One year on from our office move - March 2017
We have now been located at 5 Sycamore Court for over 12 months. The move has been a great success for us with open plan offices, new ground floor meeting rooms and a nicer environment for our staff. There is ample on site parking for visitors who are always welcome. If you have been we hope that you found us easily and liked our new surroundings. Please feel free to call in if you are passing.
Christmas Opening Hours - 14/12/2016
Our office will close at midday on Friday 23rd December and will re-open on Thursday 29th December. In an emergency, please call 07584 515604 for assistance.
We wish you all an enjoyable festive break.
A Corrigans Double Wedding! - 14/12/2016
We are pleased to announce that two of our staff will be 'tying the knot' over the festive period. Michelle Varney will marry Lee Naylor on 27th December and Frank Corrigan will marry Annie Healy on 1st January. All at Corrigans send our very best wishes.
Linda Axcell Retires - 30/09/2016
After 20 years at Corrigans, Linda Axcell retired last Friday. Her insurance career began and Whittit Hames in the 1970s and other than a brief spell at the Royal Insurance, Linda worked all her life in Broking. She will be missed by her colleages and clients but we all wish her a happy retirement. It will give her more time to spend with her husband Ian, and on her many hobbies.
UK Referendum - What Next? Frank Corrigan comments on the result (24/06/2016)
At least 72% of the electorate voted in this vital matter and the decision to Leave has been clear. This is Democracy in action, irrespective of the woeful manner in which each side conducted their campaigns to win support. Having heard the voice of the Nation the future will be very different to the recent past.
That said, the fundamentals of investing have not changed overnight. Businesses with their heads screwed on will adapt and make money while others fall by the wayside. This has always been the case and the result brings opportunity as far as investment fund managers are concerned. That is reflected in the rapid recovery from the extremes of initial market reactions across the globe on Friday morning.
Volatility is an essential ingredient for the mis-pricing of assets as desperate sellers accept whatever price they can get, throwing up bargains for the longer-term. Fortune favours the brave at times like this because the risks of further and sustained falls are much smaller than the potential upside in the years ahead, so you might want to consider adding to your portfolio.
In the short-term there will be considerable volatility for all Equity markets across the globe and particularly in Europe, with Banks and Housebuilders being particularly affected. The Ratings Agencies are expected to extend their downgrading of the UK's creditworthiness. As a result Sterling will fall in value by about 5% on top of the 3.5% slide there has already been relative to the Euro in 2016 and this is a particular concern.
The Bank of England "stands ready to intervene to stabilise markets", of course, but the reality is that it doesn't have the resources to be effective on its own. With little scope to reduce the official Bank Base Rate further (although it could follow other EU examples of setting a negative interest rate despite the singular failure of this to produce the "desired" effect) it must be likely that Quantitative Easing will be resurrected and so speculators like George Soros will make fortunes out of this episode.
When "the pound in your pocket" buys less overseas the theory is that this is good news for our exporters and bad news for importers. For the last thirty years though the UK has been a nation that exports financial services in the main, which looks OK, but the imports are far greater. Having to pay more in Sterling for our oil, raw materials, clothing from China and elsewhere, food and consumer goods like German cars will drive inflation up far quicker than had been expected: possibly to 4.5% within a year.
Inflation is great news for savers and the government, because it devalues the enormous debt mountain they continue to build up on our behalf, but bad news in human terms. It brings the prospect of greater unemployment and financial hardship at an individual level but businesses tend to become more profitable during inflationary periods as they sneak through price rises, fuelling inflation further.
During the two years laid down for the UK to negotiate the terms of its departure from the EU - which only starts once the UK government tells the EU that it wants to leave and the Referendum did not do that - the EU is expected to be in considerable turmoil that may well lead to its demise. The enduring financial hardship brought about by the latest Banking Crisis of 2008 has given oxygen to the most extreme political parties, whether that be in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden or elsewhere. Each claim that an isolationist approach would be better than the EU, allowing them to close their borders and ignore the economic realities of the wider world as they would dispense with financial restrictions at a stroke of their magic wand. The reality is somewhat different, as the Greeks discovered when they elected a party dedicated to the end of economic austerity, because someone somewhere has to pay for all the political largesse.
In the case of the UK there is still a current account deficit and consequently a growing Budget deficit in the long wake of the latest Banking Crisis. This continues to justify the weakness of Sterling and that will make borrowing more expensive in the short-term. Our nation will not be able to rely upon the EU to plug that gap and so the International Monetary Fund beckons - an organisation known for the harshness of its lending terms - unless there is a rapid rebalancing of the UK Budget.
Prime Minister Cameron has announced that he will resign by October to allow someone who is in touch with the nation to lead the negotiations to leave the EU. The principle players in all major political parties though are tainted by their Referendum campaigns and so there is likely to be turmoil amongst them all. Distractions on that scale prevent leadership, which adds to uncertainty and this translates into lower equity values in the short-term.
A lower currency and lower share values puts UK companies on the shopping list for overseas businesses that enjoy a stronger currency and so there is likely to be a spate of takeover activity as high quality UK businesses are bought up cheaply. This is good news for investors.
There is little scope for Government Debt (Gilts) to increase in price, having risen slightly in the immediate aftermath of the Referendum result, and the yield is approaching "negative" territory. It is time to sell these assets because the only way from here is down.
Your money is in the hands of the most competent managers available for hire. In times of volatility it is always best to sit on your hands and do nothing if you really are a long-term investor because precipitous action now is nothing more than a gamble. The longer term outlook for real assets (i.e. not cash, which will probably shrink faster in value relative to inflation) remains extremely positive but please call or e-mail if you would like to discuss your own circumstances.
Mark Cummings marries (27/03/2016)
All all Corrigans wish Mark and his new wife, Louise a long and happy marriage. The wedding was held at Stanbrook Abbey in Worcester - a beautiful location and a wonderful day.
We Are On The Move (07/01/2016)
From 25th January 2016 our new address will be:
5 Sycamore Court
Bob Mundy Retires (21/12/2015)
Bob officially retires on 8th January 2016 but his last day in the office is Tuesday 22nd December. Bob joined R J Hawthorne aged 16 on leaving school and has spent his entire working life with this firm which was bought by Corrigans in 1986. All at Corrigans wish Bob the very best in his retirement which he intends to spend playing golf, baking and travelling.
Local Presidents think Jane is No.1 (29/10/2015)
Coventry's Jane Evans was delighted to receive the Presidents' Award at the West Midlands Insurance Institutes Awards ceremony held on Thursday 29th October at Marco Pierre White Restaurant in The Cube, Birmingham. The award is made in recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the local profession. It is the presidents of the West Midlands local insurance institutes that choose the winner making this award particularly special for Jane who served for several years as Regional Representative for the region.
The contribution that Jane, who is a director of Corrigans, has made to the CII and the insurance profession has also been recognised nationally by the CII with the award of a Distinguished Service Award in 2013 in recognition of her ‘outstanding dedication, long-term contribution to training, development and professionalism as well as commitment to the local institute and insurance profession'.