Archive for October, 2012

Emirates NBD Asset Management appoints David Marshall as new Senior …

Oct 31 2012

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Emirates NBD



Dubai, October 31, 2012:
Emirates NBD
Asset Management Limited, the asset management arm of
Emirates NBD
, a leading bank in the region, announced today the appointment of David Marshall as its new Senior Executive Officer, with the mandate to further grow and develop
Emirates NBD
Asset Management in line with global industry benchmarks. Marshall takes over from Deon Vernooy, who has moved on to pursue other career opportunities.

Pierre Pissaloux, General Manager, Wealth Management,
Emirates NBD
, said: “I am delighted to announce David’s appointment from within the group. David brings with him more than 16 years of extensive and varied experience in the financial services industry, both in the region and abroad, and I am confident that under his leadership, the Asset Management division will continue to grow from strength to strength.”

Prior to his appointment as head of the business, David was Head of Product and Distribution,
Emirates NBD
Asset Management, and was responsible for investment product development and the management of the company’s global distribution channels.


Emirates NBD
Asset Management is committed to delivering superior products to its investors. Our team is one of the most experienced in the Middle East, and as such we have been pioneers in helping to develop the asset management industry in the region. David will be instrumental in ensuring that the Asset Management business continues to be at the forefront of the industry.” added Pissaloux.

David Marshall said: “I am delighted to take on this new challenge and I look forward to working with the team to continue to build the business into a truly world class asset management house. We will look to grow – within the newly created Wealth Management platform – our existing distribution network, both internally and externally, and work towards enhancing our existing institutional relationships. The objective is to make sure that all our clients – from Retail to Private Banking, as well as outside the
Emirates NBD
Group – benefit from our capabilities, and that we provide all our investors with sound and robust opportunities.”

Emirates NBD
Asset Management has continued to add to its distribution network, establishing links with companies such as Zurich International, Friends Provident International, Allfunds, Royal Skandia, Salama, Oman Insurance, Hansard, and iFast.

Emirates NBD
Asset Management has, on a number of occasions, been recognized by external awards, most recently as the ‘UAE Asset Manager of the Year’ and the ‘Sukuk Manager of the Year’ at the 2012 Global Investor/ISF Middle East Awards.
Emirates NBD
Asset Management was also named the ‘MENA Sukuk Manager’ of the year at the 2012 Global Investor/ISF Investment Excellence Awards, ‘Best Islamic Wealth Management Service Provider’ at the 2012 Sukuk Summit – Islamic Finance Awards of Excellence.

These awards follow on from the previous year, when
Emirates NBD
Asset Management was awarded the ‘Equity Manager of the Year’ at the Global Investor/ISF Middle East awards and declared the ‘Best Fund Management Company’ at the 2011 Arab Achievement awards.

Emirates NBD
Asset Management has also had seven of its flagship funds graded Silver by SP, including obtaining a Silver grading for the Emirates MENA Fixed Income Fund in 2012, the only such fund to be graded, as well as for The Emirates Global Sukuk Fund.

-Ends-

About
Emirates NBD
:

Emirates NBD
is a leading banking Group in the region. As at 31 December 2011, total assets were AED 284.6 billion. The Group has a leading retail banking franchise in the UAE, with over 168 branches and over 780 ATMs and SDMs. It is a major player in the UAE corporate banking arena and has strong Islamic banking, Global Markets Treasury, Investment Banking, Private Banking, Asset Management and Brokerage operations.

The Group has operations in the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Jersey (Channel Islands), and representative offices in India and Iran.

The Group is an active participant and supporter of the UAE’s main development initiatives and of the various educational, environmental, cultural, charity and community welfare establishments.

For more information, please visit: www.emiratesnbd.com

About
Emirates NBD
Asset Management:

Emirates NBD
Asset Management, which is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, is the asset management division of
Emirates NBD
Bank, one of the largest banks by assets in the MENA region. The asset management entity manages a range of products including MENA equity and fixed income funds and portfolios, global risk profiled funds and a complete range of Shari’a compliant instruments. The
Emirates NBD
Asset Management managed funds are domiciled in Jersey and are regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission.

For further information, please contact:
Hala Zamani/ Hassan Al Khuwaildi
Communications
Group Marketing, Emirates NBD
Tel: 971-4–6093458/ 971-4-6093459
Mob: 971 50 8595599/ 971 50 7454454
Email: halaZ@emiratesnbd.com / HassanAl@emiratesnbd.com

Sudha Chandran / Hiba Moussa
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Dubai, UAE
Tel: 971-4-4507600 Fax: 971-4-4358040
Email: Sudha.chandran@bm.com,hiba.moussa@bm.com

© Press Release 2012


© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.


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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 EN No Comments

St James’s Place helped by market ‘stability’ in Q3

St James’s Place, the FTSE 250 wealth management group, saw a six per cent increase in funds under management (FuM) in the third quarter as it reported good growth in new business despite the continuing macroeconomic uncertainty.

FuM at the end of September totalled £32.8bn, up 6% from the end of the first half and 15% higher than the start of the year. This was driven by a net inflow of funds of £0.75bn and a modest increase in global stock markets.

The firm said: ‘During the third quarter of 2012, world stock markets showed some signs of relative stability despite the on-going uncertainty surrounding European sovereign debt and weak economic data from major world economies.

‘In these challenging conditions we have continued to generate new business growth and maintain our excellent retention of existing business.’

Total single investments increased by 5% during the third quarter to £1.3bn, bringing the year-to-date single investments to over £4.0bn, slightly ahead of the same period last year.

Total new business on an annual premium equivalent (APE) basis was up 8% year-on-year at £165.5m, helped mainly by strong growth of 14% during September.

Chief Executive David Bellamy said: ‘I am confident that the recent trends in new business and recruitment activity, together with the continued strengthening of our investment proposition bodes well for the rest of the year and importantly our future growth prospects.’

Shares rose 3.5% to 393p in early trading on Wednesday.

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Spear’s Wealth Management Awards: Winners’ Photos

Spear’s Wealth Management Awards: Winners’ Photos

Wednesday, 31st October 2012

We have photos of all the winners of the Spear’s Wealth Management Awards 2012/13 here

The awards, called the ‘Oscars ceremony for London’s movers and shakers’, are in their sixth year and recognised ‘the Lord of Bishop’s Avenue’ Trevor Abrahmsohn (Lifetime Achievement), C Hoare Co (Private Bank (UK)), Fran Perrin and Dr Frederick Mulder (Philanthropist), Ross Marshall, Your Golf Travel (Entrepreneur) and Big Society Capital (Spear’s City Champion). The judging panels consisted of CEOs, principals of the country’s top private client firms, leading barristers and experts in their fields, giving the awards an unrivalled authority.

See the full list of winners and nominees here

Photography by Charlie Wheeler

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 EN No Comments

UBS Plans 10000 Job Cuts, Raises Profitability Goal

UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank,
boosted its profitability goal and announced plans for about
10,000 job cuts as Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti scales
back the investment bank to focus on wealth management.

UBS will seek a return on equity, a measure of
profitability, of at least 15 percent starting in 2015, compared
with a previous goal of 12 percent to 17 percent, the Zurich-
based bank said today. It will reduce staff by more than 15
percent to about 54,000 over three years to help save an
additional 3.4 billion Swiss francs ($3.6 billion).

Ermotti is overhauling the bank as Swiss regulators
pressure UBS and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) to boost capital and
reduce risky activities. UBS will retreat from capital-intensive
investment-banking businesses such as fixed-income trading and
rely more on its wealth management unit, the world’s second
largest, to boost returns for shareholders.

“They’re admitting that they’re not a bulge-bracket
investment bank and will never be, which is sensible considering
the new capital requirements,” said Florian Esterer, a fund
manager at MainFirst Schweiz AG in Zurich. “UBS is returning to
the business model of a classic private bank.”

UBS jumped as much as 7 percent in Swiss trading, and was
up 6.6 percent to 13.98 francs by 9:14 a.m. That follows a 7.3
percent gain yesterday after news reports on the company’s
reorganization plans. The stock is up 25 percent this year,
compared with a 16 percent gain in the Bloomberg Europe Banks
and Financial Services Index (BEBANKS), which tracks 38 companies.

Net Loss

The bank posted a net loss of 2.17 billion francs in the
third quarter, compared with a profit of 1.02 billion francs a
year earlier, after booking a pretax impairment charge of 3.1
billion francs related to goodwill and other non-financial
assets associated with the investment bank. Analysts surveyed by
Bloomberg estimated UBS would report a 439 million-franc profit.

The reorganization will result in restructuring charges of
3.3 billion francs over the next three years, UBS said. That
total includes about 500 million francs in the fourth quarter,
which will probably lead to a net loss for the period. Group
return on equity will average in the mid-single digits next year
and in 2014, the bank said.

Wealth management posted a 32 percent drop in third-quarter
pretax profit to 600 million francs and the retail and corporate
unit saw earnings decline 40 percent to 409 million francs as
the year-earlier figures for the businesses benefited from the
sale of assets. Earnings at wealth management Americas jumped 58
percent to 219 million francs and asset management climbed 57
percent to 124 million francs.

Confidence, Experience

The investment bank posted a pretax loss of 2.87 billion
francs compared with a 2.1 billion-franc loss a year ago, when
it booked a loss from unauthorized trading. Wealth management
units attracted 12.3 billion francs in net new funds from
clients. The bank’s Basel III common equity ratio rose to 9.3
percent from 8.8 percent in the second quarter.

“It can’t get better than this point for us to act,”
Ermotti, 52, told journalists at a briefing. “We have
confidence, we have experience and the credentials to do that,
and we have a capital base that allows us to do that,” compared
with a year ago when the bank announced its last reorganization
plans.

UBS will trim risk-weighted assets by about 100 billion
francs by the end of 2017 as it shrinks the fixed-income
businesses of the investment bank. The bank will cut risk-
weighted assets at the fixed-income unit by 80 billion francs
from 110 billion francs. Of these, about 30 billion francs will
come from credit businesses and 40 billion francs from rates,
the bank said.

Orcel’s Role

The investment bank will keep its advisory business, as
well as equities, foreign exchange and precious metals units,
and will maintain facilitation capabilities in rates and credit.
Equity allocated to the unit will drop to 35 percent next year
from 65 percent currently.

The investment bank is expected to contribute about 20
percent to the group’s pretax profits in future, the bank said.
Wealth management units, retail business and asset management,
which will be contributing 80 percent, had annual average pretax
earnings of 5 billion francs over the past two years.

Investment-bank co-head Carsten Kengeter will step down
from the group’s executive board and take charge of winding down
the non-core assets. Andrea Orcel, a 49-year-old former
dealmaker at Bank of America Corp. who has co-headed the
investment bank with Kengeter, 45, since July, will become the
sole head of the unit.

Kengeter Role

Ermotti said Kengeter has a “very important role” in the
revamp and that he has confidence the investment-banker will
stay to see his task through. Ermotti declined to say whether
the reorganization will result in departures of business heads.

Roberto Hoornweg, who co-leads the firm’s fixed income,
currencies and commodities unit with Rajeev Misra, is likely to
leave, two people familiar with the matter said yesterday. Misra
will probably remain at UBS, the people said. Hoornweg is
responsible for foreign exchange, money market and interest-rate
sales and trading, as well as commodities and the investment
bank’s treasury trading activities.

The details of his departure haven’t yet been finalized,
one of the people said. A UBS official in London declined to
comment, as did Hoornweg when reached on his mobile phone.

‘Significant Step’

The reorganization is “the most significant step yet for
the industry, which could be positive for other players,
although we would expect other banks to also re-evaluate their
business models,” Credit Suisse analysts led by Amit Goel said
in a note yesterday. “The benefit UBS has over some peers is
another more profitable franchise, for Barclays and Deutsche
Bank there is less room to maneuver.”

Deutsche Bank AG reported a 3 percent increase in third-
quarter net income today, while Barclays Plc publishes earnings
on Oct. 31. Credit Suisse said last week it plans to cut costs
by an additional 1 billion francs by the end of 2015 after
posting a 63 percent drop in net income to 254 million francs,
in part because of a 1.05 billion-franc pretax accounting charge
related to the bank’s own debt.

The revamp “further strengthens our view on UBS’s ability
to pay material dividends,” Kian Abouhossein, a London-based
analyst at JPMorgan Chase Co., said before today’s release. He
forecasts the bank may pay a dividend of 65 centimes a share for
2013, implying a dividend yield of 5.3 percent.

S.G. Warburg

UBS, which paid its first cash dividend in five years for
2011, amounting to 10 centimes a share, said it plans in the
future to pay out more than 50 percent of earnings to
shareholders, depending on its capital needs. The bank aims to
achieve the 13 percent Basel III common equity ratio in 2014.

The bank is accruing a dividend for this year and doesn’t
rule out making a payout to shareholders even in the likely
event of posting an annual loss, Ermotti said. A final decision
on the dividend will be made at the end of the year, he added.

Personnel reductions will amount to more than 15 percent of
the 63,745 people the bank employed at the end of September.
About 2,500 of the job cuts will be in Switzerland, where the
company employed more than 23,000 people at the end of last
year, and the rest will mainly come from London and the U.S.,
Ermotti said. UBS is adding to 3,500 global job cuts it
announced last year to save 2 billion francs in annual costs.

Front Office

UBS will cut about 2,000, or 28 percent of about 7,200
front-office staff at the investment bank and will make
proportional cuts in the supporting functions, he said. Other
divisions won’t see front-office job reductions beyond natural
fluctuations, he added.

UBS also plans to make investments totaling 1.5 billion
francs over the next three years to help all its businesses
compete and gain market share, the bank said. The bank will
“forcefully compete in every area” it chooses to be in,
Ermotti said, adding that concrete decisions on investments
haven’t been made yet.

“This will take the business back to S.G. Warburg’s
roots,” Christopher Wheeler, an analyst at Mediobanca SpA, said
before the earnings were released. “The question remains the
execution risk. Can they keep staff, including Kengeter? What
will it cost to retain them and what losses might the unit
take?”

Past Lapses

Swiss Bank Corp. bought S.G. Warburg Co., the advisory
firm founded by Siegmund Warburg, in 1995, before joining with
Union Bank of Switzerland to form UBS in a deal completed in
1998.

Kengeter was appointed to co-lead the investment bank with
Alexander Wilmot-Sitwell by former CEO Oswald Gruebel in April
2009, months after he joined from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. at
the nadir of the subprime mortgage crisis. Wilmot-Sitwell, 51,
has since joined Bank of America.

The investment bank has suffered lapses that shook UBS.
Losses during the subprime crisis forced UBS to seek a bailout
from the Swiss government in 2008 to help it spin off toxic
assets. Last year a $2.3 billion loss from unauthorized trading
led to the exit of Gruebel, 68.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Elena Logutenkova in Zurich at
elogutenkova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Frank Connelly at
fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 EN No Comments

Barnett Financial & Tax Launches 400 Wealth Management, a Division for Elite …

The wealthy have found managing their own affairs to be time consuming and feel that it takes them away from the things that made them wealthy in the first place. Barnett Financial Tax has started 400 Wealth Management in order to cater to the unique needs of the affluent while working on their retirement preparedness.

Grand Blanc, MI (PRWEB) October 30, 2012

Professional athletes, entertainers, business owners, doctors and other high net worth individuals are realizing that they are better served handing over everyday maintenance issues to professionals, in order to better utilize their time. Keeping track of bookkeeping, scheduling, bill payment and other daily burdens can really overwhelm an otherwise busy person. Having a trusted, competent professional handle these matters can free the mind and schedule of the mundane, but essential life processes. Tending to these matters also gives Barnett the inside track on retirement preparedness for these clients.

As an experienced Financial and Tax advisory firm, the addition of these services is a natural fit for the team at Barnett Financial Tax. A former professional athlete using the service really appreciates the travel planning aspect of the service. “All I had to do was tell 400 Wealth Management where I needed to be and when, next thing I knew I had a detailed travel itinerary in my e-mail” the client boasted. This client didn’t have to lift a finger to book his flight, room, rental car, dinner reservations or any other travel minutiae. The one-time thorough interview process even takes into account what meals, music, and entertainment the client prefers as well as future retirement preparedness.

All the client services are bundled by need and the associated up to date records are stored on a secure, dedicated server that is accessible to the client 24 hours a day on any device that has internet capability. Other services include: Contract Negotiation, Legal Assistance, Debt Assistance/Negotiation, advice on Auto, Boat, and Plane purchases. These areas,retirement preparedness and many other areas are covered under 400 Wealth Management comprehensive service plans. Barnett Financial Tax’s 400 Wealth Management division is where the elite turn for competent management and coordination of all of life’s time consuming tedium. 400 Wealth Management gives its well-to-do clients the peace of mind that their affairs will be in order and that their wealth will remain intact.

About Barnett Financial Tax

Barnett Financial Tax, Located in Grand Blanc, Michigan provides a team of highly qualified professionals, with backgrounds in Tax, Estate Elder Law, accounting, and financial planning, who provide complete financial services for their clients. Further information about Barnett Financial Tax can be found at http://www.BarnettMRPG.com.

About Rick Barnett

Richard A. Barnett is a Financial Planner with Designations as Certified Estate Planning Professional (CEPP), Christian Financial Consultant Advisor (CFCA) and has a Master of Estate Planning (MEP).

Mr. Barnett has been quoted for the past 20 years in the Flint Journal, the Grand Blanc View and has had appearances as a financial authority on local channels WJRT TV-12, WNEM TV-5 and WEYI TV-25. Rick can be heard weekly as host of the “Barnett Financial Hour” Thursday mornings at 8am eastern time on Supertalk 1570am or streaming live at http://www.supertalk1570.com. Also Mr. Barnett has been asked to speak on various topics of tax, investments, estate planning, etc from General Motors, Delphi, Genesee County, Hurley Genesys Medical Centers, Michigan Association of Christian Schools as well as dozens of other Corporations, Unions, Churches and Associations.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/10/prweb10070322.htm

Copyright 2012 Midland Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 EN No Comments

Credit Suisse, Qatar Said to Start Asset-Management Venture

(Updates with Qatar economic forecast in fifth paragraph.)

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG and a unit of Qatar Investment Authority, the Persian Gulf emirate’s sovereign-wealth fund, plan to start an asset-management joint venture, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The unit will be based in Doha and focus on Middle East and North African investments, according to one of the people, who asked not to be named and declined to give more details on the venture, citing the sensitivity of the talks. The venture may be announced this year after 12 months of negotiations between Zurich-based Credit Suisse and Qatar, two people said. It will also solicit third-party funds, according to one of the people.

Qatar and Credit Suisse are boosting ties after the nation took a 6 percent stake in the bank and bought its London headquarters. The country, which has the world’s third-largest gas reserves, is snapping up assets across the globe as it seeks to reduce its energy dependency and has $30 billion to invest this year, QIA board member Hussain Al Abdulla said in April.

Credit Suisse may “see the opportunity to use the relationships in the Gulf to build a business and cement the relationship with Qatar, which has been a big capital supporter,” said Christopher Wheeler, a London-based analyst at Mediobanca SpA.

Growth Market

Economic expansion and high oil prices are driving prosperity in the Middle East, boosting demand for wealth management services. The Qatari economy is set to expand 6 percent this year, the fastest pace in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a survey of 12 economists compiled by Bloomberg shows. That surpasses expected average growth of 1.4 percent for the Group of 10 nations.

Private wealth in the Middle East and Africa may rise 6.6 percent annually to $6.1 trillion in 2016 as the region’s oil- rich economies continue to prosper, the Boston Consulting Group said in June. Wealth in the region increased to $4.5 trillion last year, up 4.7 percent from $4.3 trillion in 2010, the consulting firm said.

Credit Suisse announced in November that it was planning to expand its product offerings in Qatar in 2012 by providing asset-management services to local and international investors, once it had secured regulatory approvals. The bank’s board of directors met in Qatar about a year ago, and the lender has also been shifting staff to Doha from Dubai, two people familiar with the matter said in September.

A spokesman for the QIA declined to comment. Sofia Rehman, a spokeswoman at Credit Suisse, also declined to comment.

Emerging Markets

The venture will expand into other emerging and frontier markets depending on its performance, one of the people said, declining to say how the business would be capitalized.

The government-run Qatar Financial Center Authority, charged with expanding the country’s financial services industry, announced a strategy in 2010 to make Qatar a hub for asset management as well as reinsurance.

Credit Suisse rose 1.7 percent to 21.57 Swiss francs at 9:19 a.m. local time.

–With assistance from Robert Tuttle in Doha, Elena Logutenkova in Zurich and Shaji Mathew in Dubai. Editors: Dale Crofts, Steve Bailey

To contact the reporters on this story: Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net; Ambereen Choudhury in London at achoudhury@bloomberg.net; Stefania Bianchi in Dubai at sbianchi10@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net; Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net.

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Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 EN No Comments

Changing tax rules force private bankers East















by Alexander Künzle, swissinfo.ch


In the rapidly changing world of Swiss wealth management, many private banks are shifting their attention to the more rewarding Asian markets to avoid becoming glorified tax advisors at home.

Having spent decades sheltering the undeclared assets of foreigners, the bubble has now burst – at least for European Union and United States clients who now face scrutiny from their tax authorities. But wealthy Asians have less to fear from the anti-tax evasion crusade.
 
Private bankers in the Swiss market are frantically backpedalling as their protective blanket of banking secrecy unwraps before their eyes. Sorting out this mess is transforming many banks into quasi tax advisors – or tax “optimisers”.
 
“The bankers, particularly in Geneva, are not happy with their new tax advisory role,” Christoph Lechner of the Institute of Management at the University of St Gallen told swissinfo.ch. “But there are few alternatives, especially in Europe.”
 
On the other hand, tax accountants working with the private banks are very happy with the situation, he added.

New locations

Mario Bassi, managing director of financial consultants Solution Providers, was more diplomatic. Based in Singapore since 2001 and vice-president of the local Swiss business association, Bassi believes private bankers should adapt their services to the needs of their clients – even as a tax consultant.
 
“A good private banker should adopt the role of a general advisor,” he told swissinfo.ch. Franco Rossi, a consultant for the private banking industry, told swissinfo.ch: “Private bankers themselves will not act as tax advisors, but their banks will beef up their tax optimisation services.”
 
Private banks are also mirroring the trend of Swiss industrial companies that have been shifting production to other parts of the world – from Bratislava to Beijing. Banks are building up offices in Asia and South America to escape the crippling costs of new regulations and stagnating business in Europe.
 
They are also chasing the flow of new global wealth that is being generated at a faster rate in emerging economies than anywhere else in the world.
 
Asia is not only creating more new millionaires than anywhere else, the region is also attracting offshore wealth. Asia will be home to around half of all global assets in the next decade, Bassi estimates.

Wealth of opportunity

Swiss-style wealth management is all the rage in Asia at present, as evidenced by the Bank of China recently entrusting its entire asset management business outside of China to Swiss bank Julius Bär.
 
Asia accounts for around 60 per cent of the world’s population and a quarter of the 1,000 or so global billionaires. China is the third-largest country by volume of assets, bettered only by the US and Japan.
 
“Around a third of total global assets are already located in Asia, and, unlike Europe, the growth continues,” said Bassi.
 
The flood of assets heading to Asian financial centres has raised renewed questions about tax evasion. If clients go direct to a Swiss private banking branch in Singapore or Hong Kong, those assets are not logged in Switzerland.

New tax haven?

Germany is one of the countries particularly concerned about this threat. Having negotiated a deal with Switzerland that cracks down on tax evaders (yet to be passed by Germany’s parliament), Germany does not want to see undeclared funds moving to Asia.
 
To this end, Germany earlier this month concluded an agreement to enhance the sharing of information with Singapore on tax matters.
 
For its part, Singapore has repeatedly denied allegations that it could become the next big tax haven after the fall of Switzerland.

Alexander Künzle, swissinfo.ch
(Adapted from German by Matthew Allen)

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 EN No Comments

US Bank introduces new mobile apps for Windows Phone


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Comtex News Network

Oct 29, 2012 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) —
US Bank, a subsidiary of US Bancorp, has introduced two new mobile apps for Windows Phone, one developed through US Bank Wealth Management and the other through US Bank Retail Payment Solutions.

The apps, featured in the Windows Phone Store, are free and provide consumers with access to market and economic insights, as well as access to credit application for the US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card, the company said.

“We are pleased to extend our mobile services to Windows Phone with the US Bank Wealth Management app created in close collaboration with Microsoft,” said Howell ‘Mac’ McCullough, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at US Bank. “We continue to innovate with a focus on giving our customers convenience and choice in how they want to access and manage their financial relationship with US Bank.”

“Windows Phone is backed by a growing developer ecosystem that continues to create a variety of apps and games that are designed to take advantage of the phone’s unique features and design,” said Todd Brix, senior director, Windows Phone Apps, Microsoft Corp. “With the mobile buying power afforded to customers, the US Bank Wealth Management app is a great example of the quality titles people will find on Windows Phone Marketplace to get the most out of their phone,” he continued.

According to the company, the US Bank Wealth Management app, which can be downloaded for free from the Windows Phone Store, allows users to access market and economic insights from US Bank Wealth Management, save and monitor a portfolio of stocks using interactive charting, and get stock quotes. The app also allows users to locate a US Bank branch or ATM.

“Our first mobile app for individual investors delivers timely market information from US Bank investment management experts directly into the hands of Windows Phone customers,” said Angela Leary, head of investment products at US Bank Wealth Management. “This is part of our continuing effort to build and deliver mobile applications on all key platforms that will allow our brokerage clients to securely trade stocks, monitor their investment and account information and transfer funds between accounts anywhere anytime.”

The US Bank Cash+ Signature Visa Card app allows consumers to apply for a card and, if qualified, they will receive a virtual card via their Windows Phone to begin making purchases. US Bank introduced the Cash+ Visa Signature Card in July, providing customers a choice in how much they earn in certain categories in order to maximize their cash back, the company said.

“The new US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has powerful features for customers to earn the most cash back, such as the selection of cash back categories and a cash back redemption bonus,” said Lynn Heitman, senior vice president at US Bank Retail Payment Solutions. “The new app not only provides immediate buying power for qualified applicants but also generous cash back rewards for all spending.”

US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature cardholders can shop online, over the phone or in-store at merchant locations that accept Visa. For every transaction, US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature cardholders earn 5 percent cash back on two categories of their choice, like restaurants or department stores. They earn 2 percent cash back on one every day category of their choice – gas, groceries or drug stores and 1 percent cash back on everything else. US Bank awards a $25 Cash+ Bonus each time a cardholder redeems $100 or more cash back in a single redemption, the company added.

As with other US Bank mobile applications, the US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card App allows customers to access to account management tools, such as viewing the account balance and most recent transactions as well as making a payment to the account. The introduction of apps for Windows Phone expands US Bank’s mobile platform options for credit card approval. Since 2011, the iPhone and Android platforms have hosted credit card approval apps for cobranded partners, REI and Ace Hardware, the company concluded.

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 EN No Comments

11 tax strategies for your clients

save-retirement

Before the end of tax season, advisors should help their clients take advantage of tax-saving opportunities and strategies, says Tony Maiorino, vice-president and head of RBC Wealth Management Services.

By doing so, you’ll not only help them achieve their financial goals, but will also boost the value of your business and services.

Read: Keep tax planning at the forefront

3 tips for business owners:

Incorporated company: If your client is a business owner with an incorporated company, they’ll receive both year-end corporate income tax deductions and a structured retirement savings plan through an IPP.

Read: IPPs offer tax savings to biz owners

Salaries for family members: Business owners should pay out salaries to family members before December 31. This strategy potentially provides these individuals earned income that enables them to make an RRSP contribution the following year, as well as a tax deduction in the current year.

Purchasing assets: If a client is planning to buy assets for their business like computers, they should buy them before the end of the current year. They can then claim depreciation on these assets for tax purposes.

Read: Home business balancing act

8 tips for individuals:

Prescribed rate loan to spouse: The CRA has decided interest rates will remain 1% until December 31, 2012. Advise clients to consider establishing or modifying a spousal loan as a possible income splitting strategy.

Unrealized capital gains: If they have unrealized capital gains, help them defer the gains until 2013 if their marginal tax rate will be lower in the coming year. This could allow for any tax payments to be deferred until 2014.

Read: Claim the capital gains exemption

Tax loss harvesting: Are your clients facing a large capital gain in 2012? If they sold a rental property or securities, they may wish to sell securities that have an unrealized capital loss to help reduce tax liability.

Read: Capitalize on investment losses

Charitable donation: Making a charitable donation reduces personal taxes paid each year. If clients plan on donating securities in-kind before year-end, though, start the process well in advance of year-end due to the administration involved in processing the donation.

Employer Bonus: Are they receiving an employee bonus by December 31, 2012? If they expect to be in a lower tax bracket in 2013, they should defer it to reduce their taxes.

Read: How to justify employment expenses

Moving within Canada: If your clients are moving within Canada, they should take into account the differing provincial tax rates across the country—they vary from 39%-to-50%. If relocating to a province with a lower tax rate, they should make the transition before year-end.

Quarterly payments to CRA: If they make quarterly tax installment payments to the CRA, they need to make any final payments by December 15, 2012 to avoid late interest charges.

Fees: Pay all outstanding fees by the end of the year to ensure they count toward your 2013 tax return. This can include: investment management fees; tuition fees; safe deposit box fees; accounting and legal fees; childcare expenses; alimony; medical expenses; and any business expenses.

Read: Keep more money through tax planning

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Monday, October 29th, 2012 EN No Comments

National Bank Completes the Integration of Wellington West

National Bank’s (TSX:NA) Wealth Management division announced today that it has completed the final step in fully integrating Wellington West into its operations, with the sale of the Wellington 39-advisor MFDA dealership to Manulife Financial.

“Over the last year we have worked to successfully bring Wellington West’s 170-IIROC-licensed investment advisors and their clients onto the National Bank platform. Today we completed the final step in this integration process, which was to dispose of Wellington West’s MFDA dealership, a non-core business which does not fit into our long term strategy”, said Luc Paiement, Executive Vice President, National Bank Wealth Management. “With this integration completed, and with the 82 IIROC-licensed investment advisor network which we acquired from HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. in 2011 about to be fully integrated into our platform, our Wealth Management platform is well positioned for future growth.”

About National Bank of Canada

With $180 billion in assets as at July 31, 2012, National Bank of Canada (www.nbc.ca), together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups, and was named among the five strongest banks in the world by Bloomberg Markets. The Bank has more than 20,000 employees and is widely recognized as a top employer. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:NA). Follow the Bank’s activities via social media and learn more about its extensive community involvement at clearfacts.ca and commitment.nationalbank.ca.

The telephone number provided below is for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives.

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012 EN No Comments