MIFID II is the latest re-incarnation of European-wide legislation aimed at increasing transparency in markets and providing improved client protection. It becomes effective on January 3rd, 2018. The main areas in which clients will see a change in the way that they invest, and how Holden & Partners addresses these issues are as follows:
Record of conversations – whenever an adviser has a conversation with a client regarding their investments or financial planning strategy, a formal written record of that conversation will be made and the client will be provided with a copy.
Transaction reporting – financial planning firms will be required to make a report of all transactions made by clients that fall within the scope of the new legislation. To do this all investors will need a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI).
For individuals, this will normally be a National Insurance Number (NINO). Where, for any reason, a NINO is not available, there are prescribed alternatives that can be used. Should it be necessary, Holden & Partners may contact clients regarding any further information that is needed to generate a personal LEI. Any clients who are not contacted may assume that no further information is needed.
For trusts, companies, pension funds, charities, or unincorporated bodies, clients will need to obtain a LEI from the London Stock Exchange. Certain clients may have already received communication from a product provider, or obtained a LEI but, regardless, Holden & Partners will be contacting all clients individually to ensure that they such an identifier before January 2018 and to offer assistance to obtain it, should it be needed.
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is a replacement for the Data Protection Act, which will become effective on May 25th 2018. Its purpose is to strengthen control over firms such as Holden & Partners who hold client personal data. Broadly speaking this means that:
Holden & Partners will require client consent to hold personal data in all circumstances, other than when there is a regulatory requirement for the firm to do so.
Clients will have the right to obtain copies of their personal data from Holden & Partners without charge.
Consequently, clients should expect to be contacted in early 2018 in order to obtain consent to hold their personal data.
We are currently looking for a new member to join our adviser support team, a small group of financial services administrators with responsibility for assisting the firm’s advisers across a wide range of tasks.
This is a position that requires a key team player with flexible working practices, able to facilitate the varied job role. Regular duties include:
Providing support to advisers and para-planners
Processing new business
Implementing advice given to clients
Liaising with product providers and clients
Basic report writing
The ideal candidate will have prior experience in a financial services company, preferably an IFA. The candidate will have experience using XPLAN and/or Adviser Office (also known as Avelo or 1st Software) and should be confident dealing with high net worth private clients. Preferably, the candidate will have experience with WRAP platforms and is working towards the Diploma in Financial Planning.
The first half of 2017 continued in a similar vein to the latter stages of 2016; an extremely supportive period for markets in which numerous global equity indices reached all-time highs. Investors witnessed robust gains in Q1 especially, driven by a raft of positive economic data and the perception of a stronger global recovery. Further advancement was seen in Q2, although movements in the latter stages of the period became more nuanced as investors distinguished between improving corporate earnings and economic data in Europe, and a slight disappointment in expectations in the USA. In contrast to recent years, political and economic surprises were not accompanied by an increase in market volatility – in fact, the VIX index (measuring the volatility of the US equity market) reached its lowest level since 1993, perhaps suggesting that investors are now focusing more heavily on underlying economic growth than the instability created by specific events.
2017’s pro-equity environment started with President Trump’s inauguration in January, as markets were buoyed by the administration’s plans to cut taxes, reduce the regulatory burden on companies, and increase infrastructure spending, alongside the expectation of higher GDP growth and inflation. Nonetheless, the so-called ‘reflation’ trade started to lose momentum within a few months as little progress was made on implementing the reform agenda, with the failure to pass revisions to healthcare legislation in March demonstrating Trump’s inability to deliver on many of his policies. With this came the realisation that a large boost to economic growth was unlikely, and the subsequent unwinding of the rally in value-orientated stocks which had surged since the election result. That being said, equity valuations continued to rise on the back of positive economic data, although this became softer in Q2 as several leading indicators disappointed. The Federal Reserve (Fed) looked through low inflation readings to further tighten policy with a 0.25% interest rate rise in June, whilst the dollar weakened due to a lack of conviction over the success of fiscal expansion and the expectation of other central banks around the world withdrawing monetary stimulus.
In the post Brexit environment and with the next general election up to 3 years away, Phillip Hammond could, in his first budget, afford to disappoint those expecting the economy to receive a fiscal boost from new spending initiatives.
The circumspect tone of the 2017 budget seemed to blend with the caution most commentators express regarding the prospects for the UK economy. The absence of clear exit terms as the UK transitions away from EU membership into an unknown and uncertain trading entity, make his caution understandable. Perhaps he is also frustrated by the lack of a clear post Brexit agenda.
The backdrop to this edition is one of all change. Changes at Holden & Partners, on political stages and in investment markets.
In the face of change, there is no shortage of material on which to inform and provide commentary. The newsletter containing a diversity of articles from Brexit, through to new technology at Holden & Partners.
We hope you will find plenty of interest and please if you are minded, provide us with your feedback.
Both written and unwritten constitutions are under threat with the pillars supporting them under attack, as populist forces gather, chipping or pulling apart conventions and traditions embedded across Western democracies. Looking back at periods of calm, today’s investors are being challenged in a way unimaginable a decade or so ago.
Prior to the EU referendum result, investors had witnessed an extremely volatile environment in the first half of 2016, attributable to a complex array of factors. Global equities retreated significantly in February due to concerns surrounding a slowdown in global growth, exacerbated by the weakness in Chinese economic data and Yuan devaluation, as well as a persistently low oil price, which markets seemed to interpret as a sign of scant consumer demand. All of this took place against a backdrop of rising US interest rates, which resulted in an unlikely scenario of monetary tightening in the world’s largest economy, with the remainder of the globe struggling to generate meaningful growth of any sort. Risk aversion and volatility reached near-term highs, although this now pales into insignificance when compared to the instability created by the Brexit vote in the final weeks of June, particularly for UK investors.
In the latest edition, Jack Rawcliffe looks at the implications of a UK exit from the EU, Stefani Rogers reviews the dividend tax regime, Amelia Sexton discusses the impact of the UN Paris agreement, Neil Sargeant looks at the latest round of proposed changes to pensions and Aram Kupelian considers how the new inheritance tax regime will work. Finally, Reece Biggadike evaluates end of tax year planning opportunities.
Up until 6 April 2015, pension contribution limits, known as the annual allowance, were relatively simple.
In essence you could contribute up to £40,000 (gross) per annum either via an employer, individual or a combination of both. In addition, where you had unused annual allowance (AA) from the previous 3 tax years, you could carry forward the unused allowances to the current tax year.
From October 2015, existing pensioners and those retiring before 6 April 2016, will have the option of making additional National Insurance Contributions (Class 3A) in order to increase their state pension by a maximum of £25 a week / £1,300 a year.
The income is taxable, linked to inflation (CPI) and 50% can be inherited by a surviving spouse. The scheme operates like an annuity in the sense that the individual pays a lump sum in exchange for a guaranteed income for life. The amount of the lump sum required will depend on the individual’s age.
Holden & Partners
The Piano Works
117 Farringdon Road
London EC1R 3BX
Tel: 020 7812 1460
Holden & Partners is recognized as one of the leading Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) companies in the UK, having recently been named as a Top 25 IFA by thewealthnet.com for the fifth time in the last six years, as well as being named as a New Model Adviser Top 100 firm for the second year in a row.
These awards, alongside the Chartered Insurance Institute Chartered Financial Planner Firm status demonstrate our recognition for high quality financial planning, expertise, professionalism and commitment to delivery and service to our clients.