Good morning and welcome to your Morning Briefing for Thursday 19 May, 2022. To get this in your inbox every morning click here.
New UK CEO for FNZ
FNZ has appointed Alastair Conway as its chief executive of its UK and South Africa business.
Conway joined FNZ in April 2021 to work on one of the company’s key projects, before becoming CEO of UK pensions in the August.
He was previously CEO of James Hay for eight years and prior to that he was sales and marketing director at Cofunds for five years.
Platform shares down
Share prices of UK platforms have slumped amid the rising cost of living and low investor confidence.
Soaring inflation, declining markets and the ongoing war in Ukraine have taken their toll on platforms’ share prices.
The slump is a reversal of the gains made post-pandemic. According to the latest Fundscape report, platform industry assets fell by 2.5% to £906.8bn in the first quarter of the year, compared with December 2021.
Soft skills and diversity
Financial advisers have always needed soft skills. Even when the job was about financial products, clients needed persuading to buy them.
Today, with the job increasingly about building and maintaining client relationships, soft skills such as listening and empathy have become more important.
Quote Of The Day
Increased mortgage costs, rising household bills and concerns over the ongoing impact of the war in Ukraine and geo-political tensions will undoubtedly continue to cool the market. The question – How quickly and dramatically will the market slow or will it stall or indeed fall? All eyes on the Bank of England’s MPC which need to tread a very careful line.
-Paul McGerrigan, CEO at online broker Loan.co.uk, on the course of UK monetary policy
Hedge fund manager Barry Norris – chief executive officer at Argonaut Capital – reacts to the latest UK inflation figures:
“The 1970’s redux has already arrived. The 2020’s is shaping up to be an inflationary decade on a par with the 1970’.
“Whilst the energy and commodity shock has to date been mild, real interest rates have entered unprecedented negative levels in the US and are approaching the extremes witnessed following the UK stock market crash of 1975.”
Amount UK inflation measures by CPI today
Amount it measures by RPI today
UK RPI at the end of 1973
Amount UK inflation peaked at in 1975
Amount it was on average over the decade
Current Bank of England base rate
-8 to -10%
Negative real interest rates in the UK, depending on which measure of inflation is used
Average base rates over the 1970s
RPI over the decade
Negative real rates over the decade
Source: Argonaut Capital
In Other News
Shepherds Friendly has announced the launch of its new ‘Income Protection (Simplified Application)’ process for short-term cover applications.
Shepherds Friendly is an award-winning mutual society, established in 1826. Simplifying the application process and underwriting is part of a wider strategy to offer more efficient and streamlined application processes to advisers, whilst providing convenience for their clients.
While the mutual’s Income Protection product remains unchanged, the simplified application, launched on Monday May 16, 2022, is now live and available exclusively to advisers.
It offers an alternative application route based on moratorium underwriting and, with just seven medical questions to answer, it could see advisers get cover for their clients in less than five minutes when terms are met.
Calls to bring support rises forward as Chancellor warns of economic ‘storm’ (The Independent)
Cost of living: Police officers should use discretion over desperate shoplifters, says new chief (Sky News)
Deutsche Bank enters new era as chairman’s rocky decade ends (Reuters)
Did You See?
In a recent online session held by the Initiative for Financial Wellbeing (IFW), Helena Wardle posed the question of whether the language we use about clients may be presenting money in an overly negative light.
To quote her: “Money is a means of exchange“. We should be helping clients to exchange money for joy and wellbeing. Instead, review meetings tend to focus on the money itself; investment performance in particular.
According to research by Ogilvy, 66% of people want to continue the slower pace of life that they enjoyed during the pandemic. That means 2/3 of your clients.
How many of them have you discussed this with? How many of them have asked you to amend the cash flow forecast to see what their options might be? How many times have you raised this possibility with them?