This week’s update comes to you a day earlier than usual, in preparation for the May Bank Holiday, moved this year to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Whilst many of the planned commemorative events to mark the end of World War Two fighting in Europe have been cancelled, we are being encouraged to reflect in other ways1. The two minutes silence at 11 am will, of course, go ahead as planned. The national toast to the heroes of the war had originally been arranged to take place in pubs across the country. Despite their closure, we can all still raise a glass this Friday. Finally, a nation-wide chorus of Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again is due to follow the broadcast of the Queen’s Speech2. The song has become even more profound of late, taking on new meaning during lockdown. Whilst this is not the way we had envisioned celebrating the heroic efforts of a generation besieged by six years of war, it will still be possible to remember the sacrifices made and consider what we can do to keep the country safe in the face of a very different threat.

Across many countries, the first of May represents Workers’ Day or Labour Day. Consequently, we turned our thoughts to how companies have been looking after their workforce. The government’s job retention scheme has been lauded as a lifeline for businesses and individuals set to suffer during this period of upheaval brought about by the pandemic. Research from think tank, The High Pay Centre indicates that 18% of FTSE 100 firms are using the furlough scheme, 37% of these companies have cut executive pay and 33% are withdrawing or withholding dividend payments.

It is heartening to see that some big businesses are looking to trim pay for those at the top, in order to preserve the long-term future of the company. However, the research also points out that over the past five years, FTSE 100 companies have spent £321 million combined on CEO pay and paid out £26 billion in dividends3. This has led to criticism, with claims that large businesses reducing pay at the top is merely a publicity stunt4.

It is against this background that we await with interest which of these firms continue to rein in the cost of executive pay and which revert to previous levels. In the aftermath of this crisis we will all be braced for difficulties, but as investors, it is important to ensure that workforces are not unduly burdened with that cost. This applies particularly when businesses have received help from the government and those with positions of seniority continue to enjoy high pay. We believe that Covid-19 has brought these issues to the fore and has served as a test of human capital management.

At Holden & Partners, we are aware that the welfare of employees is integral to long-term success. Not only do we operate with that in mind as a business, but we continue to feature the consideration of social issues as an important factor in our fund selection process.





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My wife and I really value the advice and support we’ve received over many years. Our key contact is Tim Cosway, whose friendly and calm manner is a real plus. He also involves team members who are equally committed. We particularly value that their approach is that no question is stupid – we always receive a clear and helpful explanation. We have full confidence in the team’s management of our finances and definitely recommend them.


We have consulted Holden and Partners for 10 years.  Having been in financial disarray because of poor advice from our previous financial advisor, we have Tim Cosway to thank for digging us out of a deep financial hole.  As a result of his painstaking tenacity pursuing a claim against our former financial advisor through the Financial Ombudsman Service, which resulted in substantial compensation, we can anticipate a comfortable retirement.  We continue to take Tim’s advice on all financial matters.  He is a pleasure to deal with, and we whole heartedly recommend Holden and Partners, and Tim in particular.

Mike & Jacque

I have been a customer of Holden & Partners since its inception. During this time, no matter what the state of the financial climate, I have always found that their advice has been balanced and fair. They have a good understanding of everyone’s individual circumstances and produced tailored strategies to match these needs and expectations.

Duncan B, NHS consultant

I’ve always received high quality, personable advice at a time of my convenience. My adviser has often travelled to my home in order to provide very personal service. The advice given is clear and unambiguous. The risks of different types of investment have been clearly discussed to allow me to make an appropriate decision on the nature of my investment portfolio. This has been of great importance when considering the available investment options for my forthcoming retirement. I have always considered that Holden & Partners is very client centred and they have my best interests at heart. I have been with Holden & Partners since 1996 and have recommended them to friends and colleagues on many occasions.

Michael, Surgeon

Holden & Partners manage our company pension scheme with a totally professional and dedicated approach. They have worked with us over a number of years, and are able to explain the potential ‘minefield’ that is pensions, to make it perfectly accessible for the staff.

Jeremy, Print Management Partner

On retirement after 40 years of salaried employment, I interviewed several financial advisers, amongst whom Mark Dodd of Holden & Partners was the nicest and seemingly the most understanding of my investment needs and priorities. Since then my wife and I have had regular (c.6-monthly) meetings with him in order to check and, when necessary, adjust the holdings in our portfolio. This has been very helpful and provided a comforting sense of confidence and security. I have recommended Holden & Partners to others and will certainly continue to do so.

Patrick, retired university professor

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of global trends such as climate change and environmental destruction. But I feel I regain power as a consumer and a citizen by thinking about where I spend my money and to whom I entrust my savings. I chose Holden and Partners because they were recommended to me and because of their strong track record in ethical investments. It has proven to be a wise choice. Their advisors listened carefully to my needs and created an investment strategy and portfolio that has met and indeed continues to exceed my expectations. The culture of a company also matters to me, I have found their advisors to be well informed and financially shrewd but also easy to speak to and engage with. Many of us find it difficult to trust institutions and organisations these days, but I do trust Holden and Partners to make the right decisions on my behalf.
I would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.

Patrick, Advertising and Marketing Consultant

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