John Westwood features on list of industry influencers
While the industry has seen much change over the 35 plus years that John has been involved, he says that Blacktower’s insistence on and adherence to a strict set of guidelines and adoption of the highest levels of transparency has helped raise standards amongst international financial advisers across markets.
John says the most significant change he has experienced during his career as part of a global wealth management firm was in 2008 when the financial collapse brought about unprecedented business challenges. The meltdown required Blacktower’s expert management of client expectations as markets and product providers failed, whilst, as Managing Director, he had to simultaneously ensure that the business remained buoyant and secure.
Kirsten Hastings, editor of International Adviser, said that the publication decided to “shine a light” on the movers and shakers who have helped quicken the pace of change in the financial services industry by forging ahead with innovation or leading by example.
A brand new state pension was ushered in on 6 April 2016 as a result of a massive shake-up. The new payout has been designed to make the whole process easier to understand, although it’s still far from simple.
The old system was in two parts, a basic state pension of £119.30 plus an additional pension, if applicable, with 30 years NI contributions required to get the maximum amount. Under the new system there is a flat rate payment of £155.65 plus any protected payment for which you will need to have 35 years NI contributions to get the maximum amount. There are also a minimum of 10 years in the NI system required to get anything at all.
The wealth management plans of many expats in France have received a welcome boost with an announcement by the French government that there will be a reduction in the rate of social charges on investment income, meaning that low income expats will now be subject to a 7.5% charge compared to the previous 17.2% rate. However, the basic rates will remain as they were in 2018.
The news, which was announced as part of the social security budget for 2019, is of particular interest to expats in retirement as well as those who draw investment income. It also benefits those who do not live in France but receive income from investments in the country.