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UK is Europes most attractive venue for financial services

The number of financial services foreign direct investment (FDI) projects across Europe reached 329 in 2023 – an increase of 13% from 2022. The UK was the strongest performing European market again in 2023, recording 108 financial services projects – an increase of 42% from 2022. France took second place with 39 financial services projects in 2023, representing a 13% year-on-year fall, and Germany was third with 38 projects in 2023, an annual rise of 23%. The UK was home to a third (33%) of all European financial services FDI projects in 2023, with 35% of the UK’s financial services projects coming from the US.
Posted on Monday May 20

Calls for fund managers to vote against firms climate plans

On the 21 and 29 May, natural resource extraction giants, Shell and Glencore, will be holding their respective Annual General Meetings (AGMs), at which firm shareholders, stakeholders and members will gather to vote on a number of key company issues.
Posted on Friday May 17

Finfluencers charged for unauthorised trading scheme

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has brought charges against nine individuals in relation to an unauthorised foreign exchange trading scheme promoted on social media.
Posted on Thursday May 16

Profit warnings fall from firms with DB pensions

UK-listed companies with a Defined Benefit (DB) pension scheme issued 18 warnings in Q1 2024. More than a quarter (26%) of all profit warnings issued by UK-listed companies in Q1 2024 came from companies with a DB pension scheme. Main reasons for warning for UK-listed companies with a DB pension scheme in Q1 2024 were rising costs, credit tightening and contract issues
Posted on Thursday May 16

5 ways for your FI manager to drive sustainable change

The idea that the only way for pension schemes to influence companies is by voting at shareholder meetings has long passed – those invested in fixed income are now in a unique position to drive change.
Posted on Thursday May 16

Three charged over CFD trading pension fraud

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has charged three individuals with fraud for their alleged involvement in a high-risk trading scheme, which targeted people’s pension savings.
Posted on Wednesday May 15

Canada Life secures full scheme buy in valued at GBP28m

The Norgine Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme has insured the benefits of its defined benefit pension scheme with Canada Life in a full buy in transaction of £28m, following a competitive tender process run by Mercer.
Posted on Tuesday May 14

Record bonuses boost wages but market weakens again

Before inflation, wages in January-March were up 6% in a year excluding bonuses and 5.7% with them. After inflation, wages rose 1.7% including bonuses and 2% excluding them. This has risen as inflation has fallen. Over both the most recent quarter and the year, the unemployment rate has risen (4.3%), the employment rate has fallen (74.5%) and economic inactivity (22.1%) has increased.
Posted on Tuesday May 14

UK bounces out of short and shallow recession

UK GDP rebounds 0.6% in the first quarter of 2024. Services and manufacturing growth offset by continued challenges for the construction sector. Strong growth raises questions about rate cut timetable
Posted on Friday May 10

Bank of England leaves interest rates unchanged

Hymans Robertson, Standard Life and XPS Pensions Group comment on the Bank of England’s interest rate hold at 5.25%
Posted on Thursday May 9

Broadstone advises John Turner Construction on Aviva buyin

Aviva agrees deal securing the benefits of all previously uninsured final salary scheme members. Transaction completes the buy-in of the scheme which now proceeds to buy-out and wind-up. Broadstone’s SM&RT Insure supports rapid transaction in tandem with Aviva Clarity, the insurer’s new streamlined service.
Posted on Thursday May 9

Siemens appoints Standard Life as new Master Trust provider

Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group, has concluded the transition of over £1.6 billion of assets from the Siemens Investor Plan, following a competitive RfP and tender process. This included moving over 30,000 active and deferred members following a period of member consultation, the implementation concluded at the end of 2023.
Posted on Tuesday May 7

25 years since Gordon Brown started selling Gold

Between 1999 and 2002 Gordon Brown sold 400 tonnes of UK’s gold reserves. It was a poor investment decision to sell – probably. Over the last 25 years, the price of Gold is up nearly 1,000%. What could he have bought that would have done better?
Posted on Wednesday May 1

FM review reveals wide divergence in investment performance

All fiduciary managers (FMs) delivered positive returns, but 12.9% gap between highest and lowest performing. FMs more exposed to illiquid assets had lower absolute returns. Majority of FM growth portfolios underperformed their target returns, some by 3% or more.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 30

FCA proposals to publicise enforcement investigations

PIMFA, the trade association for wealth management, investment services and the financial advice and planning industry, has joined with 15 other financial services trade associations, including UK Finance, TheCityUK, the Association of British Insurers (ABI), and many others in writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, calling on him to intervene over the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) proposals to publicise enforcement investigations of firms.

Posted on Monday Apr 29

Aon completes acquisition of NFP

Faster-than-anticipated close contributes to accretion and free cash flow benefit realization a year earlier than modeled. As an Aon company, NFP will operate as an independent and connected platform delivering Risk Capital and Human Capital capabilities. Enterprise value of $13.0 billion, including $7.0 billion cash and assumed liabilities as well as $6.0 billion in equity in the form of 19.0 million Aon shares.
Posted on Friday Apr 26

FCA confirms anti greenwashing guidance

Ahead of the anti-greenwashing rule coming into force on 31 May, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is supporting industry with guidance to help them meet the standard. The new rule is designed to protect consumers by ensuring sustainable products and services they are sold are accurately described.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 23

IHT receipts storm to a record high for 3rd successive year

The latest HMRC update finds that Inheritance Tax (IHT) raised £7.5 billion through 2023/24, an increase of £0.4 billion on the previous year (£7.1 billion) and a third successive record annual haul; and the OBR predicts that IHT will continue to rise and forecasts it raising £9.7 billion a year by 2028/29.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 23

Buyin and buyout volumes reach GBP28bn in 2nd half of 2023

The value of transactions at £28bn was an increase by three-quarters compared to the £16.0bn of transactions in the second half of 2022. The value was a 32% increase on the £21.2bn of transactions in the first half of 2023. £49.1bn in total for the year to 31 December 2023, an all-time high for both the number and the value of transactions.
Posted on Tuesday Apr 23

Global non life run off reserves estimated above USD1tn

PwC UK estimates global non-life run-off reserves are US$1,014 billion, a 6% (US$53 billion) increase since the last survey published in September 2022
Posted on Monday Apr 22

Inflation drops again as it edges closer to normality

Standard Life, Canada Life Asset Management and PensionBee comment as inflation drops again, to 3.2%, edging closer to normality
Posted on Wednesday Apr 17

PIC complete buyin of Epson Telford Pension Scheme

Pension Insurance Corporation plc (“PIC”) has concluded a full scheme buy-in of the Epson Telford Limited Pension & Assurance Scheme (“the Scheme”) for £50 million. The transaction secures the pensions of all 368 pensioners and 493 deferred members employed by Epson Telford Limited (“the Company”), which is wholly owned by Seiko Epson Corporation (“SEC”).
Posted on Tuesday Apr 16

LMA and ICMR report on Lloyds record breaking 2023 results

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and Insurance Capital Markets Research (ICMR) present a detailed analysis and comment on the Lloyd's 2023 results, following our preliminary press release on 11 March 2024.
Posted on Monday Apr 15

Cardano appointed FM for Grant Thornton Pensions Fund

Cardano has been appointed as the fiduciary manager for the Grant Thornton Pensions Fund. The principal employer for the scheme is Grant Thornton UK LPP
Posted on Monday Apr 15

Trustees must avoid tick box TCFD compliance exercise

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) published its second annual review of climate-related disclosures, revealing that pension trustees are acting to address climate risks and opportunities.
Posted on Friday Apr 12

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