Quarterly Newsletter - April 2018 - Paul Beard Introduction
by Alexander Beard, on Apr 24, 2018 9:32:09 AM
Welcome to our Spring edition newsletter, although the last 3 months here in the UK have felt like an eternal winter.
There isn’t a great deal to report upon in the world of money, finance and investment this quarter including ‘goings on’ at ABG.
The economy in the UK remains buoyant, tax revenues are now meeting normal expenditure and the Chancellor has room to pay off debt, but increased spending on the NHS may put a stop to that in the very near future.
Mr Trump’s somewhat heavy-handed approach to trade negotiations appears to have just about alienated every country imaginable, although Britain (ironically, as still part of the EU) did gain exemption from the Iron and Steel tariffs. China has responded aggressively which pushed world markets sharply downwards due to fears of a prolonged trade war.
Some people think that this type of ‘war’ would be infinitely preferable to the one Mr Putin seems to have in mind!!
However, all is not doom and gloom and I remain very optimistic about Britain and our future, unemployment is still very low, all the businesses that we serve appear to be growing and the tax-take, referred to above is always a positive indicator.
At ABG we have appointed a new Head of Compliance and Client services, Kate Parfitt who comes to us after a long career at Sanlam.
During the first quarter we saw the retirement of two of our most respected figures, Max Bogaard who’s business in Holland was merged into ABG three and a half years ago, retired from our holding company Board, as well as my great friend Frank Randall after extending his tenure two years beyond our normal Board retirement age. They have both made great contributions to the growing success of ABG, albeit in different ways.
Max’s son, Bram, the MD of our European Employee Benefits business now joins the parent company Board and I know he will make a significant contribution.
The daffodils are finally out and we look forward to a delayed spring and hopefully some better weather.