Quarterly Newsletter – May 2015
by Alexander Beard, on May 5, 2015 3:29:28 PM
Spring has finally arrived, the daffodils are blooming and the sun is shining (for now at least!)
The first 3 months of this year at ABG have been taken up with integrating the new acquisitions we announced in our last newsletter and we now have a fully functioning office in Central London, a new Investment Director in the form of Andrew Moore (see below) and a great addition to our employee benefits business via our new office in the Netherlands.
To complement all this we have updated our corporate identity and by the time the next quarterly newsletter is due we should have the next generation of our website www.abg.net up and running with an array of social media functions.
The next stage of our development in the UK is the launch on 1st May of our new range of in-house advisery investment portfolios and my thanks go to Andrew for all his hard work in developing this exciting new proposition.
On the technology front version ii of our online flexible benefits portal, StaffChoice, has been successfully launched and transition of UK investment clients to our online valuations portal continues to grow.
Internationally, our AMVE$T pension product for British clients living in the USA is attracting regular new business and Phil Teague and his team in our Expat and Emigration business continue to pleasantly confound us with their new business growth in Australia and New Zealand serving emigrating families and individuals and a growing number of globally mobile expatriates, many of whom are coming to us from the growth in take up of our international pension products in the international schools and charities marketplace.
The changes in the UK pension rules has now started to have an impact and requires both careful advice from us and equally careful consideration by clients considering taking larger lump sums from their pension pots; the headline motivator of now being able to access as much as one wants from this source of funds has to be tempered by having more than ‘one-eye’ on future income requirements in retirement and we are committed to counselling clients to take this into account. As well as possible tax considerations (as for many taking a lump sum of £10,000-£20, 000 will push them into the 40% rate of tax) sometimes the obvious has to be stated that once taken you lose income and capital growth for the future from this capital sum. It is good to see both the Government and the Regulators pushing the public to take financial advice before making a hasty decision but on the flip side some of the more dire warnings from various groups about most people squandering their pension legacy on Ferrari’s and the like is simply scaremongering. As with all things financial the maxim of prudence still holds good