The Morning Briefing: Resetting the year for Abrn and Liontrust suspends Russian fund


Hello and welcome to your Morning Briefing on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. To get this delivered to your inbox every morning Click here.

“Reset Year” for Abrn

Wealth manager Abrn reported “strong progress” in the first year of its three-year plan to return to growth.

For the first time since its merger between Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017, Abrdn recorded an increase in revenue for the full year.

In its 2021 annual results, the company said fee-based revenue rose 6% to £1.5bn, from £1.4bn in 2020.

Liontrust suspends its Russian fund

Liontrust has decided to suspend operations on the Liontrust Russia Fund. This means that investors are unable to make purchases or redemptions in the fund until further notice.

In a brief statement, he said: “We have not taken this action lightly, but in this case we believe it is in the best interests of all investors given the events of the past few days and come after discussions with the Fund’s custodian.

“These events include today’s closure of the Moscow Stock Exchange and the temporary ban on foreign investors selling local Russian securities.”

Green in the office

“I’ve always been crazy about sports. I played at Norwich Football Academy until I was 12.

“They released me. I wasn’t good enough for a football career and that’s when I took up golf.

“I became very passionate about golf. I finally won a scholarship to the University of Iowa in America where I studied communication.

To kick off our First Person series, journalist Jean-Baptiste Andrieux interviews James Reiss, Managing Director of David James Wealth, part of the Quilter Network. James joined the financial advisory profession after years on the golf course.

quote of the day

Airlines have faced even more turbulence as fuel costs rise and concerns grow over the impact of the Ukraine crisis on traveler sentiment. The closure of the airspace around the conflict zone and the ban on flights from Russia in many skies have added to the operational difficulties of companies with regular routes in the region.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and market analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, on the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the airline industry

Stat Attack

Commuters face a series of price hikes as rail fares and fuel rise again as the fight continues for travel stocks.

Fuel prices are reaching record highs of 151.25p on average per liter of gasoline with diesel at 154.72pwith much higher peaks at highway service stations.

Airlines are flying into more turbulence as the conflict in Ukraine escalates and oil prices remain high.

Domestic travel stocks fail to recover as Trainline stock price falls 63% vs declining pre-pandemic and caterer SSP levels 50%.

Annual increase in rail fares of 3.8% takes effect from Tuesday, March 1.

Transport for London fares will also increase by 4.8% to help TfL achieve financial sustainability after a drop in passenger numbers during the pandemic.

Source: Hargreaves Lansdown

In other news

LGBT Great today announced the first six financial services organizations to achieve its Gold Standard for LGBT+ equality in financial services.

Fidelity International, Legal and General Group, BlackRock, Lane Clark and Peacock, Janus Henderson Investors and M&G plc have been awarded the prestigious Gold Standard.

This award is given only to financial services organizations that have scored and achieved top marks in LGBT Great’s Inclusion Index Benchmarking Tracker (iiBT).

The iiBT is valuable to financial services organizations because it provides industry-specific perspective and enables benchmarking against relevant industry peers.

The iiBT Framework was developed by LGBT Great alongside the financial services industry, for the industry, and is designed to enable financial services organizations to reach their full diversity, equity and inclusion potential. LGBT+.

World finance leaders, including representatives from the UN and the UK and Scottish governments, have outlined the role Scottish financial services can play in the fight against climate change.

On the day the UN climate body, the IPCC, issued its starkest warnings yet, the UN special envoy for climate action and finance and former governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney; Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and HM Economic Secretary John Glen have come together to highlight how Scotland can become a global hub for climate finance with the launch of a new Scottish Task Force to Green and Sustainable Financial Services, chaired by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative.

They highlighted how Scotland can build on the legacy of COP26 in Glasgow through its intellectual capital, its history as a center of financial innovation and its existing strengths in green finance to lead the transition to net zero savings.

One of the UK’s fastest growing financial services networks, The Right Mortgage, is to include UnderwriteMe’s protection platform as part of its advisor protection offering. This means advisors and their clients will have the power to quote, underwrite and underwrite online with ‘buy now’ prices from the majority of popular UK insurers.

The partnership builds on a pilot project in 2021 that demonstrated the benefits of the platform through a trial with a small number of advisors within The Right Mortgage.

Right Mortgage Chief Product Officer Vincent O’Connor said, “As a network, we pride ourselves on offering a service that supports all advisors and businesses, which is why it was so important to hear positive feedback from advisors who participated in the pilot.

“It was evident from the details that the protection platform complements the protection process by saving time, giving the advisor and clients full control of the application journey and increasing adoption of protection.

UnderwriteMe Sales Director Phil Nash added: “The protection platform is growing rapidly, with many of the UK’s most prestigious life insurance specialists using our software. The adoption of the platform over the past few years has been great to see. »

Sanlam Investments announces the external launch of its Sustainable Global Dividend Fund after receiving recent Section 8 approval. It is led by Mark Whitehead and Alan Porter, who joined the firm from Martin Currie in December 2020.

The fund has built a one-year balance sheet with £200m of internal money. The managers, veterans of sustainable income investing, use a bespoke sustainability scorecard, in addition to excluding companies with more than 10% exposure to alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons, adult entertainment and fossil fuel extraction. The portfolio must have an ESG rating of AA or AAA from MSCI at all times.

Mark Whitehead, Manager of Sanlam’s Sustainable Global Dividend Fund, said: “The societal changes demonstrated by events over the past two years have put climate change and sustainability at the top of the agenda for everyone. This is an opportune time for funds that focus on the best sustainable, dividend-paying companies; and we mean sustainable in both senses of the word.

“We are seeing promising signs of strong dividend growth and cash flow and corporate balance sheets are strong. We expect DPS growth in the mid-7% range over the next few years, at a portfolio level.”

Chris Rodgers, Head of Investments and Risk at Sanlam Investment, added: “The hiring of Mark and Alan has been instrumental in our strategy to develop a premium line of specialty funds. the sanlam The Sustainable Global Dividend fund is the ideal vehicle for their expertise which combines dividend investing and sustainability.


Investors warn some UK companies about diversity ahead of general meetings (Reuters)

The financial strategy “marks a sea change” in the economic approach, according to Forbes (The Independent)

UK steps up sanctions on Russia as Johnson warns Putin of ‘colossal mistake’ (evening standard)

Have you seen?

“Having worked for many media bosses over the past three decades or more, I have painful direct experience of sudden and repeated changes at the top. On a daily newspaper, we had five different editors at the helm in less than five years.

“On the face of it, the decision announced last October by the chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority, Charles Randell, to step down from his post, which he had held since April 2018, is therefore not a big deal.”

Nic Cicutti calls for ‘real action’ from FCA.


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