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The Mortgage Mole

Lend a hand

It seems that Norwich Union’s loss is Uganda’s gain as Aviva chief executive Richard Harvey leaves to work with some of the poorest people in the world. He is taking a break from the world of international finance to use his more practical skills to help in AIDS-ridden areas of East Africa.

The daring CEO is not adverse to hardship, with several charity bungee jumps under his belt as well as a 37 mile sponsored walk across London with a broken toe.

Mole wishes him the best of luck in his charity work and wonders if any mortgage fat cats will be inspired and follow suit.

Wet Snap

Bank of Ireland is oiling its chains and pumping up its tyres as its personal lending management team prepares for a gruelling 54 mile charity bike ride. The event, to raise money to buy a minibus for underprivileged Withywood Community School, will follow the Kennet and Avon canal.

Roland McCormack, managing director of subsidiary Bristol & West Mortgages and bike rider extraordinaire, tells Mole that although riders will be attempting to avoid driving into the canal at all costs, if any water-based mishaps do occur donors can request photos.

To make a donation to this cause, email

First Rate

News that the Bank of England had raised the base rate last week didn’t convince everyone.

“Is this a practical joke?” one broker asked Mole. “I had money on it staying stable until February.”

Mole suggests the intermediary in question remembers that the house always wins, and in future talks to Skipton’s chief executive John Goodfellow, who declared the rise came as “no surprise”.

At first Mole suspected that Goodfellow must have consulted his crystal ball until it emerged that he had merely analysed December’s economic data. Now, why didn’t we think of that?

Top Team

Mole would like to offer his congratulations to the team behind the Mortgage Summit in Jerez and Dubai, which received one of the biggest cheers of the night at the highly prestigious Centaur awards last week.

The reason for the crescendo of applause was nothing less than scooping the much-desired award for best conference, event or exhibition.

Surely the Mortgage Summit team was a shoo-in, you cry. Well, after acclaimed back-to-back conferences in Jerez it was difficult to see the award going elsewhere. Next stop will be Dubai. Beat that.

Not to be outdone, Mortgage Strategy’s own production team picked up second spot in the editorial production category while the summit department won the chief executive’s award.

All in all, rather a good night for the magazine.


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Mortgage Next has launched a one-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage, funded by Mortgage Trust. The product is available via members of the Mortgage Next Network and brokers registered with Mortgage Next Partners.The product comes with an initial charging rate of 4.78%, followed by LIBOR plus 1.95% for the remainder of the loan.The product has an […]

China tech and Global Alpha: a new great leap forward

By Robin Geffen, Fund Manager and CEO

Internet giant Alibaba is exactly the type of entrepreneurial company that the high-conviction, top-performing Neptune Global Alpha Fund seeks to invest in. Established just 14 years ago in an apartment in Hangzhou, today Alibaba is larger than Amazon and eBay put together and is challenging some of the most powerful internet companies in the world…

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Investment risks

The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Forecasts and past performance are not a guide to future performance. Some information and statistical data herein has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable but in no way are warranted by us as to their accuracy or completeness. These are Neptune’s views and as such this document is deemed to be impartial research. We do not undertake to advise you of any change to our views.


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