Investment management

AJ Bell boss pockets £23.1m

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The boss of investment platform AJ Bell has pocketed £23.1m from the company he helped set up.

Andy Bell sold 5.5 million shares in the investment platform, more than 1.2% of the total in circulation, according to a filing on the London Stock Exchange.

Mr Bell is still the company's largest shareholder with around 24% of shares in his name, or owned by people close to him.

He is still "fully committed to the business and confident in the outlook," the company said.

Nuns attack world's largest asset manager

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Investment giant BlackRock has come under attack by nuns.

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas has taken shareholder action on behalf of the 9,000 nuns it represents to try and force the world's largest asset manager to take action on climate change.

It has filed a joint shareholder motion through its investment fund, Mercy Investment Services, ahead of BlackRock’s annual meeting next year.

Tthe nuns have called for the company, which managers £5.25tn, to use its influence to encourage companies to move faster to reduce emissions.

“We believe it is BlackRock’s fiduciary responsibility to review how climate change quantitatively impacts […] portfolio companies, evaluate how specific shareholder resolutions on climate may impact shareholder value, and vote accordingly,” the group said.

Time to build 'culture of saving and investment'

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PIMFA, the trade body for the investment and financial advice industry, has put its pitch to the new government asking for policymakers to work together in to "build a culture of saving and investment for the long term".

Liz Field, chief executive, said: "This starts with ensuring that policymakers are able to create an environment where ordinary retail savers can thrive.

"We look forward to working with the new government in moving towards this goal."

M&G points to 'heightened concern about liquidity in funds'

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"M&G’s decision to suspend the fund comes at a time when there is heightened concern about liquidity in funds, with investors understandably jittery after Woodford’s fund closure," pointed out Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at investment platform AJ Bell.

Property is an inherently illiquid asset, potentially taking months to sell, and so when faced with large outflows the fund manager has to juggle selling off assets and maintaining cash levels, he pointed out

"The M&G Property Portfolio only had 5% in cash at the end of October, presumably after seeing sizeable outflows. This suspension will give the managers time to sell off assets in order to meet those redemptions."