Novia IQ has now become your one-stop hub for technical and topical thought-leadership pieces from Novia Financial as well as Copia Capital Management and guests. An archive of the older articles can be found below.  


Sententia Articles December 2020

The Green Agenda, ETFs and Government stimulus? by Robert Vaudry, Managing Director of Copia Capital Management

In a keynote speech last month, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a 10-point Green Plan. In his usual lively manner, he described it as nothing short of a “self-styled green industrial revolution”. The speech was also an attempt by the Prime Minister to try and find common ground with President-elect Joe Biden, who had already begun to announce ambitious plans to tackle climate change, including a pledge to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement...

ESG and Sustainable Finance– Part 2 by Lee Coates OBE, Ethical Money and ESG Consultant

The observant amongst you will have noticed that the title of my two-part piece now includes Sustainable Finance. I have added Sustainable Finance to the title because it looks like the taxonomy from the EU and the FCA is moving in that direction.  It also links in with the Government’s sustainable economy and society agenda. This is a fast-moving area, and the pace of change is increasing...

Optimising probability in retirement planning a thought piece from Just

Delivering a reliable income stream from a diversified portfolio over an unknown period of time has, rightly, been described by William Sharpe as “the nastiest, hardest problem in finance” and he should know. He created the "Sharpe Ratio" which looks to identify the performance of an investment against a risk-free asset, after adjusting it for risk as measured by standard deviation… rocket science in other words...

Sententia articles November 2020

How will Brexit affect your business?

So here we have it: the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, but we still don’t know if we’re going to get a ‘trade deal’ and that negotiation window is getting smaller by the day...

Joe Biden on climate change 

What does the new President Elect have in store for tackling the world crisis?

Incorporating Client Attitude to ESG

The first of a two-part of a look at the impact of proposed regulatory changes on financial advice by Lee Coates OBE, Ethical Money and ESG Consultant 

Retirement risk avoidance - thought leadership piece from Just

For many years now, conventional wisdom states that there is only one well-trodden path when it comes to the creation and management of a private investor’s wealth... Things become a little more complicated, however, when an investor starts to draw down on their wealth to support them through later life...

Sententia articles October 2020

Path to Remote Engagement: Could this be the time for pulling out of the holding pattern?

COVID-19 has turned our lives upside down, changing everything from the way we socialise and work through to how we shop, with a common thread being the increased use of technology. The fear here is that communicating without seeing people in person creates a distance that stops us from properly ‘connecting’. In reality, however, there are many ways in which, as well as taking on a lot of the heavy lifting at work, technology has actually brought people together, creating new ways to interact and showing us another side to our work colleagues...

Funding retirement income: The liquidity illusion

Creating and managing a regular flow of ‘income’ from a diversified portfolio has been described by Bill Sharpe (he of ‘Sharpe Ratio’ fame) as the “nastiest, hardest problem in finance” and he has a point. Balancing the three key moving parts in the retirement equation - longevity, inflation and investment returns - and achieving the optimal journey for the retiree, is something that has occupied some extremely bright minds for a few decades now.

Sententia articles September 2020

Helping your clients get a slice of the ETF cake

ETFs celebrated their 30th birthday in 2020, with the first successful ETF having been launched in Canada in March 1990. The global ETF market is growing fast, reaching $6.35 trillion at the end of December 2019 – a very significant rise from $4.3 trillion in 2017...

To tax or not to tax – what does Rishi have in his hat for the November budget?

The last six months have seen an unprecedented but much-needed increase to the levels of government spending in the UK, to rise to the challenges of Covid-19. The image of Rishi Sunak taking to the stand to announce monumental measures to try to support the economy, businesses and workers is almost as memorable as Boris addressing the nation to tell us we were locking down...

Sententia articles August 2020

Three ways that Novia Financial can help drive better client outcomes over the longer term

In this article we’ll review three areas where better client outcomes can be achieved, to help advisory firms demonstrate value to their clients...

V for Verify: Novia signs with Credas for biometric verification

The use of unique personal features for personal identification is not a new idea; this approach has been a key pillar of forensic science since the late 1800s, when French police officer Alphonse Bertillon applied the technique of anthropometry to law enforcement, creating an identification system based on physical measurements. The notion of that identification by means of ‘biometric verification’ could be made instantaneous by electronic gadgetry, however, seems far more futuristic... 

Sententia articles July 2020

So, what is the new advice benchmark for DB transfers?

A somewhat unique* situation has come about recently with the FCA writing directly to 7,700 ex British Steel scheme members and encouraging them to review their advice and initiate a complaint process if appropriate. That complaint should be directed towards their adviser in the first instance and if they’re not entirely satisfied with the response then to the Ombudsman...

The Contingent Charging Ban: Is Your Advice Suitable?

We have previously published articles on the regulator's proposals to ban contingent charging and now the regulator has finally delivered its awaited policy statement to the industry...

Sententia articles June 2020

ESG during Covid-19 – a new era for the world and investing?

ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing has been fighting for a long time to find its way in the world of financial management and investing. The approach has grown in popularity in the last couple of years due to not only a growing awareness of the term and education around what it means and how it can benefit both investors and the economy, but also due to companies innovating to create new products and services...

To switch or not to switch that is the question - thought-leadership piece from Adrian Boulding, Chief Innovation Officer of technology provider Spire Platform Solutions

Buy low - sell high is the objective of all speculators. But when it comes to pension plans, the buying takes place very gradually over a 40 year working life and the selling takes place almost equally slowly over a thirty year retirement...

Sententia Articles May 2020 

Meeting the Challenge of SM&CR and PROD

Novia's Director of Sales Paul Boston looks at the two-headed challenge presented by the combination of PROD rules and the roll out of the SM&CR across the Financial Services industry - "...a significant regulatory force to be taken very seriously, with potentially far reaching repercussions...'

Covid-19 and the drive to digital engagement

Novia's chief technology officer, Dave Howard, asks what the pandemic's impact on society means for the future of our industry and what technology is need to support remote working.

Helping you deliver for your clients during lockdown and beyond

With lockdown dragging on, Advisers are under increasing pressure to find new ways to work with clients who are used to face to face meetings, without compromising service standards. As a platform, we want to make this easier... 

Sententia Articles April 2020

A New Working Paradigm

We are living in very challenging times.  That’s all relative of course as those on the frontline leading the fight against COVID-19 are really having it rough and in comparison this has been something we just have to handle and work through...

Risk Management During Lockdown

From a Risk Management point of view, there are several areas that it may be wise to focus on during these trying times to help you maintain operational resilience and keep an eye on the emerging exposures we could see...

Bear Markets Past and Present: Is the British Bear behaving in line with other bear markets around the globe?

Looking through history, we can identify the times of Bull and Bear markets in growing and contracting global economies, as indicators of the sentiments and attitudes within the markets....

Sententia Articles March 2020

The Inequality Just Gets Worse…opinion piece from Novia's CEO Bill Vasilieff 

Novia's CEO Bill Vasilieff looks at the growing gap between private sector pensions and taxpayer-funded public sector final salary schemes.

Pathways Ahead: How can advisers position themselves favourably against the changing backdrop of the non-advised decumulation landscape?

Henry Cobbe, head of Novia's DFM division Copia Capital Management, looks at the impact for advisers of the "investment pathways" drawdown options that d2c providers will have to start offering to non-advised customers. 


Sententia Articles February 2020

Contingent Charging - Would a ban be the thin end of the wedge?

As the ban on contingent charging for Defined Benefit transfers goes through the motions of consultancy with the FCA, it looks extremely likely that this prohibition will end up being introduced... Bill Vasilieff looks at the impacts this would have...

Designing Robust Portfolios

In this piece we get some insight into the workings of Discretionary Fund Managers, as Henry Cobbe from Novia’s DFM arm Copia Capital Management looks at ways to shore up portfolio management by: 

  • creating a structured, systematic and evidenced-based investment process 
  • blending institutional-quality expertise rather than reinventing each wheel  
  • remaining agile and adaptive as implementation options evolve..

Capital Gains Tax - the advantages of taking the allowance into consideration

For those holding investments in a general investment account Capital Gains Tax (CGT) can sometimes feel like a punishment for good performance, but all the same there are definite advantages to taking CGT allowance into consideration. Utilising the allowances to the full helps improve returns and therefore factors into investment decisions, whether that be when crystallising profits or crystallising losses to reduce the year’s net capital gain. Capital losses are certainly worth reporting: with the natural focus being on gains, these are often overlooked, but they do have an upside: if reported, these losses can be used to offset future gains.....

Sententia Articles January 2020

Platform Consolidation - is it over?

Ever since platforms started operating in the adviser space in the UK around 2000, the big institutions have taken the stance that ‘you need deep pockets to play in this space’. But this was always a nonsense spun by local management of these firms intended to capture the market for themselves. The way things have actually played out is the polar opposite of that spin...

Sequencing Risk

Is it time for financial planners to revert to tried and tested ways to mitigate sequencing risk for retiring clients...but now through a revolutionary on-platform solution?

Cloning your CIP for Efficient Segmentation

When the FCA’s Product Intervention and Product Governance Sourcebook (PROD) rules came into force two years ago, it became necessary for firms to be able to demonstrate how they ensure products are being distributed to an appropriate target market. This means Advisers must differentiate between different segments of clients, understand their individual needs, and know how these needs can be effectively serviced. The administrative burden of delivering this segmentation can be lessened by technology that allows firms to quickly and easily modify their Centralised Investment Proposition (CIP) for different clients...

Sententia Articles December 2019 

Monetary policy, election and Brexit – who holds the cards to win this important vote?

In the last month, with the election and Brexit looming, the news has been flooded with details of manifestos, spending plans and electoral debates, with a range of promises and budgets and varying considerations of what they might mean for both individuals and the industry, not to mention where the economy currently sits in the midst of electoral campaigning...

Meeting the growing demand for ESG investing with a little help from DFMs

With more and more clients seeking to invest sustainably, how do you ensure that you can meet the demand? Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just the rising influence of millennial investors that is driving the increase in demand; earlier this year Morningstar reported that when they ‘compared the average sustainability preference scores of three generations: millennials, generation X, and baby boomers’ they found that ‘the average preference score for millennials and gen X were statistically equivalent.’ Clearly, the growing belief that value extends beyond financial returns has long since left the realms of niche investing...


Sententia Articles November 2019

Inheriting ISAs

Now that Novia offers in-specie Additional Permitted Subscriptions it’s the perfect time to review the changes to the rules around ISA inheritance. 

Lifetime Allowance 

The Lifetime Allowance (LTA), currently set at £1,055,000, is the maximum amount of pension benefits that a person can crystallise during their lifetime before the tax incentives of a pension scheme become significantly degraded. This article takes you through some of the calculations that are used by pension scheme administrators to test against LTA, and may provide some food for thought if you're considering the options for managing large pension pots into retirement.


 Sententia Articles October 2019

The Private Equity Question: Can the client commit to the long term?

There’s been a great deal of discussion in the press over the last few months around Private Equity, or unlisted stocks, with a trigger being the Woodford fund suspension. There are many holdings that Neil Woodford has been unable to sell because they are not listed on a stock exchange. This has caused concern for some about the potential dangers of including such Private Equity within a portfolio. On the other side of the debate, however, is the argument that a certain portion of Private Equity could still prove to be a worthwhile part of an investment portfolio, with good potential for growth for both start-ups or more mature companies. The real question, according to this line of thinking...

Pension Freedoms (2015) and the Opportunity for Improved Succession Planning

‘Pension Freedoms’ introduced an expansion of the options available to the member nominated beneficiary(s) or ‘nominees’ of a pension scheme. Its introduction in April 2015 allowed for improved succession planning and a wider range of options for the nominees of death benefits. Allowing for nominees to select drawdown as an option meant that the money no longer needed to leave the SIPP as a lump sum payment (back into the nominees’ estate for IHT purposes), and allowed for better planning in a tax efficient vehicle...


Sententia Articles August 2019

The Contingent Charging Ban – are you an advocate or an antagonist?

Contingent charging is a sticky problem. If advisers don’t get paid for telling a client to keep their money where it is but do get paid if there is a transfer, how can we say for certain that their transfer recommendations are in the best interest of those clients? With contingent charging commonplace, this potential for conflicts of interest could put consumers at risk of bad outcomes. But slap a ban on it and you take away the transfer value as the client’s source of cash for paying the fee. It feels like a no win situation, which may explain why the FCA has been consulting about this single issue for the last 18 months... Read about the issue and about last month’s developments

Investment Pathways - New FCA publication suggests it’s not just non-advised clients for whom these have relevance

The Retirement Outcomes Review (ROR) as a whole is focused on non-advised investors. However, the FCA published a policy statement at the end of July as part of ROR on a topic which may have an impact for advisers giving personal recommendations. The topic in question is “investment pathways”... Read more


Sententia Articles July 2019

The Woodford Fund Closure – The very real dangers of illiquidity

Suspension of the Woodford Equity Income Fund trapped £3.7bn investor’s money and whipped up a media storm. Once solid as a rock, Neil Woodford’s reputation has taken a massive hit – proving that even the best of us can make mistakes. The regulator has responded, and mechanisms in place to protect investors are once again under scrutiny. Read more.

Intergenerational Differences

The FCA has been focusing on making advice accessible and affordable for all generations, and trying to tackle what they call the ‘advice gap’. This article looks at the FCA review, and at the contributing survey; older people are getting richer, and richer people are getting older. Read more.

Putting the RDR back on the Radar: Plan now drawn up for the FCA’s evaluation

Following RDR and FAMR, the FCA has been looking for feedback from the industry. This article introduces the regulator’s evaluation of the impact of those regimes. Read more.


Sententia Articles May 2019

Blending Retirement Strategies

Pensions freedom means there’s a need for innovation in designing and delivering investments in retirement, and the traditional “bucket” approach will only take us so far. This opinion piece from Henry Cobbe of Novia's DFM division Copia Capital Management explores a blended approach to decumulation investing. Read more here…

Inflation and Retirement Income

According to the Office of National Statistics, a 65-year-old man now has a 50% chance of living until the age of 87 and a 65-year-old woman to the age of 90. The erosion of spending power has long been a concern for retirees – but should it be? Read more here…

Secure Lifetime Income

In this week’s Guest Spot, we hear from Mark Stopard, Just’s Director of Proposition Development, about why they believe Secure Lifetime Income should be considered in your client retirement plans. Read more here…


Sententia Articles April 2019

Investment Platforms Market Study

Are consumers in a position to make informed decisions about their choice of platform? Do platforms compete to add value for consumers? These are some of the questions posed and answered by the FCA’s recent study. Read more here…

Triage: How to Navigate the Advice Boundary

With contingency charging still prevalent it’s understandable that some clients may wish to peer into a crystal ball for clues as to the likely outcome of advice, before committing to spend their hard earned cash. This article explores the FCA’s distinctions between advice and triage. Read more here…

Brexit Roundup

We give a summary of recent developments. Read the article.


Sententia Articles March 2019

/ Brexit: the impact for Advisers, Clients and Fund Managers

The ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s withdrawal agreement leaves much in the air. What can we do to prepare for an undefined Brexit scenario? This article explores the mechanisms that will start turning on 29 March 2019, and their relevance to adviser firms and fund managers. Read the full article.

/ Retirement Outcomes Review

One of the lesser reported outcomes of the FCA’s scrutiny on post-freedom pensions is the changes to the ‘wake up’ process – the regulatory mechanism by which consumers are prompted to consider their retirement options. More than ever before, investors are being encouraged to seek free guidance, with providers being leaned on to deliver this message. Read the full article.


Sententia Articles February 2019

/ Brexit Update #dealornodeal

In this month’s market update we bring you the latest in global news. On the Brexit front we look at whether or not the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal, votes of no confidence to an assertion of confidence, and the many amendments raised by MPs in the Commons. In Davos, we saw world leaders gather to look at some of the best and worst challenges facing the globe, and we await news from Washington on the now resumed trade talks between China and the US. Read the article.

/ Pensions Cold-Calling ban finally in effect

After over two years in the pipeline, the government’s ‘cold-calling ban’ came into effect at last on 9 January this year. It’s been welcomed by the regulators and will come as a relief to FCA-authorised firms and consumers alike, particularly those who have been victims of pensions scams... Read the full article.  



Sententia Articles January 2019   

Sententia Articles November 2018