Ink spilled and the enduring power of anniversaries
Sometimes a date comes around that you just shouldn’t forget, even if others want you to.
June is marked by two such dates.
The first, is the second anniversary, on 3 June, of the gating of Woodford Equity Income fund, and the disgrace of former superstar fund manager Neil Woodford.
Much has happened in the intervening years since that day. The former manager has, allegedly, returned to manage money again.
Plenty of his former investors, many of whom are sitting on 70-80% losses, are yet to see (what’s left of) their capital returned to them.
It is a sorry saga over which much ink has been spilled, and much more is yet to come. A cursory Google search will show you journalists are still writing about it regularly. Perhaps the 2nd anniversary will mark moment for some reflection, despite the saga not being over.
Another anniversary that caught my eye was the fifth anniversary of the vote to leave the European Union, on 24 June. It is extraordinary (in my mind at least) to think that we’re now half a decade on from that momentous occasion.
Politics of the decision aside, the past five years since that day have been an extraordinary time for the UK. While many might be hoping a line is drawn under that story, it still rumbles on too.
But what can we learn from anniversaries, in the abstract? Are they moments for us to reflect on history, or just an opportunity to raise a subject someone has a desire to discuss, despite it being ‘ancient history’?
Anniversaries are a critical function of human culture. Everything from the end of World War One, to the birth of Jesus is enshrined one way or another – be it through remembrance or celebration.
Sure, the second year of the gating of a once-popular fund managers fund isn’t on the same level as those two, but the reason we remember and reflect on it is the impact it had on our experience, as financial journalists, investors or peers.
So, what else is on the cards for June 2021? Plenty to chew on.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak hosts G7 finance ministers on 4 June, which will certainly generate headlines as we march toward COP26 in November.
On 8 June is the semi-annual review of the FTSE4Good Index. The index is ESG company focused so it will make interesting reading the changes to the composition of companies. Those changes are applied at the end of trading on 18 June.
On 12 June is World Gin Day. Not one to forget. Unfortunately though, it comes too early for the end of social distancing (read, nightclubs opening) which is pencilled in for 21 June. Doubt has been thrown on this date thanks to permutations of variants, but for now it’s still on course.
On 25 June the FCA consultation on long-term, illiquid assets funds closes, bringing us one step closer on a ruling in relation to assets such as property funds and their appropriateness for investors.
Finally, the Stamp Duty Land Tax temporary reduced rate of £500k ends on 30 June, unless the aforementioned Chancellor changes his mind – which he might well do to avoid a property market hiccup.
Here’s wishing you a pleasant start to summer from everyone at MRM and Capital City Media.