Category Archives: Gresham News

First Masterclass of Year Looks at Investment Outlook for 2020

Despite a challenging year for both the global and domestic economy, returns from financial markets during 2019 were stronger than many investors anticipated.

Will we see more of the same in 2020? Can the global economy continue to recover or will it continue to be plagued by a number of disruptive headwinds? And what are the implications for financial markets?

To take a look ahead and attempt to answer some of these questions, as well as discussing where the best opportunities lie at the asset class, regional and sector level, we’re delighted to announce our first Masterclass of 2020.

Joining us to deliver his perspective on the investment landscape for 2020 and beyond is Neal Bailey from Invesco Perpetual.

Neal Bailey is a renowned speaker within the financial services industry, known for his engaging style and his ability to break down complex concepts into an easy to understand format.

Event Details

This Masterclass will take place on 25th February. Due to the in-demand nature of our speaker, we will be running a breakfast session only, starting at 8:00am.


Gresham’s Masterclass events are designed to inform and educate those in the professional services industry about the different areas of financial planning. Particularly aimed at solicitors and accountants, we help you to be better informed so you can service your own clients from a position of knowledge.

These events are always popular and we only have a very limited number of places available.

For this event in particular, we anticipate high demand. If you wish to attend, we advise that you reserve your place as soon as possible. The closing date for registrations is Friday 21st February, or as soon as all places are taken.

Full details of the Masterclass and how to book can be found here.

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Investment Committee: 2019 in Review & Outlook for 2020

The dawning of a new decade may have prompted you to reflect on the past 12 months, or look ahead and make plans for the coming months and years.

Market moves are notoriously difficult to forecast and based on 2019 alone, it’s true to say that developments in the market can often come when you least expect them.

This year, we’ve decided to take a look back at the events of 2019 in the form of a market review; setting out some of the most important factors that influenced the markets in 2019, along with a look ahead to what we may be able to expect in 2020.

Here is the first section of the report, along with a link to the full report.

We hope you find our report insightful. As ever, if you require any further information on the content covered, please contact us.

Investment Committee: 2019 in Review & Outlook for 2020

2019 Review 

January 2019 was an uncertain time for financial markets. We entered the year having seen a prolonged & consistent sell-off in global stock markets in the final quarter of 2018. This was a reflection of the global economic environment at the time and perhaps to a greater extent, the changing policies of central banks.

In response to the Global Financial Crisis, in December 2008 the US Federal Reserve (Fed) cut interest rates to 0%. US interest rates began rising again at end of 2015, and in 2018 the new chair of the Federal Reserve (Fed), Jerome Powell, quickened the pace to ‘normalisation’ by raising rates four times to a high of 2.50%.

Furthermore, in line with their intention to return to normalisation, in 2018 the Fed began to reverse the quantitative easing programme that has largely been in place since the Global Financial Crisis. This continued until the start of 2019.


Read the full report >>>


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Gresham Christmas Card Features Acts of Christmas Kindness

We like to get into the festive spirit here at Gresham and we’re always keen to spread best wishes for the festive season to clients, contacts and suppliers. Like many businesses, over the past few years we’ve made the move to e-cards as a means of reducing our environmental impact.

Each year, we try to think of a different theme to feature on our Christmas e-card or in our festive campaigns. In the past few years we’ve done a Christmas trivia quiz, had branded advent calendars produced and had a festive photo shoot. Each campaign involves costs for professional photography, graphic design and physical props and prizes.

So this year, when it came to thinking of our theme, we decided to go for a different approach altogether… Rather than spending money on creating a Christmas campaign, we decided to divert this budget and make donations to local charities instead.

The aim of our Christmas Kindness campaign was to help spread Christmas cheer between local charitable groups and the vote for which charities to support went out to our team. It was agreed that we would donate to St Ann’s Hospice and the small homeless charity Don’t Walk Past.

Our donation to St Ann’s Hospice will fund a Christmas dinner for 6 patients or family members to enjoy together.

For Don’t Walk Past, our funds have been used to purchase coats and warm clothes and shoes to be distributed by the charity’s volunteers to homeless people living on the streets of Manchester.

Morven Millar, Director at Gresham, commented:

“Rather than spend money on creating a festive e-card, we really felt that we wanted our money to go to good causes this year. Christmas is not only a time for celebrating, it’s a time for reflecting and remembering those who are less fortunate. So whilst having a nice design around our Christmas campaign is one thing, knowing that you’re helping others who are either struggling or in need of help is much more gratifying.”

A spokesperson for St Ann’s Hospice commented:

“This is a lovely thing to do and we really appreciate the donation.”

The Christmas Kindness donations being made are in addition to our annual gift haul for the Wythenshawe Barnardo’s Children’s Centres, which you can read about here.


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Gresham’s Secret Santa’s Annual Charity Shopping Spree!

The Gresham team have completed their annual Christmas gift shopping spree, using donated funds to buy gifts for underprivileged children in the local area.

In this, the 6th year we have supported Barnardos, the team bought presents for 21 children, with ages ranging from six months right up to 16 years. The gifts will be delivered by the Christmas elves at the Barnardo’s Children Centres in Wythenshawe in time for the big day.

5 members of the team went out to complete the shop on Thursday 5th December, armed with a list of names and ages of children to enable them to buy suitable gifts that will be appreciated and loved. The present haul included not only toys and games and books, but also clothing.

Our annual gift campaign to support the Wythenshawe Barnardos Centres started in 2014 after Samantha Brannigan, a Paraplanner on our technical team, suggested that the team forgo ‘Secret Santa’ and instead donate to a more meaningful cause.

In addition to the donations from the team members, Gresham’s directors also contribute a generous sum, helping to boost the number of children we’re able to buy for.


With many of the children being from single parent families, the team have dug deep and yet again donated  gifts for some of the Mums – ensuring the whole family have something to open on Christmas morning.

This year, we will also be donating £300 worth of food to the charity’s food bank in Wythenshawe.

Morven Millar, Director at Gresham, commented:

“Supporting Barnardos has become a tradition in the office and one we all look forward to. Whilst we are all happily attending Christmas gatherings and events, it’s easy to forget that there are so many families that are really struggling – particularly at this time of year.

“The team take an enormous amount of joy in going out to buy the gifts – it creates a really great festive atmosphere and makes us all think about the true Christmas message.

“With this year being the sixth year we’ve followed this tradition, the total number of children we’ve bought gifts for is over 100, which is something we can all be proud of.”



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Qualification Success for Gresham Team

We recently received news that three members of the Gresham team have passed the exams they have been working towards, further bolstering the knowledge and qualifications of our team. Financial Planner Daniel Ardern has attained the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) qualification in the tax and legal aspects of business. Meanwhile, Lewis Marsh from our technical team passed the AF7 qualification on Pension Transfers, with fellow Paraplanner Alison Reeves passing the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

In passing the CII exam on the tax and legal aspects of business, Daniel becomes one of a small number of financial advisers with a dedicated qualification for helping business owners. The exam focuses on the legal structure of limited companies and partnerships and explores in depth the areas in which financial planners can add value for business owners. This qualification allows advisers to gain a more rounded knowledge of the needs of business owners at all stages of the business lifecycle with a view to ensuring business continuity, promoting expansion, extracting cash and preparing for exit.

The AF7 module, achieved by Lewis, is designed to develop the specialist knowledge and skills needed for advising on the transfer of safeguarded benefits. The qualification also brings professionals up-to-date with the fundamental aspects of the pension transfer process; the implications of transferring between different types of pensions; and develops advice skills across a range of client circumstances and scenarios.

As Gresham have recently been awarded the Pension Gold Standard by the Personal Finance Society, Lewis’ qualification further places Gresham as a reputable and trustworthy provider for anyone considering transferring out of a final salary or defined benefit pension scheme.

Alison’s attainment of the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning marks a landmark in her career progression, as having passed this exam, she is now able to apply to become Chartered. Reaching this level of qualification is something only achieved by a relatively small number of paraplanners and is a culmination of many years of study and learning. To get to this position, Alison firstly had to work towards passing the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, before then going on to study for a further 2 years towards the Advanced exam.

These three latest results are part of a combined effort to grow our team’s knowledge and improve the service we offer to clients. Studying for professional qualifications in our industry takes a great deal of time and commitment alongside full-time work. Whilst this is something we actively support as an employer, providing study leave time and funding the cost of exams, it ultimately comes down to the individual themselves to make the effort to push themselves and dedicate their time and effort. So a big congratulations to Daniel, Lewis and Alison!


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