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News in brief: Dynamic Planner & Novia, Prudential, Gravis and Legg Mason fund launches

3 October 2019

Dynamic Planner integrates with Novia platform

Dynamic Planner has integrated with Novia for valuations, bringing the number of integrations the brand has to 22 platforms and providers.

Dynamic Planner said the integration with Novia will support advice firms by:

  • Enabling advisers to quickly value a client’s holdings: ISA’s, GIA’s, offshore bonds and SIPP’s are covered by the service;
  • Saving time obtaining and manually entering holdings;
  • Ensure client valuations are accurate and up to date, direct from source;
  • Give advisers access to Novia which is independent of any product providers and offers unfettered access to market leading technology solutions.

James Smith, head of Adviser Services, Dynamic Planner said: “Advisers are facing increasing demands from the regulator which must be followed to the letter, whilst at the same time they need to ensure their business stays efficient to ensure suitability for the future.  This latest integration will help support advisers in saving time as well as ensuring all client data is accurate and up to date, and regulations are adhered to.”

FCA fines Pru £24m

The FCA has fined The Prudential Assurance Company Limited (Prudential) £23,875,000 for failures related to non-advised sales of annuities.

Firms are required to explain to customers that they may get a better rate if they shop around on the open market.

The FCA said that between July 2008 and September 2017, Prudential’s non-advised annuity business focused on selling annuities directly to existing Prudential pension holders. Prudential was aware that many customers could get a higher income in retirement by shopping around on the open market.

The regulator said Prudential failed to ensure that customers were consistently informed that they may get a better deal if they shopped around and failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs in breach of its obligation to ensure fair treatment of customers. In addition, it failed to ensure that documentation used by call handlers was appropriate and failed to monitor calls with customers properly.

Mark Steward, executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA said: “Prudential failed to treat some of its customers, who could have secured a better deal on the open market, fairly. These are very serious breaches that caused harm to those customers. Prudential is now rightly focussed on redress and today’s financial penalty reinforces the cardinal obligation of fairness that firms owe to customers.”

Gravis launches UK Listed Property Fund

Gravis Advisory Limited, a subsidiary of Gravis Capital Management Ltd, has launched the VT Gravis UK Listed Property Fund (GULP”, the firm’s third OEIC.

The fund will be managed by Gravis’ newly appointed head of Real Estate Securities, Matthew Norris, and will provide access to UK listed property securities that target long-term, dependable cashflows.

Investments will primarily focus on UK REITs, but will also include property related closed ended investment companies, corporate bonds and equities.

The fund expects to have minimal exposure to the UK retail sector and will not hold any direct property investments. It will offer daily dealing and will aim to remove the risk of gating.

In line with the existing Gravis range, the new fund is expected to deliver a regular quarterly dividend, low volatility and capped charges taken from capital. Target yield will be of 4% p.a.

Norris said: “GULP will offer investors exposure to a diversified range of specialist UK real estate securities. It will focus on the UK property sectors supported by the most powerful current trends, which we identify as: an ageing population, urbanisation, technological development, and changing residential requirements. Each of these trends is changing the real estate landscape and creating new opportunities for investors.”

The Fund will launch with an offer period which will run from 1 – 31 October.

  • 0.7% AMC taken from capital and capped
  • Minimum investments £100
  • Yield objective 4% per annum paid quarterly
  • Available on all major platforms and directly.

Legg Mason launches Asia Unconstrained Fund

Legg Mason has launched the Legg Mason IF Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained Fund as part of an expansion of its unconstrained range of portfolios.

The fund is part of the existing range of Asian long-term unconstrained strategies – with current assets under management of $2.5bn – which Martin Currie has managed since 2008.

The Fund seeks to capture Asian economic growth (excluding Japan) through a concentrated, unconstrained  portfolio of 20-40 high-quality companies. It is a UK-domiciled, daily-traded fund managed by Martin Currie’s head of Asia, Andrew Graham, and his fellow portfolio manager, Paul Danes.

The team seeks growth businesses in the region, with a particular focus on companies with high free cashflow which have shown to be strong stewards of capital. It also operates a long-term ‘buy-and-hold’ approach, aiming to hold companies for over 5 years in order to compound returns, as well as reducing transaction costs.