The last three months have, as always, been blighted by the holiday season, when it sometimes seems like everyone but me is sunning themselves…!
Seriously though I hope everyone enjoyed a good summer.
The investment climate in the last quarter has largely been established by events in China, falling commodity demand and the continued debate over if and when interest rates are going to rise. Certainly not as quick as everyone predicted as far as the USA is concerned. For further insight on this and our Investment Director, Andrew Moore’s thoughts please click hereto read the article. You can also benefit from Andrew’s wisdom in our weekly and monthly Investment bulletin and outlook. Go to http://www.abg.net/media-centre/investment-commentary
Here at ABG however, it has been business as usual with new business growing in every one of our 4 Divisions, none so much as in our International Employee Benefits business as well as the Schools and Aid Agencies Division; in both of these businesses our primary market is the USA and we continue to attract new corporate and NGO clients from there, who have employees based around the world. Our international retirement plan business, for employees of international schools and charities based overseas now has aggregate contributions to both the International Schools and TCN International Retirement Plan in excess of $3M.
As a result of his article in Family Law magazine, the MD of our Expat and Emigration business, Phil Teague has opened up a seam of very challenging advice working with various law firms on managing pensions funds in cross border divorce work.
Our acquisition of Lepretre and Partners is now 9 months old and the presence of an ABG office in Central London has helped us continue the level of service we desire to individual clients; Andrew Moore’s Managed Portfolio Service has attracted over £15M since launch 5 months ago.
We are hoping to announce the opening of a new ABG office in France very soon, catering for both British Expats relocated to France and French expats returning home (there are over 500,000 now working in the UK for example).
On the corporate front I was delighted to renew our support of what was People-in-Aid (now CHS Alliance) and am also pleased to say that we have continued the support Lepretre and Partners gave to MyBnk. You can learn more about both of these fine organisations and the valuable work they do on http://chsalliance.org/ and http://mybnk.org/ respectively.
Last month my long standing colleague and friend of 24 years, John Croasdale and his step daughter Siobhan (who also works for us), completed separate gruelling challenges; John did an 88 mile cycle ride with a 9,000 foot climb in one day! and Siobhan completed a Coast to Coast ‘iron-man’ (or should that be iron woman in this case) challenge. I was immensely proud of their efforts in raising £2,000 for the marvellous St John’s Hospice at Clatterbridge Hospital.
Last month also saw the retirement of Liz Chesters from our Schools Division; Liz has been with this business almost from Day 1, 10 years ago. We all wish her and her husband a long and healthy retirement and more time to spend with their new Grandchild. Liz made a great contribution to that business and I know that not only will she be sorely missed here but also by hundreds of international schools’ teachers around the world who will miss her friendly and helpful advice and support.Newsletters, Alexander Beard, Paul Beard