AKG in the News

Through its role as a leading provider of independent information, both ratings and other assessment and comparative data, AKG regularly appears across trade and national publications. AKG enjoys a particularly high profile with intermediary firms and product providers and other key bodies.

A roundup of appearances is provided here for reference.

Four pillars of DFM due diligence

Andrew Denham-Davis of Brooks Macdonald looks at processes that can help paraplanners improve due diligence on their discretionary fund manager partners, including reference to how AKG’s DFM Profile & Financial Strength Reports can be used to support financial strength considerations.

Professional Paraplanner - 01 Sep 2017

AKG financial strength ratings for insurance companies referenced in third party market report on the bulk annuity market.

Hymans Robertson has recently published its annual review of the bulk annuity market. The 2017 Risk transfer report explores bulk annuity insurers, insurance company strategies, regulation, longevity and demand from DB pension schemes. AKG’s financial strength ratings for insurance companies (assessed within our sector for Life Companies, Friendly Societies & Similar Providers) are referenced within the Insurer summary insights section of the report.

Hymans Robertson Risk transfer report, August 2017 - 08 Aug 2017

Financial strength ratings: what are they and how to use them in your due diligence

Guy Vanner, Managing Director at AKG Financial Analytics, was interviewed as part of the DISCUS COFFEE Talks series where he talked about AKG’s approach to financial strength assessments and ratings, including some of the key factors considered within AKG’s analysis.

DISCUS (Discretionary Investment Services Coming Under Scrutiny) - 20 Jul 2017

Aviva puts forward 1% 'all-in fee' on PruFund rival

Jack Gilbert of Citywire’s New Model Adviser discusses the potential market entrance of a new smooth managed fund proposition from Aviva and its potential market positioning. The article includes brief reference to with profits market data from AKG.

New Model Adviser - 14 Jul 2017

AKG assessment of Royal London’s Governed Portfolio proposition

Royal London has commissioned AKG to carry out an independent assessment of the governance structure and processes which underpin the ongoing delivery of Royal London’s Governed Portfolio proposition. The key tenet of this assessment is to look at how governance works in practice and how it responds to, and deals with, change. The role of Royal London’s Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) is also appraised, and the involvement of Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) is also considered.

Royal London for advisers - 27 Jun 2017

What do adviser’s look for when researching discretionary solutions?

Gillian Hepburn from DISCUS highlights some of the key criteria being used by advisers when they review and select Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM) propositions via the DISCUS Compare tool. A new entrant to the Top 10 criteria was the ‘Availability of a financial strength rating and report from AKG’.

DISCUS (Discretionary Investment Services Coming Under Scrutiny) - 08 Jun 2017

Technical Briefing, Pension Freedoms

Catch of the day – As the UK Pension Freedoms introduced two years ago raised customer awareness of the need for pension planning, exciting new market opportunities are there for the taking for those businesses angling for them. AKG’s Communications Director, Matt Ward, takes a look at the evolving post-Pension Freedoms retirement market…

International Adviser - 01 Jun 2017

AKG Rating

Ratings agency AKG has upgraded our SIPP’s financial strength rating to a ‘B’ demonstrating our continued commitment and investment in our SIPP business. The move means our financial strength is now rated as ‘strong’. The AKG rating is designed to meet adviser’s information needs for assessing the financial strength of UK providers and to provide independently evaluated information to assist in the choice of a service provider. It evaluates company structure, financial data, assets under administration, distribution and product information and service.

Barnett Waddingham - 23 May 2017

Focus on retirement – the evolving UK retirement market

We are on the cusp of the second anniversary of the introduction of pension freedoms in the UK, and it has been fascinating to monitor how the retirement market is evolving. Many companies and stakeholders across the market have had to (re-)appraise and evaluate their strategies because of these changes. In this feature AKG looks at some of the associated emerging behaviours, developments and trends.

Commerzbank, Thinking Ahead Magazine - 03 Apr 2017

Key DFM due diligence steps and the role of provider-level assessment as part of this process

In the Q1 2017 edition of Synaptic Software’s Connection Magazine, AKG discusses the requirement for advisers to establish a robust and repeatable due diligence framework when selecting DFMs and proposes a balanced four-step process to employ when seeking to carry out such due diligence exercises.

Synaptic Software, Connection Magazine - 16 Mar 2017

2017 UK pensions market outlook and direction of travel

2017 promises to be another busy year for pensions in the UK, but with further collaborative and progressive industry efforts, there would appear to be some promising signs ahead. Matt Ward, Communications Director at AKG Financial Analytics, discusses the outlook and direction of travel for the UK pensions market during 2017 in the January edition of Commerzbank’s Thinking Ahead Magazine.

Commerzbank’s Thinking Ahead Magazine - 03 Jan 2017

The Seven Steps to DFM Due Diligence

Andrew Denham-Davis of Brooks Macdonald recommends an end-to-end process for advisers conducting DFM due diligence which includes reference to AKG’s DFM financial strength ratings.

Professional Paraplanner - 19 Dec 2016

FCA sets deadline to end closed life book ‘poor practice’

A tighter framework for closed books of life and pensions business has been unveiled by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after uncovering poor practices in parts of the industry. IA’s Mark Battersby discusses the recent guidance paper issued by the FCA and includes a brief quote from AKG’s MD, Guy Vanner.

International Adviser - 09 Dec 2016

Forces impacting on survival rate of financial services firms

Guy Vanner, MD at AKG Financial Analytics, discusses the evolution and positioning of the international retail financial services market in light of the various challenges that have presented themselves to companies in this space in recent years.

International Adviser - 05 Dec 2016

DFM due diligence for advisers

AKG’s suggested approach for advisers wishing to establish robust research and due diligence processes for the selection and re-appraisal of DFM partners is featured on Aviva for Advisers.

Aviva for Advisers - 30 Nov 2016

DISCUS Coffee Talks with Matt Ward on adviser’s DFM due diligence

Abbie Knight from DISCUS shares the latest video in the DISCUS COFFEE TALKS series where she spoke with Matt Ward, Communications Director at AKG, to gather his thoughts on the subject of DFM due diligence. Read on and watch the video below to hear the AKG view and learn about their suggested four step process for advisers.

DISCUS (Discretionary Investment Services Coming Under Scrutiny) - 10 Nov 2016

DFM due diligence distilled

Andrew Denham-Davis of Brooks Macdonald considers how the potentially daunting prospect of effective DFM due diligence might best be tackled by advisers and paraplanners. Feature published in Professional Paraplanner and makes reference to AKG’s DFM financial strength assessments.

Professional Paraplanner - 03 Nov 2016

DFM due diligence for advisers

The requirement for advisers, both those considering partners for the first time or those re-assessing existing partners, to better understand their DFM business partners by carrying out more comprehensive due diligence is evident, backed by a regulatory focus on due diligence processes when selecting solutions and partners. AKG’s Communications Director, Matt Ward, gives his view on how to carry out effective DFM due diligence.

SimplyBiz - Community Chronicle, Autumn 2016 - 23 Sep 2016

Prudential commissions due diligence guides for advisers

The belief that due diligence on investment products shouldn’t rest solely with advisers has seen Prudential commission two independent research companies to produce some guides to support financial advisers in meeting their research requirements. Focusing on Prudential’s PruFund range of funds; the guides from Defaqto cover Isas, bonds and pensions, while the report produced by AKG looks specifically at structure, investment management and governance capabilities.

International Adviser - 05 Aug 2016

The role of financial strength in the adviser due diligence process

The theme of adviser due diligence processes remains a hot topic, particularly in light of the FCA’s paper related to this subject – TR16/1: Assessing suitability: Research and due diligence of products and services – published in February 2016. In this feature Matt Ward from AKG looks at the role of financial strength in the adviser due diligence process for platforms.

Insider on Investments, Simplybiz Group - 28 Jun 2016

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