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    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 14th May 17, 12:46 AM
    • 1,282Posts
    • 536Thanks
    More (draft or has it been submitted?) crookedness from Aviva and pals at Linklaters?
    • #1
    • 14th May 17, 12:46 AM
    More (draft or has it been submitted?) crookedness from Aviva and pals at Linklaters? 14th May 17 at 12:46 AM
    WTF is this?

    Over 200 pages of complete gobbledegook published under the adviser section of Aviva's website - as if an average IFA would understand any of it ...

    It came up as a Google hit whilst I was looking for clues about whether Hamilton Life business was effected by that FCA 2015 prosecuted scandal discussed in my other thread.

    So just when were they planning to explain it to the customers in plain English??

    Is there no end to this sort of stuff?

    Typical sold policies affected by these involuntary changes were but a few tens of short pages of open-spaced relatively straightforward English - still a struggle for laypersons - but hey, maybe laypersons could trust professionals once upon a time, and sleep easy with those thirty pages from time to time. The insurance policies typically came with a couple of pages of open spaced easy read definitions.

    Yet these people now think they can use our judiciary to nod through changes that apparently require over 200 pages of legalese. That includes over 30 pages of definitions useless to anyone but insiders in possession of knowledge of Aviva's full intent. Have Aviva no shame?

    This smacks of when they (as AXA) got the High Court to nod through "reattribution " in 2001, and a 109 page "Policyholder Newsletter" dropped through my letterbox to bamboozle me with the jargon of that particular wheeze also ... and again as Aviva, when they did their reattribution despite being quizzed by the Treasury Select Committee in 2007/2008 and criticised. Also threatening me with risk of a hernia when I was expected to pick up the formal prospectus detailing that one from the floor after it almost dropped through it from the letterbox.

    Clearly Aviva have no shame, and big law firms get richer by hanging on coat tails and drafting this stuff and spinning the law as a tool to redistribute risk and wealth just as they like.
Page 2
    • ex-pat scot
    • By ex-pat scot 15th May 17, 11:25 PM
    • 250 Posts
    • 299 Thanks
    ex-pat scot
    This thread is my guilty pleasure.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 15th May 17, 11:37 PM
    • 5,129 Posts
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    Sorry Kynthia - typo. Fixed just for you.

    Anything you wish to comment on, on topic?
    Originally posted by agarnett
    Thank you.

    While I have gained a lot of knowledge about retirement planning, the state pension, tax, etc on this board I have zero experience of DC pensions and investing. Therefore I'm afraid I have little understanding of the topic being discussed, but hope to learn as I go.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv
    • By vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv 15th May 17, 11:49 PM
    • 911 Posts
    • 1,396 Thanks
    How do i find out which fund my section 32 policy is in from 1991?
  • jamesd
    It is of some concern that Aviva appears to be lying to some customers at times. An example is the description "Current and new names of the affected Friends Life BlackRock Aquila funds" text at Changes to Friends Life BlackRock Aquila funds which appears to be intended to mislead customers into thinking that it's just a name change when there are really going to be differences, as those who are not misled will discover if they follow the link to more information.

    In fact, the depository and custodian, manager and administrator for the funds will all be changing, with those roles and presumably the associated revenue leaving Black rock, which will retain the fund management brief.

    The Questions and answers document has this claim: "7 Will there be an increase in costs on
    the affected funds? ... There will be no additional costs to customers." That claim may be misleading if there are additional costs borne by the funds that come out of their total return, though there are assorted further claims about Aviva bearing all of the costs.

    The letter to with profits policy holders which references the main Aquila page in essence contains the same lie: "We are renaming some of our funds which invest in BlackRock Aquila funds to reflect our move to the Aviva brand. We will remove the word !!!8216;Aquila!!!8217; and, in most cases, we will add !!!8216;Tracker!!!8217; to the affected fund names. There will be other changes to how these funds operate but these will have no effect on you".
    Last edited by jamesd; 16-05-2017 at 1:41 AM.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th May 17, 10:49 AM
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    Thank you jamesd for the spot, and particularly for reminding us again of the library link on the Friends Life website. I guess there must be a similar one on the Aviva website, but I haven't looked hard for it yet because there is so much to read.

    However, we see that going forward, court dates have been set for 13 September in London, and again two more dates for Guernsey and Jersey Courts (the latter two hearings no doubt being a Bergerac / Charlie Hungerford's mates type shoo-in).

    Anyway, I have been dipping into some of the huge documents left on the Friends Life website for any policyholders who pitch up in the right place.

    One in particular is the so-called Independent Expert's Report drafted by and Ernst & Young employee who makes no bones out of the fact his firm runs a number of projects for Aviva. Now that's good old City independence for you

    He seems very comfortable to sign his name to having no concerns. I suppose if your back is covered by EY and by Aviva and you get paid well, you can sign anything you like and your employer likes and your employer's customer likes during your employ. Hell, if the money is good, you don't even have to like it. You can always repent later in comfortable retirement.

    I myself have even signed on behalf of a live Aviva company. Hasn't anyone with a degree of financial services experience? They are Soo...oo, so big - you can't really avoid bumping into them in the City. No? Perhaps not. Well I can tell you it is very easy. You find out from your employer what the document you are to issue is supposed to look like, you arrange for it, and double check that it does, and then you sign. And you get paid for it. Next?

    The closest I have found so far to a detracting feature from the Independent Expert whilst dipping into dear David's very own 200+ page report full of acronyms which his employer's customer no doubt bid him to use, is that he has noted something awry in the consistency of the accounts for the Aviva WP fund as published last year and the accounts as they are declared for the purposes of the Part VII transfer.

    When I was taught how to write balanced reports about insurance risk, I was taught to temper a balance between commenting upon desirable risk features with comments about less desirable features.

    David King FIA seems to have no concerns about everything in the garden cos it's rosey. Maybe at EY they issue special glasses.

    However, much to my surprise, he states he relies upon Aviva's own for there being a good reason for the difference. I cannot help raise an eyebrow at the irony of someone claiming to be an independent expert and one employed by one of the world's very largest accountancy practices at that, who notices a discrepancy in the accounts and then waves it through trusting those who created the discrepancy - as you do I guess if you wish to run with the hounds in the City these days? Maybe I read it wrong - he used a lot of words to say what he said - but I don't think I did.

    Oh well, lot's more reading to do now as an AXA/Friends Life WP policyholder, and yet to discover the hopefully somewhat mirrored version on the website library round the back somewhere to satisfy my concerns as an NU/Aviva WP Section 32 Pension policyholder - a pension which originally was a DB Scheme with funds in yet another Aviva company that appears in all this bumpf (under a new name of course and new acronym to go with it).

    Meantime, I do thank David King FIA for an update on my own uniqueness at the so called CGNU/CULAC Aviva UKLAP 2009 Reattribution Scheme (which incidentally is a previous High Court and Policyholder Advocate approved scheme which is proposed to be unceremoniously dumped as part of this Transfer - just a transfer? My R sss !) ...

    Yes, I thought I was part of the 13% of the CGNU/CULAC WP Policyholder base who said up yours to the 2009 bribe (apparently it wasn't a bribe - it was a 'PIP' - Aviva Customer Service staff please note) ... So an update as I was saying - I find out now from David that I was in fact part of not 13%, not even 12%, but a pathfinding 11.75% of the policyholder base who said up yours in 2009.

    I also said up yours to AXA in 2001 so I guess I might claim to be one in a hundred or maybe one in ten thousand who has been intimately involved in two reattribution scams, and saw straight through both at the time ...

    I can see through this latest scam too - currently my Section32 transfer values are quoted with an extra 9% on top which reflects my special status as a up yours type customer - it is currently worth around five grand plus - what will happen to that when the WP Committee and UKLAP board review it in December after the proposed reorganisation having dumped the 2009 Reattribution Scheme and its Old With Profits Fund Inherited Estate review requirements? I was offered a bribe of less than a grand in 2009 to hand over my 90% right to investment returns on inherited estate. A suddenly disappeared 500% growth rate in the guise of a unique bonus on the amount of the 2009 "Policyholder Incentive Payment" I refused, ought to ring alarm bells at FCA PRA HMG and the Courts, but will it?

    ex-pat scot with his Aviva Staff Pension Scheme membership subsidised by regular raids on inherited estate in my With-Profits fund will no doubt find more guilty pleasure in that question.

    You see you probably have to have been around With-Profits policies on both sides of the fence and maybe bought a few in your time in order to understand how corrupt the funds have become. I have had eight over the decades with three different original providers. All of them ended up on Clive Cowdery's/Andy Brigg's Resolution radar. And who is in charge of this latest?
    Last edited by agarnett; 16-05-2017 at 11:40 AM.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th May 17, 11:27 AM
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    So what can you tell us please whilst it is so clear in your mind?
    Originally posted by agarnett
    I can read and understand the Aviva document. But I can't read and understand your posts. Your logic is not clear.

    If you can't clearly explain something in a single sentence, you don't understand it properly.

    If you are feeling aggrieved at the fact that Aviva is transferring its business to other companies within the same group, you should be able to concisely and clearly explain why.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th May 17, 11:44 AM
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    • 536 Thanks
    As I implied previously, you are writing here on this thread like a kid, steam-powered. Why? Grow up, and then maybe you will one day thank your lucky stars when you want to get some higher education that we got a Labour Government on 8 June 2017 that promises to abolish tuition fees.

    The sad thing is that I deduce elsewhere that you already got some, so maybe your intention here is just to spoil and rubbish very valid and major concerns. Again, why?

    Meantime, I am becoming more and more astounded at the tangle of the tentacles certain actuaries have had wrapped up in enormous rafts of companies. Actuaries are supposed to be trustworthy professionals. They have long occupied pedestals supposedly earned through possessing very superior skills in sophisticated mathematics! Why now are mathematicians so regularly required to direct companies? Is it a fact that basically actuaries are more often now totally mercenary, and are in fact "experts" for sale? Wolves in sheep's clothing? Foxes in charge of henhouses?

    Should we consider them just as responsible for the worst excesses of the financial crisis as the traders? I noted one of the actuaries named earlier in this thread served on an AIG company board. AIG cost Obama's administration (and all of us) an absolute packet to bail out! Or are actuaries far more resilient than traders - a bit like Logan/Wolverine ? Are they closer to the profiles of actual Mister Bigs who plan crisis as a means of cracking open funds, and opening them up to asset stripping schemes like the 2017 Scheme as a means of siphoning off our wealth whilst we are encouraged to believe that consolidation and change is necessary for our benefit?

    Actuaries are not company secretaries. It is company secretaries whom in my experience were the most likely to serve as officers on multiple sub-boards within parent companies - for fairly obvious reasons. But actuaries? At one point a few decades ago, in-house accountants were often destined to rise to the top of the heap. But actuaries are not typical accountants, nor even accountants at all. So why in the context of this thread do they crop up as directors of so many companies - shell companies in some cases?

    I note Andy Briggs is an FIA too, and he's been a director of over 50 companies including a dissolved shell company which even unashamedly has the word "shell" in its name (and is nothing to do with petroleum spirit!)

    Even can't even keep up with the tangle - at the top of this article (expand link to 'Read Full Background') they say Andy Briggs has been CEO at Friends Life Group Limited since June 2011, and near the bottom they say he has been a director of Friends Life Group Limited since March 2013 - WTF?

    And within one click there's even a Goldman Sachs connection who served or still does serve (I can't quite tell) in Aviva Grupo

    What's of interest to Goldmans in Aviva? Oh yeah, right ... silly me ...

    What's really going on? Maybe this was the clue earlier last month ...
    Last edited by agarnett; 16-05-2017 at 2:01 PM.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 16th May 17, 2:13 PM
    • 7,833 Posts
    • 14,307 Thanks
    As I implied previously, you are writing here on this thread like a kid, steam-powered. Why? Grow up
    Originally posted by agarnett
    Whereas you are writing like some old codger who's losing his marbles, lashing out with contempt at those that attempt to converse with him; his signature move is to shake his fist at them while stammering, "Git Orff My Laaawn!"

    Not sure that makes you the better man. Just a cartoon villain that nobody takes seriously any more as he has bandied around more insults than they've had hot dinners. Your namesake on TV was taken off the air for being a parody of a person offensively out of touch with the world, but here you are, keeping the legend alive.

    and then maybe you will one day thank your lucky stars when you want to get some higher education that we got a Labour Government on 8 June 2017 that promises to abolish tuition fees
    We didn't.

    I note Andy Briggs is an FIA too, and he's been a director of over 50 companies including a dissolved shell company which even unashamedly has the word "shell" in its name (and is nothing to do with petroleum spirit!)
    So if he sits on the board of more than one company he's a bad guy, and if he dissolves a dormant shell company he's a bad guy. I guess some people just can't find a way into your heart whatever they do.

    How many businesses have you been a director of? Maybe you weren't thought bright enough because you dismissed everything as gobbledegook, so they quietly let you out the door instead of promoting you.
    Even can't even keep up with the tangle - at the top of this article (expand link to 'Read Full Background' they say Andy Briggs has been CEO at Friends Life Group Limited since June 2011, and near the bottom they say he has been a director of Friends Life Group Limited since March 2013 - WTF?
    Hmm, it's almost as if media outlets that create such pages for free by robotically scraping things off internet links here and there - without input from the company concerned or from authoritative sources - might somehow be fallible. Who knew!

    What's really going on?
    We look forward to your putting two and two together and making five, then telling us, in your own inimitable fashion. It certainly brightens up a dull day!
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th May 17, 4:31 PM
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    • 536 Thanks
    How many businesses have you been a director of bowlhead99? Why is yours a dull day without my input? Shells are indeed a bit boring to count and maybe they smell a bit of fish? Hopefully your days are more colourful than that!

    Maybe yes I can put two and two together and make more than five. How many can you make?

    Look, I have had to spend far too much time already looking at this because you MSE regular pension adviser/commentator types seemingly cannot be R ssed to do so.

    My summation right now is that the 2017 Scheme as they are calling it at Aviva is just as big a reorganisation as the 2001 Reattribution scheme at AXA and the 2009 Reattribution Scheme at Aviva. It looks to me as if it is probably another Reattribution by the back door, and just a month or so ago Mark Wilson promised some kind of return of capital to share holders. What capital? Where from?

    Both the 2001 and 2009 schemes cost policyholders a huge amount of money. MSE had barely got started in 2001 so Which? magazine were the champions who smelled a rat and tried to stop AXA. But at the time the 2009 Aviva scheme was being touted, at least one of the regular MSE pension adviser crew actually encouraged policyholders to sell their rights to further investment returns for a pittance (probably unwittingly - clueless as to what was really going on).

    You are effectively doing the same clueless bit, bowlhead99 if you rate yourself as a pensions adviser of any ilk. Did you ever see the enormous documents sent by AXA to Policyholders around 2001, and the even bigger documents sent by Aviva to policyholders over a two year period up to 2009? Have you ever analysed how the communication of updates of the performance of our AXA and Aviva WP pensions changed enormously post those schemes - how they became scarce, over thin on data, non-regular, and more and more opaque? I don't think you could have done else you wouldn't be responding the way you are.

    This latest has all the hallmarks of exactly the same sort of heist, except this time, they are attempting to strenuously avoid calling any part of it a reattribution. If they did, that'd mean they'd need a Policyholder Advocate again, and this time, they wouldn't get away with pulling the wool.

    The words of the new background reports offered to policyholders on the Friends Life website, but seemingly only to advisers on the Aviva website, is mealy-mouthed. The truth of the intention of the proposed scheme lies between the thousands of lines, not in them.

    I think my current Aviva UKLAP (Aviva Life & Pensions UK Limited) WP Sub-Fund is proposed to be designated a "Closed Fund", (and maybe even UKLAP itself?) yet my Sub Fund (OWPSF) ontains at least 800,000,000, plus bits of it I think ended up supposedly "ring-fenced" by previous schemes and placed outside of it in other sub-fund containers within UKLAP. I think I'm reading that all previous "Schemes" affecting UKLAP WP including the 2009 Reattribution Scheme are being voided.

    Now hear this:

    The 2009 Reattribution Scheme currently results in me receiving a 9% higher transfer value than any of the 88.25% of CGNU/CULAC policyholders who accepted the paltry bribe in 2009. That's over five grand. On 2 October 2017 if I request a new Transfer Value, will it be the same as on 30 September 2017 i.e. 9% higher than the majority of policyholders who got tipped into the New With Profits Sub Fund??

    And hear this too:
    In 2001 I declined a less than 400 bribe from AXA and effectively said up yours to the 2001 Reattribution Scheme. That scheme has so far resulted in me receiving some seven grand more in attached bonuses than I would have if I had accepted the bribe. They add something every 5 years at a review defined by the 2001 Scheme. If that Scheme is voided too, do my special distribution bonuses on that one get knocked on the head also?

    That's just two examples of my reasonable policyholder expectation being tossed carelessly to the wind by Aviva.

    I think the first thing the High Court should do is to toss the so called Independent Expert's Report to the wind, and take all actuarial opinion, especially from Aviva themselves, with a healthy pinch of salt.

    So this proposed "2017 Scheme" needs serious collective opposition, and the only credible opposition in the current day is a Martin Lewis led MSE.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th May 17, 4:55 PM
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    I just had to come back and add this from the original brief from Aviva to the "Independent Expert":
    Reliances and limitations
    In preparing his Report, the Independent Expert will request documentary evidence to be provided by Aviva Life. He will review the information for consistency and reasonableness using his knowledge of Aviva Life and the UK life assurance industry more generally, but not seek otherwise to verify it. Furthermore, he will have access to, and undertake discussions with, senior management of Aviva Life. He will place reliance on statements by senior management.

    The Independent Expert!!!8217;s analysis of the reported financial strength of AIPL, FLL, FLP and UKLAP post-Transfer will based on the companies!!!8217; financial position as at 31 December 2015 as set out in their 2015 regulatory returns to the PRA (the supplementary report will be based on YE 2016 to take account of known changes post year-end), and of the companies!!!8217; estimated Solvency II position as at 1 January 2016. He will not check these financial statements, but rely on them in carrying out his analysis. Although he will not check the figures, he will ask senior management for clarification of any results that seem inconsistent or unclear.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 16th May 17, 7:32 PM
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    Checking Aviva's financial statements is the job of their auditors, who are PwC. Not the job of the independent expert appointed to prepare the report.
    • fairleads
    • By fairleads 16th May 17, 8:32 PM
    • 588 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    Checking Aviva's financial statements is the job of their auditors, who are PwC. Not the job of the independent expert appointed to prepare the report.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    No problem there then!
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th May 17, 9:31 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    Checking Aviva's financial statements is the job of their auditors, who are PwC. Not the job of the independent expert appointed to prepare the report.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    Before the books get to either of those parties, its the job of the directors - every man Jack and Harriet of them. And if an independent expert presents him or herself to a court of law as such, they'd better be sure they don't sign heir name to anything given in evidence other the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    Abdication of accountability and obfuscation of truth is what unfortunately defines the City, and the likes of steampowered methinks. So many think that's business. In financial services it most definitely isn't. It's fraud, plain and simple. Can't blame the darlings - they're surrounded, marinaded, and totally infused/confused by it.

    Come the revolution, just so's they know before they get in too deep for redemption, it's a given that they can all be very easily spat out. Capiche ?
    • atush
    • By atush 16th May 17, 9:34 PM
    • 16,709 Posts
    • 10,412 Thanks
    Oh god, its a tag team lol
    • fairleads
    • By fairleads 17th May 17, 8:16 PM
    • 588 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    Despite all this, atush and dunstonh appear to think it is funny to make useless comments and thanks for wanton mischief? Is that what mature regulars do?

    Its the nature of the beast. But it has its advantages, it reinforces my opinion of the financial services industry and of those with a vested interest in them.
    Last edited by fairleads; 17-05-2017 at 8:19 PM.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 17th May 17, 8:43 PM
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    I repeat my earlier comment: if you can't explain something in a sentence, you don't understand it.

    If this is so objectionable you should be able to clearly and concisely explain what the problem is.

    I find your post difficult to understand than the actual scheme document you linked us to.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 17th May 17, 8:44 PM
    • 2,496 Posts
    • 2,416 Thanks
    No problem there then!
    Originally posted by fairleads
    Indeed. There is no problem. The job of the auditors is to audit a company's financial statements. Financial audit is not the job of an independent expert appointed to advise the court on the implementation of a transfer scheme.
    • taktikback
    • By taktikback 17th May 17, 9:46 PM
    • 275 Posts
    • 198 Thanks
    Have you ever considered any real freedoms? Freedom from the opinions of others...even the opinions of yourself?

    agarnett - Colonal Kurtz lives again...
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th May 17, 10:12 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    Indeed. There is no problem. The job of the auditors is to audit a company's financial statements. Financial audit is not the job of an independent expert appointed to advise the court on the implementation of a transfer scheme.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    The independent expert is not sufficiently independent to be accepted to provide expert evidence, but clearly is independent enough to slip into his report a copy of the corrupt original brief which says do as we say and do not question what we say.

    tiktakbak, with freedom comes responsibility. I fly planes - its a great freedom which unless you ever do, you might never fully understand that to which you allude airily, but it comes with a great responsibility not to weaken and fly the bloody thing into the towers of the City to make a point against the freedoms those crooks habitually think they can exercise with scant chance of bringing FCA or PRA or even MSE down on their heads.

    I also ski, often across borders, and sometimes still on the pointy ones rather than the soft curved ones - free as a bird I am, but I sometimes wonder what it might be like to ski early morning above Davos and start an avalanche to bury some more of the same crooks on their annual shindig. That's even though of course, I always fully accept the responsibility not to ski off piste in areas where I might endanger others, and resist the thoughts of what I actually could do with the pointy skis once the crooks are down

    PS Colonel is spelled with an e not an a - I guess I am free to point that out without you taking too much offence?

    PPS Those with an interest in freedoms will note that one of my posts was censured this evening ostensibly because I had earlier commented about hecklers holding hands, but probably there are other interests at work who don't like my excursions into more corporate analyses. For the avoidance of doubt, and to aid the spotting of the missing post, I think it was one that ended with the sentence fairlead quoted and bolded four posts above - and there was a reminder in the middle of it that the total funds in question were some 200 BILLION, ... or maybe more than one post has disappeared ... Yer pays yer money and yer ... Oo-er!

    PPPS If I go quiet for a period, you'll know why ...
    Last edited by agarnett; 17-05-2017 at 10:44 PM.
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th May 17, 11:12 PM
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    • 536 Thanks
    And hey presto ... Aviva finally gets around to putting a relevant document library on the website ... not finished yet - there's a few example letters missing, but the poor darlings were in a rush ...

    They have also today redirected the broken links in other documents to the above page.

    To be frank having dipped into some of the documents on offer on that page, I am not sure what to say.

    First there is a press release referring to the 27 April 2017 High Court Initial Hearing as a historical event i.e. an event which has happened, yet the PDF file dates are 2 days before the event. That's preparation for you I guess

    Then there's a document about changes to the PPFM in the funds that interest me - it's another PDF which is so fresh off the press it still contains the labels (metadata) left on by the graphic design outfit that produced it at Williams Lea Creative under a special Vendor agreement - I am not sure I needed to know that - pleased of course that Williams Lea Creative have won themselves a bit of business at Aviva, starting it seems with creating something lobbyful for all Avivas friends in the (independent - naturally) financial adviser arena but not sure the WLC name should be visible in the final release pdf documents they design? More shirts hanging out? Bit of a rush job?

    On a more serious note, I can read from Aviva document at that Aviva are effectively giving themselves a licence to cook the With-Profits books any way they like as of 1 October 2017 - that is if they manage to bamboozle the High Court and PRA and FCA into approving it. Should existing policyholders just sit back and watch and not worry our pretty little heads?
    Last edited by agarnett; 17-05-2017 at 11:48 PM.
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