Coping with Hindsight Investment Review and Outlook Volatility

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Coping with Hindsight Investment Review and Outlook Volatility Powered By Docstoc
					        Coping with Hindsight              Leadership Lessons at GE
Investment Review and Outlook               REIT’s: the Best-kept Tax
                                                      Efficient Secret
       Volatility = Opportunity
  Investing in Russian Growth?                       Has the UK Property
                                                          Market Turned?
  Private Equity -What’s Next?
                                                  Misguided Perceptions
      Overdoing the Pessimism
                                                              Pensions Corner




                                  Issue 12: April - July 07. A Quarterly Perspective from NCB.
Coping with Hindsight.



We all could’ve made fortunes a few weeks ago if we had simply trusted our judgement and
bet on Ireland to beat England in the historic 6 Nations game in Croke Park. It all seems so
incredibly obvious in hindsight doesn’t it? Irish rugby had never been on such a high and we
were fielding arguably our best team ever. Add in the Croke Park factor and the fact that
we’d be playing in front of the largest and noisiest crowd ever to watch a rugby match in this
country. England, on the other hand, were struggling, had a very unsettled team, an unproven
manager and had lost their last three encounters with Ireland. Surely at odds of 6/4, Ireland
were a racing certainty?

Well, looking back on it now, after that famous    and England might win. This was, of course,          when we were of a mind to) and then some
40-13 victory, it certainly looks that way.        a live possibility at the time, even though now,     severe negative setback happens. We can feel
So, if it was so obvious, how come then we         looking back on it, it may seem hard to believe.     cheated and annoyed with ourselves.
didn’t back our judgement and bet heavily          Despite this, we are left feeling we missed a
on the Irish win? For example, we could’ve         great opportunity.                                   Everybody suffers from these “if only” feelings.
bet k40k on Ireland to win and made a tax                                                               If it’s any consolation, you can be absolutely
free profit of k60k - overnight. That would be      In the investment business, hindsight can            certain that even the legendary Warren Buffet
a return of 150% in the space of a short few       make very smart people look very silly, and          and all the very best professional investors
hours. I won’t even attempt to annualise that      also make things that were not that obvious          have them too. But we can also ease this
return, but, whatever way you look at it, it’d     beforehand; look ridiculously obvious after          type of frustration, by simply understanding
have been an amazing investment.                   the event.                                           hindsight and indeed, the feelings brought on
                                                                                                        by hindsight, a little bit better.
Of course we all know well the real reason         We all know too well that feeling of regret we
we didn’t make the bet. The RISK of losing         experience when, having actively considered          It’s very important that we do, because such
was too high. Despite all our optimistic,          buying a share, we dither and end up not             feelings have the potential to damage trust
logical and well-informed assessments of           buying it, and then that share rises sharply         between clients and investment advisors. And
Ireland’s chances, we still genuinely (and quite   soon afterwards. We also feel a different kind       that’s not good for anyone. Clients, aided by
understandably) feared that things might not       of frustration when we don’t sell or take profit      liberal portions of hindsight, can at times, find
go to plan. Ireland might play badly on the day    on a particular stock or a portfolio (particularly   it almost impossible to accept that a good




1
advisor wouldn’t have seen certain events           and other harsh realities and risks. But wealth     < Breaking News >
unfolding - e.g. a market crash, a stock            management is one of those areas where we
takeover, a profit warning. It can even lead         really have no choice.
them to thinking (very unfairly I might add) that                                                      NCB Charity Day 2007
their advisor is incompetent.                       The best investment advisors will get things
                                                                                                       We are pleased to announce that NCB held its
                                                    wrong some of the time, and investors need         annual Charity Day on 29th March 2007 - this was
Those of us working in this business need to        to know that. If they don’t, they will be in a     our fifth and most successful charity day yet. All
be much more confident and proactive on              permanent state of frustration.                    commissions generated by the firm on this day,
issues like this, if we are going to survive and                                                       totalling circa k400,000, were donated to three
                                                                                                       deserving charities including:-
thrive in the long term.                            An honest and consistent effort on our part to
                                                                                                       • Down Syndrome Ireland
                                                    educate clients on the unpredictability (as well
                                                                                                       • The Irish Kidney Association
In the first instance, we need to be forthright      as the virtues) of markets, and to help them       • The Neo-Natal Intensive
and clear with individual investors and clients     develop appropriate and realistic expectations,           Care Unit, Holles Street.
right from the beginning. We need to help them      will go a very long way towards dealing with the   Thank you to all clients who dealt with us on this
to understand that advisors (even the very          dreaded hindsight.                                 day and to those who made contributions to the
                                                                                                       fundraising efforts.Your support is truly appreciated.
best of them) have lots of limitations. We all
know how difficult it is to win any new piece of                                                        Crystal UK Development Fund
business, while at the same time focussing a
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                                                                                                       commitments in excess of k40 million have been
                                         Greg Dilger - Head of Wealth Management                       received to date. The fund will acquire a balanced
                                                                                                       portfolio of residential and mixed use development
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                                                                                                       be brought through the planning process. NCB
                                                                                                       expects investors to benefit from the combination of
                                                                                                       a positive UK macro environment, an experienced
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                                                                                                       sourced for the fund and a tax efficient structure.

                                                                                                       For more information, please contact your
                                                                                                       account manager on 01 611 5611

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                                                                                                                                                            2
Investment Review
and Outlook
Nigel Poynton, Director, NCB Wealth Management


If nothing else, the first quarter of 2007        at some time in the last four years. Indeed        earnings growth and valuation levels.
was certainly interesting, with plenty of        some have likened equity investment in
market gyrations giving us constant food         these markets as akin to “climbing a wall of       Confidence in Equities
for thought. The year started on a positive      worry” – something that now seems to be            Although we expressed concern about
note with markets powering ahead in              part and parcel of the investment world.           the short-term prospects for the market
January. However, February saw a sharp                                                              as greater growth risks are reflected, we
drop in global equities, which was more          Global Outlook                                     restate our confidence about valuation
or less caused by a chain of events              The global economy looks set to continue           support in equities as an asset class. We
started by warnings of over-exuberance           growing at a firm pace led by Chinese/              believe the longer-term outlook for equities
from the Chinese authorities together with       Indian industrialisation and recovering            remains positive. However, we still see
comments by the Fed’s ex-chairman, Alan          domestic demand in core Eurozone and               volatility rising from current low levels as the
Greenspan, exacerbating those worries.           the developed Asian economies. The US              cycle matures and this means that equities
Concerns over rising bad debt levels in the      economy can sustain a soft landing but             are becoming increasingly unsuitable
US mortgage market have also caused              a protracted period of subdued growth              for investors who cannot commit funds
significant volatility, both in US and non-       (both relative to its potential and relative to    over a medium to longer-term horizon.
US equity markets, in recent weeks.              Eurozone and Asia) looks to be in store as
                                                 interest rate and exchange rate movements          To summarise, our core equity strategy is
Wall of Worry                                    gradually push the US consumer onto the            to invest further funds in large-cap core
Ongoing concerns, such as those                  back foot. The counterpart of this is that still   European equity markets, with exposure
outlined above, will not necessarily result in   stimulatory (albeit rising) interest rates and     to the banking, energy, commodity
investors moving to the sidelines. Why? In       appreciating exchange rates will continue          and industrial services sectors. These
return for the last four years of exceptional    to encourage compensatory consumption              investments are predicated on the
equity market performance, investors             growth in core Eurozone and Asia.                  probability that buying stocks at these
have also had to face up to four years of                                                           low PE ratios will deliver above average
worry - and not just in financial markets.        European equity markets have been                  long run returns and that global growth will
Geopolitical concerns and the threat of          outperforming US equities in common                remain robust. Our regional preference is
terrorism; rising oil prices and consequent      currency terms for over six years now,             reinforced by the belief that actual European
inflationary pressure; monetary tightening;       and although the trend is maturing, we             profit growth this year may be ahead of
a US housing bubble; a global economic           expect European (and Asian) equities to            consensus expectations. Conversely,
slowdown, if not a full-scale recession;         again beat US equities over the current            we believe that US earnings growth
shrinking corporate margins and profit            year because lower interest rates in these         and equity prices are likely to diverge
fears: they have all made headline news          regions are more supportive of economic/           (negatively) from the rest of the world.


                                     To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Nigel Poynton in
                                               NCB Wealth Management at 01 6115611 or email nigel.poynton@ncb.ie
3
Volatility = Opportunity

Eddie Clarke, Director, NCB Wealth Management


As I write, the market continues to wrestle with fear and optimism; fear of slowing growth and
rising inflation and optimism buoyed by private equity takeovers and relentless M&A activity.
Notwithstanding some notable exceptions, we’ve enjoyed bull market conditions for more
than 4 years now. So where to from here?

The battle of wits will continue between       employ trading strategies where leverage         colleague Dermot O’Brien’s article on page
those increasingly conscious of weaker         is involved. But it’s not all doom and           9]. Ultimately, for those with the courage
market sentiment (and consequently             gloom as current and prospective volatility      of their convictions, phased investment
anxious to take profits that might otherwise    presents real opportunities. Given the           in quality stocks will be rewarded. I’d
subsequently elude them) and those willing     gains of recent years, price appreciation        encourage readers to note the recovery of
to look through short-term weak sentiment      and the positive experience of those             the ISEQ 20 index of twenty leading Irish
to stronger longer-term fundamentals. The      invested in equity markets, this is a pretty     stocks from the not dissimilar turbulence
latter group will be focused on the strong     good dilemma to be faced with. These             experienced in May/June 06 (demonstrated
business models which will continue            investors may choose to take profits, take        in the attached chart). Investors would
to create earnings growth, trading on          some cash off the table and wait on the          be well advised to take opportunities
modest multiples of earnings and paying        sidelines for opportunities to re-enter /        that may and will arise – it’s familiarity
attractive (and growing) dividend yields.      buy-back when concerns settle or play out.       with their favoured stocks which can turn
                                                                                                volatility into real opportunity. Of course it
Short-term perspective                         Long term perspective                            goes without saying that, as with much in
If indeed we are approaching the late          For those with a somewhat longer time            life, timing in equity markets is crucial.
stages of a four year bull market, the type    horizon or time perspective, common
of volatility we’ve experienced recently may   sense would suggest that when good
well become ever more frequent. Therefore,     companies get buffeted around by short-
those seeking to trade with a short time       term market whims there is an opportunity.
horizon need to be extra careful not to        Taking advantage of that opportunity
leave themselves vulnerable to either the      requires maintaining your conviction
type of creeping or incremental price falls    particularly in the face of market volatility.
we’ve witnessed in Irish financial stocks       [For those looking for a reminder of the
of late or indeed the rapid falls witnessed    basic principles and positive dynamics
across the market in late Feb of this year.    of the Irish economy underpinning Irish
This is ever more the case for those who       stocks, please look no further than my


                                     To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Eddie Clarke in
                                               NCB Wealth Management at 01 6115611 or email eddie.clarke@ncb.ie
                                                                                                                                            4
Investing in
Russian Growth?
Alan Foy - Executive, NCB Wealth Management


Russia is geographically the largest country in the world. Its population is the 8th largest
globally and it has a plentiful array of natural resources. The economy has grown strongly
for several years now, as evidenced by a 6.7% growth rate in 2006. And with GDP forecasts
of 6.5% for 2007 and 2008, there appears to be great appetite among informed international
investors for all things Russian… what’s the attraction?

Background                                         in Finnish companies with good exposure              related. In January 2007, retail trade grew by
As you may recall in the last edition of ‘Wealth   to the evolving Russian story. This article          13.5% in real terms and construction by as
Management’, my colleague Ian Quigley              provides some of the highlights.                     much as 29.8% year-on-year (Chart 1, page 6).
introduced you to ESN, our strategic alliance                                                           So it appears that rapid domestic consumption
of investment banks and securities firms.           Domestic consumption booming                         growth is the driving force in the Russian
ESN partners collaborate on a pan-European         A key message emerging from the conference           economy and it’s growing faster than the
basis to produce equity research, sales            is that an exposure to Russian domestic              economy overall which grew by 6.7% in 2006.
trading and corporate finance services for          consumption is the route for investors to
our clients. It’s an invaluable resource which     consider in playing the Russian economic             If you add into the mix the fact that, on close
effectively provides our advisors with access      growth story. Domestic consumption is                examination, the economic fundamentals in
to original ideas from across Europe from          booming. It is expected to grow rapidly by           Russia are in fairly good shape – investors
research analysts who are “on the ground”          10% in 2007 and 9.5% in 2008 stimulated by           should consider potential opportunities in
with local insight and knowledge. It goes          strong wage growth, low real interest rates and      the region. Russia has an extensive current
without saying that this represents a real         higher public spending. While a great deal of        account surplus (circa 5.5% of 2007e GDP)
competitive advantage for NCB and our clients.     media attention about Russia focuses on the          and virtually no foreign public debt (6% of
                                                   incredible wealth of the oligarchs, it often fails   GDP in 2006) - in addition, their Stabilisation
Recently, my colleague Eddie Clarke attended       to mention the rapid formation of a middle           Fund already exceeds this amount with
another in a series of conferences entitled        class. The increased affluence of this middle         $90Bn secured in the bank. This would all
“Invest in Russian Growth” kindly organised by     class is much less understood and this is            suggest that the risks for financial crisis or
our Finnish partner Mandatum Stockbrokers.         where the investment opportunity lies – we can       higher interest rates in Russia are less than
The purpose of the conference was to               see this lived out and clearly evidenced in the      common misperceptions would have you
discuss Russia’s economic prospects and            growth in domestic retail consumption and            believe. Furthermore, the Russian Federation
to showcase the investment opportunities           construction, a great deal of which is housing       continues to have a budget in surplus (4.4%




5
of GDP in 2007e) implying that the State         and presidential elections in March 2008.         with western corporate governance, Finnish
could increase expenditure and further boost     The president, Vladimir Putin is expected         opportunities may be an excellent route of
domestic consumption in 2007-2008.               to step down in 2008 and it is highly likely      access. With a long history of trade between
                                                 that his successor will come from a small         Finland and Russia, the Russian market
What about the Oil Price?                        circle of potential candidates in the current     provides numerous opportunities for Finnish
Many might ask of the potential negative         administration (Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei        businesses, which are well positioned to
affects of oil prices. Well, our colleagues in   Ivanov are favourites) therefore no sharp         navigate and exploit the huge potential of
Mandatum argue that not even a decline in        policy shift is anticipated. Mandatum assert      Russian domestic markets. Russia is the
the oil price would slow the Russian economy     that as a follow on from the presidential         fastest growing market close to Finland and
down... so long as it doesn’t go below $37       elections there may be likely disputes over       it offers attractive growth potential for Finnish
per barrel that is. The export and production    oil and other raw material companies or           enterprises. At the conference, attendees
taxes that Russia impose on oil companies        indeed what constitutes ‘strategic’ Russian       heard from the management teams of Finnish
increase progressively along with the oil        assets which could accelerate and cause           firms, which are well positioned to benefit from
price. And as the oil price has declined from    further turmoil in the financial markets. At the   their significant expansion/growth in Russia
approximately $70 in early July to the current   conference however, the analysts suggested        and importantly in sectors that are likely to
approx $60, the only major impact has been       that this confusion would not affect the          benefit from domestic demand including
to slow down the growth in their Stabilisation   Russian real economy and they expect that         construction (YIT), retail (Stockmann) and tyres
Fund- but a severe drop to below $37             the political turmoil caused by the elections     (Nokian). If you are considering investing
would place their budget in the red, halt the    will be short-term noise and nothing more.        in Russian growth, investing in good quality
Stabilisation Fund’s growth and deteriorate                                                        Finnish companies with excellent exposure
oil companies’ earnings significantly.            Finnish companies with Russian exposure           to the Russian domestic consumption
                                                 All this bodes well for investors in Russian      story might be a good place to start...
Political turmoil only short-term noise          domestic consumption. But where are the
Some investors may fear the potential            opportunities? For those who wish to gain         * Sincere thanks to our Finnish colleague,
turmoil resulting from the upcoming Russian      exposure to this Russian growth story by          Tuomas Komalainen at Mandatum Stockbrokers
parliament elections in December 2007            investing in publicly quoted companies            for allowing us to reference and cite his work.




          If you are interested in accessing the Russian growth story though Finnish stocks/Russian Managed
         Funds please contact my colleagues Eddie Clarke or Ian Quigley for more information on 01 6115611.
                                                                                                                                                       6
Private Equity-
What’s Next?
Gearóid Hussey, NCB Wealth Management


As a follow on from my previous article,             products, retail and health care industries are      the best results, which means that they can
Private Equity-‘The Buying Spree’, I thought it      often good buyout targets because revenues           raise the most capital and win the most deals,
appropriate to go into the topic a little            usually remain stable despite fluctuations in         according to Thomson Financial:
more deeply.                                         the economic cycle. For example, KKR and
                                                     Alliance Boots’ biggest shareholder, Stefano         •    Texas Pacific Group participated in 17
It seems no one can escape as private equity         Pessina, has made a £10 billion friendly                  deals in 2006, worth a total of $101 billion,
firms seek buyout candidates of any size, with        approach to the UK’s largest drugstore chain,        •    Blackstone followed with 19 deals worth
stable cash flows, low debt levels and cheap          which was subsequently rejected by the board.             $93 billion,
share prices. Recently, TXU Corporation, the         I would expect a larger bid to be announced in       •    Bain Capital Partners came in third, with
Texas power company, received an approach            the near future. CVC Capital Partners, KKR and            12 deals worth $85 billion,
in the biggest ever private equity deal from         Blackstone Group are considering a joint bid         •    KKR was fourth, with 13 deals worth $78
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and TPG                for the UK’s third largest supermarket,                   billion, and
(formerly Texas Pacific Group). However,              J Sainsbury, whose current market value is           •    Carlyle Group was fifth, with 31 deals
even at $43 billion, it won’t be plain sailing       about £9.5 billion. They are fighting for the title        worth $72 billion.
as Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group and               of ‘Europe’s biggest ever leveraged buyout’.
Riverstone Holdings may make a counter offer                                                              The Year so far
for the company. Where will it all end?              Performance in 2006                                  2007 is expected to be another major year of
                                                     Private equity fundraising reached new record        growth in private equity. The industry is forecast
To recap, private equity firms typically buy          levels in 2006, with data from Private Equity        to raise $500bn globally in 2007 - $70bn more
companies at a low price and pile substantial        Intelligence showing that a total of 684 funds       than last year’s record, according to estimates
debt onto the acquisition target’s balance           worldwide raised an aggregate $432 billion.          from Private Equity Intelligence. The table
sheet. Stable cash flows are a prerequisite           In terms of the regional split of fundraising, the   overleaf shows some of the Buyout Funds’
to pay down the additional debt, thereby             funds raised in 2006 were split as follows:          fundraisings at the moment:
dramatically boosting a deal’s returns. Over         •    62% of capital raised focused on the US;
the period of ownership, the private equity          •    26% of capital raised focused on Europe;        At Goldman Sach’s recent AGM, the CEO
firm, in conjunction with management, will            •    and the remaining 12% of capital focused        Lloyd Blankfein said the firm expects to raise
seek to improve the quality of the business          on Asia and the Rest of World.                       $19bn to $20bn for its newest buyout fund
before selling it within a typical period of three                                                        – potentially the largest amount ever raised
to five years to another private equity fund or to    Another point of note is that private equity         by a private equity fund, which would top the
investors in an initial public offering (IPO).       spending power is concentrated in relatively         $18.1bn that Blackstone Group says it has
Ultimately, companies in the consumer                few hands. The biggest firms tend to have             raised so far for its newest fund.Fv




7
Buyout Funds on the Road

    Fund                                           Manager                                                 Target Size (mn)                GP Location
    GS Capital Partners VI                         Goldman Sachs private Equity                            19,000 USD                      US
    KKR Fund 2006                                  Kohlberg Kravis Roberts                                 16,625 USD                      US
    Carlyle Partners V                             Carlyle Group                                           15,000 USD                      US
    Providence Equity Partners VI                  Providevnce Equity Partners                             12,000 USD                      US
    Apax Europe VII                                Apax Partners                                           8,500 EUR                       UK
    Thomas H Lee VI                                Thomas H Lee Partners                                   9,000 USD                       US
    Hellman & Friedman VI                          Hellman & Friedman                                      8,000 USD                       US
    Silver Lake partners III                       Silver Lake partners                                    8,000 USD                       US
    Carlyle Europe Partners III                    Carlyle Group                                           5,000 EUR                       US
    JC Flowers II                                  JC Flowers & Co                                         6,000 USD                       US


The following companies are potential private         Is the Game Up? Are we at the top of the                could value it at $40 billion (k30 billion). David
equity targets and who knows they could be on         Private Equity Cycle?                                   Rubenstein told an industry conference in
the block in the near future:                         “I don’t think we are in a bubble similar to the        Dubai recently: “If Blackstone goes public, it
                                                      tech bubble of 2000, but declines will occur.           will be the first of many.”
•      UK supermarket, WM Morrison                    We can’t go on like this forever...returns will be
•      Anglo-Dutch consumer products                  lower, a downturn will occur.”                          An IPO will give the company a source of
       group, Unilever                                David Rubenstein, the co founder and head of            steady capital without the expensive road
•      French construction and engineering            Carlyle Group.                                          shows needed to raise funds from institutions
       group, Vinci                                                                                           and high net worth individuals, on an annual
•      UK airline, British Airways                    He went on to say that private equity was               basis. The capital is also ‘permanent capital’
                                                      less vulnerable to a market collapse than               that, unlike the funds raised from private
The fundraisings seem to be the easier part of        the dotcom sector because the businesses                investors and pension funds, does not have to
the overall process. The current buying power         that have been purchased are established                be returned to the source.
of US private equity firms is estimated at up to       companies with real revenue.The conditions
$1.25 trillion. When the funds have been raised       for the big buyout firms over the past few years         Many feel it is very ironic that private equity
there seems to be an urgent need to put it to         have been ideal – the cheap debt and low                firms are going public, as one of the primary
work, as investors don’t want to sit on cash for      interest rates have been key drivers for buyout         benefits of private equity is the freedom from
any reasonable period – and that’s where the          activity over this period. Is this sustainable?         the quarterly reporting distractions and having
trouble starts. The availability of cheap credit                                                              to answer to impatient shareholders. “There
has allowed financial buyers to leverage up            A Private Equity Firm Going Public                      is a huge irony here,” says an executive at
the market value of their acquisition targets         Private equity firms may be taking chunks                a company that has received approaches
and that obviously comes with risks. Another          of the stock market private but, as their size          from private equity groups. “If they dislike the
common practice is the idea of co-investing           and firepower grows, it seems that they are              markets so much, why go and raise funds
in deals, which helps to spread out the risk.         considering their own initial public offerings.         there?” Watch this space!
However, group buying can also increase               One of the largest private equity players,
the likelihood of overpaying.                         Blackstone Group, is planning to come to the
                                                      public market over the next few months, which




                                                                            Please contact Gearóid on 01 611 5611, if you would like
                                                                                    to discuss any of the topics raised in this article.
                                                                                                                                                                   8
Overdoing the Pessimism

Dermot O’Brien, Chief Economist, NCB Stockbrokers


Real GDP in Ireland grew by 6% in 2006. This is a good deal higher than most forecasters
were looking for this time last year and, indeed, higher than official agencies were forecasting
towards the end of the year. Despite the better outturn, all we seem to be hearing lately is that
expectations for growth in activity this year are being revised down from earlier forecasts and
to a slower pace than last year.

This strikes us as more than a little            drag on overall growth in the economy.          house price inflation has slowed a lot and
strange on a number of counts. For a             This conclusion seems to us to go               to numbers showing a decline in housing
start, there is very little hard data on Irish   way beyond the available evidence.              guarantee contracts taken out to paint an
economic activity so far available and                                                           overly gloomy picture of the current state of
what there is looks stronger not weaker.         It is certainly the case that the general       the housing market. A few weeks ago we
Secondly, it chimes poorly with what             tone of feedback from estate agents             pointed out how poor an indicator of activity
one might expect given the stimulatory           and mortgage lenders is that there              the house guarantee data have been in the
nature of the 2007 budget involving, as          has been some cooling in the housing            past and, before that, we pointed out that
it did, a cut in the burden of taxation and      market compared with the frenetic pace          the deceleration in the rate of house price
a significant increase in real government         of activity this time last year. For the most   inflation is more likely to be reflecting the
spending. Neither is slower growth what          part, however, the agents are suggesting        substantial increase in supply put in place in
one might expect to see in a year when           that buyer interest remains at good             the last two years rather than anything else.
maturing SSIA accounts will add at least         levels but that this is not translating into
something to spending over and above             transactions as quickly as last year.           Thus, a good deal of pessimism on
what might otherwise have occurred.                                                              housing is not as well based as it may
                                                 As far as the lenders are concerned, the        seem. Moreover, at least some of the
Of course, concerns about the housing            general indication is that the value of new     cooling in activity indicated by the lenders
market and the rate of growth in housing         mortgage lending this year is expected          and estate agents may not prove to be
activity are at the centre of this latest        to be at or a little below last year’s level.   lasting. Two things seem of relevance in
bout of relative pessimism. There is a           These indications do not seem to us to          this regard, consumers’ concerns about
perception that a substantial slowdown           be consistent with a significant slowing         likely interest rate movements and the
in housing construction is likely this           in housing activity but they have been          influence of the possibility that changes
year and that this will act as a significant      added to data showing that the pace of          will be made in the stamp duty system.




9
On the first point, a recent survey                way or the other, those currently sitting on        in 2007? We do not think so. Housing is
sponsored by IIB Bank, suggested that             the sidelines will have no reason to delay          far from the full story as far as growth in
consumers were pessimistic about interest         any further. For these reasons alone, the           construction activity is concerned and
rates, expecting them to rise faster than         feedback from the housing market could be           is further still from being the whole story
do financial markets. This is, perhaps,            quite different in the second half of the year.     of the Irish economy. The GDP data
understandable given the sequence of                                                                  for Q4 2006 released recently made
rate hikes in the past fifteen months but          Over and above this, however, it does seem          this point very well. They showed that
it takes no apparent account of the signs         likely that the scale of house building in the      housing investment actually declined
that the ECB is approaching the peak              past two years probably represents a peak.          year-on-year in Q4, by a little over 2%.
of its tightening cycle. Given the shift          An 87,000 average level of new house                However, overall investment in construction
in the ECB’s rhetoric, it is a reasonable         completions in 2005 and 2006 is certainly           rose by 7.4% because non-residential
expectation that the rate hike coming in          in the upper reaches of any feasible                investment was over 17% ahead of levels
June could be the last. At worst, the ECB         range based on current demographics.                a year earlier (Chart 1 page 11). It is also
may push rates to 4.25% but what they are         Indeed, given how long this new supply              interesting to note that while the pace of
currently signalling would not be consistent      took to cool down the pace of house price           growth in housing investment had been
with a more aggressive stance. If this is         inflation, some share of those completions           decelerating in the first three quarters of
the case, it will become more evident             may have been responding to unsatisfied              2006, even before the decline in Q4, the
towards the middle of the year, presumably        demand from earlier years. On this basis,           rate of increase in employment in the
alleviating current consumer fears.               some fall-off in the rate of house building         construction sector was accelerating,
                                                  this year would not be a big surprise.              from 8.9% in Q1 to 11.2% in Q4.
The stamp duty issue should also be
resolved on a similar time horizon. In the        It would, however, be surprising if the pace        That the annual number of houses built
run in to the upcoming general election,          of completions fell by any more than by a           recently has been running around four
the opposition parties have announced             few thousand. Given continued growth in             times the total of the early- to mid-1990s is
proposals to reform stamp duty on housing         the population of household forming age             well known but the fact that non-residential
transactions. The Progressive Democrats,          and the indications that inward migration           construction has shown a similar scale of
junior partner in the current government,         continues to increase, underlying demand            increase may not be. This is typified by the
have also promised reform though the              for housing looks solid. The fact that private      data on the floor area of non-residential
Fianna Fail party has, apparently, set its face   housing rents are accelerating is clear             planning permissions depicted in Chart 2.
against any change. Given the possibility         evidence of this (and probably also of the
of reform, it would be entirely sensible for      impact of higher interest rates and more            That this is the case simply reflects the
any potential house buyer who can to delay        onerous stress testing on potential buyers          accommodation needs of a workforce that
purchasing on the basis of the possible tax       at the lower end of the income scale).              is over 40% larger than it was ten years ago.
saving. It would be a surprise if this were not                                                       Moreover, as the economy continues to
a contributor to the cooling in the market,       Even if the housing market is not as weak           grow, so too will the need for commercial
especially at the more expansive end. The         as some suppose but house building                  and industrial construction. In addition,
point, however, is that the situation should      does fall a little this year, does that not still   government spending on construction in
be clarified once the election is over. Either     mean that we should be cutting back on              the next six years under the new National
stamp duty will be reformed or it won’t. One      our general expectations for GDP growth             Development Plan is set to eclipse that




                                                                                                                                                  10
in the previous plan by a large margin.                Chart 1 - Investment in Construction (y-o-y%, constant prices)
For example, under the 2000-2006
                                                       ��
plan, spending on roads projects
totalled around k8 billion.                            ��


In the new Plan, the total for roads has been          ��

set at k17.6 billion. This is a small part of the
                                                       ��
overall Plan but is equivalent to around 10%
of the current total value of GDP and will              �
be spent over the six years 2007 to 2013.
To put this in context, in the five years to             �

2005 when housing was growing strongly it
                                                       ��
added an average of just over 1% to GDP
growth and the most it accounted for in any           ���
one year was 1.5%. In 2006, the contribution
slowed to 0.4% yet GDP growth accelerated             ���

from 5.5% to 6%. It seems there is more to                  ������                  ������                   ������              ������

the Irish economy than house building!                               �������                                                         ������������������
                                                                                                  ������������������



Chart 2 - Non-Residential Planning Permissions (‘000 sq metres)


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                                                   If you would like to receive regular economic commentary from NCB,
                                       please contact your account manager in NCB Wealth Management at 01 611 5611.
11
Misguided Perceptions
in the Irish Commercial Property Market

Pat Gunne, Managing Director, CB Richard Ellis


Amid growing negative sentiment and confusion with regard to property market performance,
the time has come to set the record straight with regard to the reality of market conditions in
the commercial property arena and dispel some of the misguided perceptions that have started
to take root. Whilst sentiment in the residential property market has been weakening for
many months (and now looks like a good buying opportunity) it is important to stress that the
commercial property market in contrast is actually performing relatively strongly at present.

It is not the first time in recent history that both   average growth in the Eurozone expected to        fair to say that different sub-sectors of the
markets have been performing out of synch.            reach no higher than 2.5% per annum in the        commercial market are performing to varying
The rationale for this is simply that the ‘herd       medium term and little better expected in the     degrees at present on the basis that they
instinct’ that exists in the residential sector is    United States. We should not be entertaining      are influenced by different fundamentals
not witnessed in the commercial property              negative speculation when all that is being       but all things considered the commercial
market where buying decisions are dependent           experienced is a levelling in the extraordinary   property market remains very favourable
on fundamentals such as rents, yields and             pace of growth we previously experienced.         for occupiers and investors alike.
rates of return and are therefore less impulsive      No other economy is experiencing 4.5%
in nature.                                            growth in employment generation on an             Ironically, the biggest threat to the commercial
                                                      annual basis or experiencing the rapid            property market now is a lack of confidence. If
The property market is in simple terms a              population growth that Ireland can boast.         we allow ourselves to wallow in unfounded
sub-set of economic activity and on the                                                                 negativity, it is very easy for this sentiment to
basis that it now appears that we will have to        All of the fundamentals that drive commercial     become self-fulfilling.
adjust to somewhat lower economic growth              property market performance remain robust.
over the coming years, the natural result is          In our experience, occupier demand in
that property market performance will in turn         the core market sectors including office,
decline. That said, even if economic growth           industrial and retail remains positive and one
in Ireland slows to 4.0% per annum from its           has to remember that the cost of five year
current rate of 6.0%, we have to remember             money has remained stable at 4.25% for
that this still represents a rate of economic         a number of months, which in itself bodes
activity that is the envy of Europe, with             well for property market performance. It is




                                                                                                                                                            12
Has the UK Propertyfrom
            An Idea
            the
Market Turned? Desk
Mark Crader, Senior Partner, Grainmarket Asset Management


The UK property market has enjoyed its longest      are to a large extent redundant buildings            and is forecasting it to continue to grow to
bull run for many years (and probably since         when the leases expire leaving their owners          over 65m over the next 25 years. All this adds
the end of WWII). Since the “green shoots of        nursing large capital losses that only               up to demand; demand for houses (that we
recovery” were first seen in 1993 the market         become apparent once the tenant has left.            seem incapable of producing), demand for
has, with the exception of one early false dawn     Notwithstanding the one or two exceptions that       offices (with supply constricted by residential
and some micro markets such as the financial         might fall into this category the positive carry     competition), demand for leisure and so
district’s problems in 2001, moved ever North.      is, in my view, gone for a long, long time.          on. The UK is a very crowded place with
This has seen yields for secondary property                                                              240people/sqkm (source Sedac/UN) when
compress from around 15% to below 6% today.         It is certainly true that it is illogical to have,   compared to France 108/sqkm and Ireland
When this yield is added to the rental growth       what is in effect, an indexed income stream          at 55/sqkm. Whilst some areas of London
the increases in value have been dramatic.          paying more than a fixed coupon loan.                 are amongst the most expensive places to
In fact it is very difficult to imagine how          Doesn’t mean it can’t happen – just means            rent offices with the St James’s area flirting
property could ever have been that cheap!           it’s a buy signal when it does. As property          with £100/sqft there are other reasonably
                                                    is already a negative carry, notwithstanding         central areas where one can rent good quality
The important question now is;                      the minute returns on indexed linked                 space for around a fifth of that. I personally
should it ever be this expensive?                   Gilts, it is difficult to see any significant          think this equates to value and opportunity.
                                                    compression in yields from this point.
In order to answer this most important of                                                                As the positive carry has been so successful it
questions one has to dispense with the              Of course the other major influence on                has tended to push the more traditional ways
easiest and most successful business model          values is rental growth and here the view for        of extracting money from property to the side.
of the last 15 years – that of positive carry       increasing values is far more benign. London         This has seen the traditional rental growth
(i.e. the yield on property being greater than      is an expensive space to rent offices but it is       route to riches being ignored. It is also true
the cost of funds in acquiring it). In truth this   also one of the major world cities and indeed        it is harder work to get rental increases. Rent
yield gap was eradicated a couple of years          is forecast to be the 4th biggest city economy       reviews are normally hard fought and time
ago on prime property and more recently on          by 2020 according to PwC. The demographics           consuming, new lettings a slow and expensive
secondary stock-especially when one adds            for the UK and, the South East in particular are     process and straight development more so
the lender’s margin. It is important when           encouraging. The National Statistics Office           (and with more risk!). However I do think this
judging a true return that one considers the        reported in August of last year that the UK          is the “game” those of us involved in property
vacant possession value of a property and           population broke through the 60m barrier for         will have to play over the next five or so years.
many of the seemingly high yield properties         the first time with a net migration of 235,000        It should make us money and it will be fun!




                                          To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Bobby Hassett in
                                                    NCB Wealth Management at 01 6115611 or email bobby.hassett@ncb.ie
13
REIT’s: the Best Kept
Tax-efficient Secret
Killian Nolan, Business Development Manager, NCB Wealth Management


REIT’s have been a popular investment vehicle in the US and Far Eastern markets for many
years and demand for REIT’s in Europe is set to soar, thanks to the recent introduction of
REIT’s legislation in both the UK and Germany.

So what exactly is a REIT?                           shares in REIT’s, however, offers better flexibility   The returns within a unit fund are rolled up
A REIT is an investment vehicle which invests        as they are freely and openly traded on the           gross and investors will only pay tax on the
exclusively in property, and is traded openly on     stock exchange.                                       dividends and capital growth at the lower rate of
the stock market. REIT’s offer a transparent,                                                              23% (marginal rate + 3%) when they withdraw
liquid and tax-efficient way to invest in property.   Key Advantages of REIT’s                              their funds.
                                                     REIT’s provide a number of key advantages to
The way REIT legislation has been structured         investors, including:                                 It is also possible for the fund manager to put
means that most of the rental revenue from           1.     efficient tax structure,                        a currency hedge in place to cover the value of
managed properties can be passed directly to         2.     the potential for higher yields                all non – Euro denominated assets.
investors free of corporation tax. Under most        3.     protection from inflation.
circumstances, REIT’s may also pass on profits        4.     liquidity                                      On reviewing the market we discovered there
on the sale of assets back to shareholders                                                                 are a number of very good funds available but
free of corporation tax. REIT legislation usually    All the above sounds very interesting but there       the one we believe offered most to the Irish
requires that most of the rental profits must be      are a few draw-backs for an Irish investor who        Investor is the Standard Life Global REIT fund.
passed on to investors. This combination can         invests directly in REIT’s, the dividend will be
boost dividend yield and where this happens          taxed at the higher rate of tax (41%) and there       Along with offering the right structure Standard
such investments are more attractive to              will be currency exposure when buying in the          Life Investments also offer extensive breadth
investors who require income.                        UK, Asia and US etc.                                  and depth in both analytical and investment
                                                                                                           expertise across direct property, listed property
This demand has been met in part by direct           So what’s the most efficient way for an Irish          and property related equities. Their portfolio
property funds in recent years, but these            investor to invest in REIT’s?                         reflect the best ideas from across their global
funds can present a liquidity challenge, and         While it may not be deemed as the “Sexy Way”          investment platform, in a product that offers
may require investment managers to place             to invest, a unit fund is the most appropriate        investors the advantages derived from highly
restrictions on investor access to cash in the       way for Irish investors to access the Global          liquid exposure to global property markets.
form of withdrawal notice periods. Buying            REIT market.




               If you would like to receive further information on REIT’s or specifically the Standard Life Global
                                       REIT, please contact your account manager or Killian Nolan at 01 6115611.
                                                                                                                                                            14
Leadership Lessons at GE

Alan Foy - Executive, NCB Wealth Management


Dan O’Connor is former President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Consumer Finance
Europe and assumed the position as National Executive for Ireland in 2001. Dan is currently
a non-executive director on the boards of both AIB and CRH. Recently we were privileged to
have Dan address us in NCB regarding his successful career and provide insights into his time
at GE. It was an illuminating presentation which grabbed the interest of all who attended, so
much so that I’d like to share some of the highlights with you in this article.

Career Path                                        took it. Dan spent four successful years            Finance-Europe (GECF). Dan was appointed
It’s impossible to condense a sparkling            with the company and went on to become              President & Chief Executive Officer in 1999.
curriculum vitae like Dan O’Connor’s into a        Group Financial Controller before leaving           The company has a number of broad product
single paragraph and serve it any justice.         to join the newly formed Woodchester                lines including credit cards, personal loans,
However, Dan was educated at UCD, having           Investments in 1987. Woodchester was                sales finance, mortgages, auto finance and
completed both a Bachelor of Commerce              set up by Craig McKinney, the Scotsman              insurance. These products were distributed
degree in 1979 and a diploma in Professional       who helped to shake up the consumer                 through an array of channels including
Accounting in 1980. Not unlike many of             and leasing end of the financial services            retailers, mail, telemarketing, branches/partner
his peers at that time, he then decided            business in the 80’s. McKinney believed in          points, ATM’s and the internet. You may be
to continue along the accountancy path             developing young talent and Dan was quick           surprised at just how significant this business
and signed a training contract with KPMG           to get significant responsibility early on.          is... to put it in context, GECF Europe’s
Dublin. Although he was recruited to the                                                               operations employ circa 22,000 people in
audit business, Dan emphasised that he             GE Consumer Finance                                 24 countries across Europe and with a net
was afforded the opportunity early on to           Dan’s learning curve accelerated significantly       income of $1.6 billion and assets in excess
get involved in a range of special projects        after the US financial giant, GE Capital acquired    of $85 billion - it represents Europe’s largest
both within and outside the firm. This meant        the company. McKinney eventually moved              consumer finance business. During Dan’s
that less of his time was spent solely on          aside to enjoy more of his beloved hunting and      time with GE Consumer Finance, the business
traditional audit work typical of most trainees.   as Deputy CEO, Dan found himself working            witnessed excellent growth (19% CAGR) and
                                                   as part of a huge international conglomerate.       successfully completed over 20 acquisitions.
Although he enjoyed his time at KPMG, Dan          Following the deal, GE transferred responsibility
decided that working in practice was not           for much of its European business to Dublin         Go Deep, Move East
for him. And when an opportunity arose in          - the size of Woodchester’s business                Dan gave us a great insight into the rigorous
1984 to work for B&I line (Irish Ferries), he      doubled and it was renamed GE Consumer              and deliberate approach that GE took to




15
growing the business. A business model             acquisitions in markets including Poland, the      businesses. He demanded that they
coined “Go Deep, Move East” meant that             Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia,         understand their business – every nut and bolt
the company developed deep networks in             Latvia, Turkey and Romania. These were             – and had high expectations and standards for
the territories that it operated. At the core of   countries with lower ratios in terms of consumer   them. He wanted results, he wanted answers
its operating philosophy, the emphasis on          assets & liabilities to GDP and less disposable    and he wanted honesty.
local knowledge was paramount. Without it,         income per capita than their more western
the operations just wouldn’t be able to tailor     counterparts. Importantly, they had maturing       At these GE leadership reviews, the chiefs
suitable offerings or develop the right type of    consumer credit markets and were more              would assess their leaders against strict
relationships with clients.                        accepting of the direct business to consumer       performance metrics, the GE values and their
                                                   channels (B2C) which suited GE’s business          exceptional skills. GE values, as Dan explained,
This approach involved leveraging each             model. GE benefited from early mover                were a critical element of GE’s leadership
platform; acquiring businesses with                advantage and built a solid footprint in these     development. GE wanted their leaders to be
quality locations and client bases, building       territories and achieved great results along the   curious and passionate, accountable and
out distribution capability, sharing best          way with 28% compound growth in assets and         resourceful, committed team players and
practice from GE’s operations, leveraging          a staggering 45% compound growth in net            to be open-minded and energising in their
cross-selling opportunities, adding new            income. This model allowed the businesses to       approach. Ambitious growth demanded it.
products and importantly - selling directly        develop into a very meaningful part of the GE      GE didn’t leave leadership to develop by
to clients. It’s an approach that worked well      Consumer Finance story.                            chance – they identified the right people for
– GE moved to set up operations in the                                                                the right roles, promoting at the right times
eastern parts of the EMEA market where             Leadership Lessons                                 in their careers and used their talent pool to
consumer credit was becoming more widely           A really engaging element of Dan’s                 effectively create a very mobile, adaptable
available and accepted by consumers.               presentation focused on leadership. There’s        and skilled leadership ranks throughout the
                                                   a lot written about the legendary GE CEO           company. GE identified leaders who were not
The GE team searched for new opportunities         Jack Welch and of his successor Jeff Immelt        only hard working but who had the courage
in markets with attractive fundamentals            regarding their leadership approach, style,        to do what was right for the business.
(population size, strong wage growth and           traits etc. So it was great to get a first hand
efficient tax policies etc) and with room to grow   insight from Dan who actually interacted and       But perhaps most importantly, they looked
in terms of deposits and retail lending. The       worked alongside both of them. What was            for leaders who were able to grow their GE
company established a presence through key         most surprising was just how seriously these       businesses with and through the people
                                                   GE chiefs took leadership development. They        who worked for them. They developed their
                                                   focused on identifying leaders; they focused       leaders, rigorously. So it should come as
                                                   on the results these leaders delivered; they       no surprise then, that when Dan O’Connor
                                                   focused on promotability and they focused on       made it known that he was retiring from GE
                                                   developing their leaders’ talent. And they spent   (after successfully developing a host of global
                                                   a lot of time doing it! By way of example, Dan     leadership roles in the company), that some
                                                   outlined how Jack Welch would meet with all        of the largest banks in Europe, including
                                                   of the national executives individually at the     some close to home, wanted to recruit him.
                                                   performance review stage for 2 hours or so         It appears that leadership lessons learnt at
                                                   and here he would quiz them on their results       GE are a much sought after commodity…
Dan O’Connor                                       and really examine them on their respective




                                                   To contact Alan, please email alan.foy@ncb.ie or telephone 01 611 5611.

                                                                                                                                                       16
Pensions Corner
How Can You Afford 30 years of Spending?


Aoife Lavan, Executive, Personal Financial Services, NCB Wealth Management


We are now in an era where more than fifty percent of trainees admitted to the Institute
of Chartered Accountants in Ireland are female, the same statistics apply to trainees
admitted to the Irish Taxation Institute, currently fifty three percent. The modern Irish
woman certainly appears to be more financially independent than her predecessor.

However, is the average Irish woman as            paid and therefore cannot make pension           there scope that the individual could make
financially independent when it comes to           contributions, why it can sometimes be more      pension contributions for both themselves
retirement planning? It would appear based on     difficult for women funding for retirement,       and their stay at home spouse and claim
results from the CSO (Central Statistics Office)   and the real difference becomes evident.         tax relief on these? Maybe something similar
December Survey 2006, that answer is NO.                                                           to the SSIA’s could be introduced or allow
                                                  According to the CSO the figures for 2006         extra tax relief for pension contributions for
•    Only 61.8% of the Irish adult workforce      showed that fifty two percent of all Irish        stay at home spouses. In 2006, 60% of all
     have a private pension                       women aged 15 and over were not officially        females over 15 were working in the home,
•    Only 58.3% of men in the Irish               in the workforce and therefore had no official    if something like this was introduced surely
     workforce have a private pension             earnings in order to contribute to a pension.    this would have an immediate effect on the
•    Only 50.6% of women in the Irish             Of the total population of Irish women aged 15   current pensions coverage issue for women.
     workforce have a private pension             and over, the following was the breakdown of
                                                  those who were unpaid and unable to make         From the above we can see that often it can be
Pensions week was the week beginning              pension contributions:                           more difficult to provide a pension for women
12th March 2007 and the Pensions Board                                                             in Ireland due to personal circumstances.
concentrated in highlighting to the public the    •    4% unemployed                               Aside from the above, in reality women can
lack of pension coverage in Ireland, especially   •    22% were students                           be more vulnerable to being short of money in
when it comes to women.                           •    60% on home duties (officially unpaid)       retirement because of the following:
                                                  •    9% retired
Currently 50.6% of women in the Irish workforce   •    5% other                                    •    Women tend to earn less than men
have a private pension compared with 58.3%                                                         •    Tend to have a broken career pattern
of their male counterparts. At first glance this   Can I be a little controversial and ask the      •    More likely to work part-time
would not appear to be a significant difference    question – if a couple decide that one of the    •    Live longer than men
but when you take into account the number         spouses will stay at home to provide home
of women over 15, who are not being officially     duties rather than stay in the workforce – is




17
The simple fact that women live longer than             Women may receive pension income from the              Finance Act 2006 introduced a cap of
men means that women will need to fund for              state, private pensions, occupational pensions         k5 million on the total pension benefits an
a longer retirement, see: Chart. Yet they are           and from a spouses pension.                            individual is entitled to, this has become a
more prone to having a broken career pattern,                                                                  target of sorts. Have people also considered
because of childbirth, and are more likely to           The question isn’t so much how to spend                that this is also a target for their spouse?
work part-time to rear the children and work            your retirement years, I hope it’s beginning to        Effectively you could fund for k10m per working
in the home and therefore contributions to              become clear that the question actually is; How        couple. There is huge scope for family run
pension schemes are significantly reduced or             can you afford 30 years worth of spending?             businesses/companies where both spouses
stopped completely.                                                                                            are involved, it is important for both to take a
                                                        Its not all doom and gloom, its never too              salary each and fund for a pension for both
I think that we all agree that we would find it          late to start saving, women in their 50s               spouses, this can be hugely relevant when
difficult to live on k209.30 per week (current           could realistically have 10 to 15 years of             extracting monies from a company on exit.
contributory state pension), or k200 (current           potentially high earnings, mortgages may
non-contributory state pension), so what                have been paid off, and they might be                  In case you haven’t heard, 60 is the new 40
should we do?                                           more financially independent, from these                and 70 is the new 50 – make sure you enjoy it!
                                                        earnings they can fund for a pension.
Firstly we should accept that we are going to           For those ladies who are starting off, it is
get old – hopefully gracefully and we should            better to get into the habit of saving a
ask ourselves the following questions if we are         little bit consistently from an early age, it
currently employed:                                     can be taken from your salary at source.


1. Where does your current income                       ���������������������������������
                                                        ���
     come from?
                                                        ��
2. Does your employer have a
     pension scheme?                                    ��
3. Are you a member?
                                                        ��
4. If you are self-employed have you set
     up a personal pension?                             ��
5. Does your spouse have a pension
                                                        ��
     that will provide for you?
6. If you have a pension:                               ��
      a. How much do you pay monthly?
                                                        ��
      b. Do you know how much it will be
            worth at your retirement?                   ��
      c. Can you top up your pension through
                                                        ��
          AVC’s (additional voluntary contributions)?
7.   Do you know the tax benefits of saving              ��
     via a pension?
                                                        ����   ����   ����     ����     ����     ����   ����    ����     ����     ����     ����     ����      ����
8.   Formulate a plan and do something
     about it now!




                                                                      To discuss your pension planning requirements please contact
                                                                                   Aoife at 01 611 5611 or email aoife.lavan@ncb.ie
                                                                                                                                                                  18
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