advice areas. Fairstone CEO Lee Hartley expressed satisfaction with the acquisition, highlighting the shared growth ambitions and ethical standards. Belasis IFA principals Stewart Hodgson and Craig Dyball emphasized their commitment to service and investment quality, and their alignment with Fairstone's ethos.

Brexit is the biggest concern for advisers’ UK clients.

19 Dec 2018  |  ifamagazine.com
The article discusses the findings of the Schroders' annual Adviser Survey, which indicates that Brexit is a significant concern for UK financial advisers and their clients. The survey, completed by over 400 advisers, shows that 90% are worried about the impact of Brexit in the next 12 months, a notable increase from previous years. Advisers are also concerned about Brexit's negative impact on their businesses. Clients are reportedly taking less risk, with many increasing their cash holdings and some moving assets out of the UK, particularly into US and emerging market equities. Philip Middleton, Head of UK Intermediary at Schroders, comments on the role of financial advisers during these uncertain times and the observed shift in asset allocation.

Charles Stanley Oxford expands with new hires

19 Dec 2018  |  ifamagazine.com
Charles Stanley, a wealth management firm, has expanded its Oxford office with several new hires throughout the year. Ian Brookes, a seasoned financial planner, has been recruited from Critchley’s Financial Planning. James Huntington, an experienced paraplanner, has joined from McGrath Rathbone. The firm also welcomed David Hamilton-Stubber, returning as an Investment Manager after a stint at St James’ Place, and Luke Horvath, a trainee investment adviser from Redmayne Bentley. Andrew Meigh, Managing Director of Financial Planning, and Simon Scott-White, Branch Manager, both expressed their enthusiasm for the new hires, emphasizing the firm's growth and its enhanced ability to provide comprehensive financial and investment advice to clients in the region.

Markets going back to reality in 2019 says HSBC

18 Dec 2018  |  ifamagazine.com
Joseph Little, Global Chief Strategist at HSBC Global Asset Management, provides an investment outlook for the upcoming year. He acknowledges that 2018 was a challenging year for investors but remains optimistic about the fundamentals of the economy. Little discusses the shift in the global economy, highlighting the importance of China and the US as two main engines of growth. He expresses concerns about China's high corporate debt levels and the effectiveness of monetary policy, while predicting a slowdown in the US economy to a more average pace. Little sees value in Asian and emerging market equities and US Treasuries, particularly short-duration bonds. He also notes the failure of traditional diversifiers in 2018 and suggests building portfolio resilience through fixed income assets that now offer better carry. The article emphasizes the need to be prepared for potential macro and political issues that could impact markets.

Panda Security Enhances Its Cloud Systems Management Solution with New Mobile Device Management Capabilities

01 Dec 2013  |  technewsgadget.net
Panda Security has announced updates to its Panda Cloud Systems Management (PCSM) solution, which now includes Mobile Device Management (MDM) capabilities. This enhancement allows IT departments and service providers to centrally manage and monitor all types of mobile devices within their networks from a single web console. The new features aim to increase cost savings and simplify IT processes for customers. PCSM's MDM feature provides tools for monitoring device status, managing hardware and software, enforcing security policies, and remotely locking or wiping devices in case of loss or theft. Panda Security, established in 1990, is a leader in cloud-based security solutions and is involved in social responsibility initiatives such as The Stella Project.

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