Cofunds launches market leading pension consolidation tool

Cofunds, the UK’s leading independent platform for financial planning, has launched a pension consolidation tool powered by Distribution Technology. This new platform tool gives advisers an easy way to compare and contrast their clients’ existing pensions with the most appropriate plan on Cofunds. The tool helps advisers spot opportunities to consolidate their client’s pensions into one arrangement on Cofunds. Advisers can quickly and efficiently analyse the costs and features of their existing pensions to those available on the platform. This level of clarity can be really helpful to advisers assessing suitability. The tool has been built in line with the findings of the FSA’s thematic review of pension transfers – ensuring features are compared as well as costs. A comparison with a generic stakeholder pension is quick and easy to see and the tool also provides a full suite of reporting which can be tailored by the adviser. Advisers can compare their client’s asset allocation in the existing plans with their target asset allocation in the new plan – based on their attitude to risk.  This means the adviser can consolidate assets and ensure the client is invested in the most efficient way all at the same time. Verona Smith, Head of Proposition at Cofunds said: “There are clear benefits for advisers and their clients when looking at pension transfers – a better service can be delivered with sensible portfolio design and improved administration.  However, switching is not right for every client and a key component of our tool is to help advisers assess, more easily, the many factors that need to be taken account before a transfer is...

Japan’s large caps set for decade-long dominance, says GLG’s Stephen Harker

Harker, manager of the £1bn GLG Japan CoreAlpha Fund, believes the decade-long dominance of small-caps in Japan is coming to an end – and that mega caps are poised to outperform for a similarly long period The GLG Japan CoreAlpha Fund celebrates its fifth anniversary as the only onshore fund in any IMA sector to rank top quartile in each of last five years¹ Fund ranked 1st in its peer group² having outperformed its Topix benchmark by nearly 8% per annum Stephen Harker, manager of the £1bn GLG Japan CoreAlpha Fund, says a major value shift is taking place in the Japanese stock market, heralding a cycle of outperformance by mega cap stocks on a scale comparable to the dominance of small caps over the last ten years. Harker, whose fund is the only onshore fund out of more than 2,000 in any IMA sector to rank first quartile in each of the past five years, believes the long-term outperformance of Japanese smaller companies has run its course, ushering in an enduring shift towards TOPIX Core 30 companies – the biggest and most liquid in the Tokyo Stock Exchange. “Small caps have been outperforming since the end of 1999 and they are now are at extreme highs relative to their long term range,” Harker says. “After their extraordinary performance we expect a major turn, as the market begins to respond to the realities of economics within companies rather than the weight of money flooding into them. The Core 30 has underperformed for the last three years but we are convinced it will be the place to be for the...

Six of the best for Nucleus as IFA interest soars

A surge in adviser interest has seen Nucleus Financial Group sign six new IFA firms to its adviser-owned wrap platform so far this year. The six new firms have all taken equity stakes in the business. Founded just over four years ago by a management team led by CEO David Ferguson and a group of like-minded IFA firms, the wrap has grown rapidly to become an established player in the space with over £2.3bn of assets on the platform. Barry Neilson, business development director, Nucleus Financial Group, says: “2011 has got off to a tremendous start for the business. As every month brings the introduction of RDR closer, we are seeing a significant acceleration of firms undertaking wrap platform due diligence and looking to partner with a wrap proposition which reduces their reliance on traditional providers, giving them more control over the delivery of their chosen client proposition. With the levels of interest we are getting from other high-end IFA firms at record levels I am confident that the number of Nucleus member-firms will be over 100 before too long.” Tina Weeks, Financial Life Planner, Serenity, commented: “We have been hugely impressed with the Nucleus people and proposition since signing up in January. David and his team concentrate on the things that really matter to those that use the platform and by employing the latest technology and systems not only make life easier but also enable advisers to save both time and money. “As a platform Nucleus brings something very special and unique to the market due a combination of the control and input of the adviser community that own...

Cofunds to power moneysupermarket.com’s new execution only service

Cofunds,the UK’s leading independent platform, has announced that it has been selected to support moneysupermarket.com’s new execution only service. From today, moneysupermarket.com will be providing a new execution only service for investment business, giving customers access to the Cofunds Investment ISA and the entire Cofunds range of over 1,500 funds from more than 90 fund managers. This does not signify Cofunds moving towards a direct service to investors. moneysupermarket.com will be solely responsible for the sales, marketing and promotion of this service and will not have access to Cofunds’ database of investors. Alastair Conway, Sales & Marketing Director at Cofunds said: “We’ve built the platform to provide flexible, reliable and convenient administration and management services to a range of intermediaries, and this is a great addition to our execution-only client base.  We’re excited to be working with moneysupermarket.com to develop an investment service for its many website visitors. “We see more initiatives like this being developed by major consumer brands as the market evolves as a result of the RDR.” Kevin Mountford Head of Banking at moneysupermarket.com added: “Working with Cofunds has allowed us to offer our customers a very simple way to compare and buy their Stocks and Shares ISA. They have access to more than 1,500 funds and we want help them find the investment products that best suit their objectives and attitude to risk. This is a fantastic addition to our whole of market cash ISA channel. No other comparison site has such a complete ISA proposition, so we are very excited about this new...

Openwork announces strategic partnership with Citri

Citri to become an Appointed Representative of Openwork Openwork is pleased to announce that Citri, the mortgage and protection specialist advisory firm, is to become an Appointed Representative of the network. North East-based Citri, which is currently Directly Authorised, is expected to become an AR of Openwork on 31 March, following the induction of its members. Citri advises predominately in the mortgage and protection market, although it also offers fully comprehensive advice through Citri Wealth Management. Martin Davis, chief executive of Openwork, says: “Citri is a fantastic business with a highly regarded brand and name in the industry and it is with great pleasure that I welcome the team to Openwork. We have, and continue to make, significant strides to enhance our proposition and it is pleasing to see quality businesses like Citri recognise our ongoing development and unique position in the market.” Keith Atkinson, chief executive of Citri, says: “This is an exciting time as we emerge from the recession in good shape. We are very pleased that Openwork recognises the strength of the Citri national brand and the efficiency of our business model. “A strategic partnership with Openwork offers many advantages; firstly to strengthen our position in the mortgage and protection arena and, secondly, to broaden Citri’s expertise in the wealth management market – offering the consumer a full advice proposition. We believe Openwork is the right partner going forward and we look forward to the next chapter in our development.”...

GLG launches North American Equity Ucits

London, 14 February 2011 – GLG, a leading global investment manager and division of Man Group plc, has launched the GLG North American Equity Alternative UCITS, a UCITS III long/short version of GLG’s North American equity strategy. Managed by John Gisondi, GLG’s Head of North American Equities, the fund¹ employs a similar strategy to the Cayman-domiciled GLG North American Opportunity Fund[1], and targets attractive risk-adjusted returns with below-market volatility. Focusing on liquid mid-to-large cap stocks, the UCITS fund utilises a rigorous bottom-up stock selection process to identify non-consensus ideas. To generate additional alpha, the management team applies an active trading overlay which provides dynamic exposure to the market, sector and industry groups. This approach also helps the team evaluate ideas and proactively manage portfolio risk, in conjunction with a dedicated fund risk manager. The team places considerable emphasis on leveraging its highest conviction ideas and employs a core / sector book structure to optimise position sizing in the portfolio. The GLG North American Equity Alternative UCITS Fund will be the ninth absolute return UCITS III fund launched by GLG since July 2009 and will complement its existing strategies offering exposure to the UK, Europe and Emerging Markets. To date, Man and GLG have raised around $1.8 billion[2] in this form. The UCITS Fund is a sub-fund of GLG Investments VI plc, incorporated in Ireland and has been authorised by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority (the “Financial Regulator”) for listing on the Irish Stock Exchange. Raffaele Costa, Head of Sales, Europe & North America at Man, comments: “The GLG North American Opportunity Fund has been a strong performer since...

Mortgages steal the show in the weekend money sections

While last weekend’s money sections focussed on the political unrest in Egypt and the effects this would have on investing in the country, this weekend’s money sections were all about mortgages. These stories jumped from 8 per cent last week to 17 per cent this week and credit cards also saw a hike in coverage – quadrupling from just 2 per cent last week to 8 per cent. The overwhelming theme on mortgages was that although low rates have been good news for homebuyers up to now, nothing lasts forever. In the Independent, Julian Knight (@ukmoneyguru) and Chiara Cavaglieri highlighted the unparalleled stability of low interest rates that we are experiencing at the moment and how this translates to good news for mortgage holders. However, with the Confederation of British Industry predicting an imminent interest rate rise, anyone looking for a low fixed rate ought to act now. Rosie Murray-West in the Telegraph (@TeleFinance)  also drew upon this theme, pointing out that while many lenders are already putting up the price of fixed-rate mortgages, this trend only likely to continue as swap rates are soaring on the expectation of a Bank of England rate rise. Which?’s campaign against the surcharges placed on credit cards was responsible for a spike in credit card stories this week (@WhichMoney). The consumer body will launch a ‘super-complaint’ to force the Office of Fair Trading to examine these ‘rip-off’ charges. Simon Read’s column in the Independent looked at the companies who are guilty of excessive charges on credit card transactions. While each transaction only costs a business 20p to carry out, the consumer is...

Openwork enhances RDR support team with new hires

Openwork is bolstering its RDR support team with the addition of two new field-based consultants, as the network gears up for the next phase of its comprehensive transition programme designed to help advisers meet the challenges of new regulation. The consultants – Frank Morton, formerly head of technical development at Prudential, and Chris Barnes, previously managing director of Beckett Investment Management Group – will work closely with Openwork’s regional Business Development Directors to provide bespoke support and practical guidance to advisers as they transition to a post-RDR business model. As part of its support programme – which includes in-depth one-to-one consultancy sessions, peer group meetings and workshops – Openwork is introducing a new RDR ‘Toolkit’, which helps advisers understand their options and current position on a number of issues such as transitional cash flow, moving to fees, client segmentation and qualifications. The addition of two new consultants to the RDR team – taking to five the number of experts working full-time in Openwork’s in-house consultancy service – forms part of the network’s shift this year into the second phase of its support programme, focusing on ‘building and planning’ for regulation. The first phase, focusing on ‘education and engagement’, began in 2010 and will continue throughout Q1. Phil Mogford, Programme Director at Openwork, says: “Our initial engagement programme confirmed that most advisers share the same concerns about the RDR and want hands-on, practical guidance as they seek ways to address the different challenges facing them. “Our in-house consultants provide very practical support to advisers beginning to transition their businesses for the RDR, and the appointment of Frank and Chris, with...

Sesame wins top financial services industry award

Sesame has scooped a top industry award for the second year running in recognition of the high quality services and support it delivers to independent financial advisers (IFAs) across the UK. Sesame won Best IFA Network, which is voted for by financial advisers, for the second consecutive year at the prestigious Professional Adviser Awards 2011 in London last night. Sesame, which is part of the Sesame Bankhall Group, has long been recognised as the UK’s leading provider of support services to financial advisers. The company has led the ‘Top 100 Advisers’ list, run by FT Business publication Financial Adviser, for the last six consecutive years. The group also won the ‘Best Network and Support Services’ provider award at the highly esteemed Money Marketing Financial Services Awards in 2009 and 2010, along with ‘Best Mortgage Network’. This latest award demonstrates that Sesame is continuing to use its size and strength in order to help its adviser customers, by delivering value and quality across a wide range of regulatory, product research, training and business development support services. Nick Kelly, managing director for distribution at Sesame Bankhall Group, says: “Winning this prestigious award for the second year running is recognition of our drive to continually enhance our services and build for the future. The financial advice profession has to adhere to ever increasing regulatory scrutiny and higher standards. Our role is to help firms meet these challenges by trading efficiently and responsibly. The fact that it is advisers themselves who vote for this award makes our success particularly gratifying. “Our group’s financial strength is enabling us to invest millions of pounds in...

Fancy buying insect-infested food? Or perhaps an animated tramp? It has to be MRM’s Friday Links

This week, we’ve discovered the plethora of oddities to be found on the high street. Not only are there such ‘delights’ as this dancing skeleton, but next time you’re out shopping, it might be worth taking a second to check your receipt to see what you’re REALLY being charged for. Call us old-fashioned but $50.00 for ‘nothing’ seems a little steep, ahem. However, nothing amused us more than this heroic pensioner who decided to take on a gang/ posse/ gaggle/ troupe of burglars (what is the collective noun for burglars?) anyway, she won! Who would have thought the sweet little old lady could wield her handbag in such a ferocious manner?! However, if you’re less inclined to get involved in actual street crime then perhaps this iPhone app is for you. It’s just what we’ve all been waiting for, the chance to adopt a tramp and keep him on the straight and narrow so that he doesn’t turn to theft… Debrett’s eat your heart out, it’s all about your Twitter listing in Covent Garden so we were chuffed to see MRM’s 140-character ‘candy’ of choice @hwallop make the ‘Top 100’ Twitter list. Good on you,...

Equity rally to continue as global growth picks up

Strong global growth likely, despite fiscal tightening Risk of a European debt disaster falls Inflation worries increase due to strengthening recovery and commodity prices UK interest rate hike now looking likely before the summer Skandia Investment Group (SIG) remains overweight equities and expects them to rally as the economic recovery continues, according to the latest Monthly Asset Allocation (MAA) report. The MAA report, which is compiled by the Global Asset Allocation Committee (GAAC), also shows the group change is position on interest rates, expecting them to rise this year. Commenting, SIG Chief Investment Officer James Millard said: “Equities rose again in January, boosted by ongoing signs that the global economic recovery was gathering pace. The data suggests that 2011 is going to be a good year for global growth, despite fiscal tightening in many places. Successful bond auctions and improved economic data in Europe also raised hopes that the problems in some parts of Europe will remain contained. “We remain overweight equities and expect them to increase significantly in 2011. The key drivers of this rally that we noted last month remain in place: strong economic recovery leading to strong corporate earnings growth, low interest rates (even if they go up a little) and favourable valuations. “The strengthening recovery and the strength of commodity prices – especially food – have led to a rise in headline inflation rates. The rise is especially significant in the emerging world, where food makes up a substantial part of the inflation basket. Most emerging economies have responded with tighter monetary policy with further tightening likely given the still low level of interest rates....

Sesame gives members option of spreading Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) interim levy over two years

Sesame is helping to ease the financial burden on advisers caused by the FSCS’s additional levy by offering its network members the opportunity to spread the cost over the next two years.  This is the first time that Sesame has offered its members a two-year payment option, which is double the existing 12-month instalment option that is the most popular method of paying regulatory fees by firms in the network. Sesame is now in the process of writing to members with full details of the options available.   Nick Kelly, Managing Director, Distribution, says: “The substantial additional FSCS levy is a body blow to advisers, given the economic and regulatory pressure that firms are already under right now. The fact that the FSCS is demanding that the levy is paid within 30 days is further compounding the issue. Sesame is responding by using its financial strength to alleviate the pressure on our members.  “However, what we also urgently need is a fairer long-term solution for how these FSCS fees are allocated across the financial services industry in the future, as the current trend of fewer advisers sharing the burden of higher fees is simply unsustainable. In our view the FSCS is levying the advice profession for failings that occurred in the provider and fund management sector. This is unjustified and it is increasing the burden on good competent advisers. “That is why we are working hard to ease the financial burden for our members, along with the regulatory burden, by challenging the FSA and FSCS on the way in which the levy is structured in the pursuit of a fairer long-term solution.” Commenting on the...

Savings take top spot in the mid-week money sections

Savers looking for advice on where to put their money were in luck this week as the money sections were full of new launches and stories on where to find the best deal. Savings were up from 11 per cent to 32 per cent of coverage this week, making this the fourth week in six that they’ve clinched the top spot so far this year. Money Mail looked at Northern Rock’s new version of its Branch Saver which pays 1.64 per cent after tax with a minimum saving of £1. According to the Mail, the rate makes it a top payer account that can be run through high street branches. Alternatively, savers who are willing to move their money around were recommended the Santander Instant Access Saver 3.  The account pays a higher 2 per cent rate, but includes a 1.2 per cent bonus payable for the first year. Looking at savings from a different angle, Harvey Jones in the Express explored ways savers could navigate around high inflation and low interest rates but still get a fair return on their money.  The article focused on the positives and negatives of both fixed-rate bonds and inflation-linked bonds, but concluded that the decision should depend on what savers expect will happen to inflation. Getting in early on the ISA theme, Emma Simon (@SimpleSimonEmma) in the Telegraph reminded readers that there are just over six weeks left to make the most of their savings. With the ISA allowance set to increase, Emma highlighted that savers will need to think carefully about their attitude towards risk before handing over their hard earned...

Cofunds enables the automatic sale of investments to cover adviser fees

Cofunds, the UK’s leading independent platform for financial planning, has improved its payment system to allow the automatic sale of units from a client’s investment funds. From 7 February, clients who have previously agreed with their advisers to pay fees through their cash account, can decide to have units automatically sold from the investment funds they have selected, if there are insufficient funds in the account. This development gives advisers the flexibility to arrange for the sale of units from the most appropriate investment, taking into account a client’s tax position. For clients linked to model portfolios, their mandate will automatically be set to maintain their model portfolio position – selling from over-weight funds first and then proportionally across the portfolio. Verona Smith, Head of Proposition at Cofunds said: “This is just one of the changes we’re making in the run up to RDR to support adviser businesses. The manual calculation and execution of trades to cover adviser fees was off-putting with many advisers not collecting their fees at all. As advisers prepare for RDR and the switch to fee based advice, this function will enable quick and efficient fee collection, allowing advisers more time to focus on ensuring their clients receive a quality...

Excavating Egypt: this weekend’s money sections

The political unrest in Egypt was the source of many headlines this weekend, including money sections which took a personal finance view of rushing to dig into the Egyptian economy. Patrick Collinson (@pcollinson) in Saturday’s Guardian looked at the possible profits to be made from acting quickly and investing in the country.  Egyptian shares fell by 11 per cent before the exchange was forced to close, so purchasing shares in value-hit companies could offer quality rewards when the troubles have calmed. However, Kathryn Cooper in the Sunday Times (@TimesMoney) warned that the Egyptian opportunity is too risky for the average investor, especially with the continuing uncertainty surrounding emerging markets and inflation. In his Independent on Sunday column, Julian Knight (@ukmoneyguru) also alerted would-be investors to the difficulties of getting your money back out of an unstable economy. Investors who heed these risks but are keen to look abroad to increase their portfolios could consider Nina Montagu-Smith’s (@ninamontagu) Sunday Times recommendations. Montagu-Smith’s tips for Europe and America reference the Ignis Argonaut European Income fund amongst others. Putting Egypt aside, Julian Knight’s column (@ukmoneyguru) also commented on the announcement of Martin Wheatley to the position of new chief executive of the CPMA whilst Jo Thornhill in the Mail on Sunday (@DMAILmoney) explored the latest victim of the Government’s spending cuts – the free debt advice services supported by the Financial Exclusion Fund. There was a general lack of movement elsewhere on the scoreboard, with the exception of regulation which saw a threefold increase in stories this week. The rest of the scores on the board were: Charity                  3% Credit cards        2%...

Sesame and Bankhall launch Holistic Advice Forums for advisers

New Holistic Advice Forums are being launched for Sesame network members and Bankhall customers as part of the group’s 2011 learning and development programme. Following adviser feedback from last year’s events, the programme has been enhanced to offer a greater blend of learning channels with more choice and flexibility than ever before. Alongside the virtual events, business forums and annual conference, this year Sesame and Bankhall will also run new Holistic Advice Forums. Developed with advisers, the forums will offer more in-depth technical content combined with a greater emphasis on practical ideas to help advisers use the content more effectively. The new forums will examine clients’ aims, needs and circumstances to reflect the move towards delivering more long-term holistic financial advice. The forums will be produced and delivered in three parts: 1.       Technical learning via Sesame or Bankhall TV – virtual knowledge forums designed to discuss the technical aspects that will be used during the live events. 2.       Practical “How to” Live events – using case studies to encourage advisers to think of real life examples and discuss the advice they might give in actual client scenarios. 3.       Exam support and Gap-Filling CPD – including training on regulation and ethics. Along with more face-to-face events, other highlights of this year’s learning programme include: New online technical events and more virtual events, providing advisers with expert insight and support without having to leave the office; Business forums tailored for owners of adviser firms to help them prepare their business for the post-RDR environment; The introduction of new, dedicated investment and platform events; and Protection and mortgage events to help advisers...

Cofunds announces Economic Forum to kick off new events programme

Cofunds, the UK’s leading independent platform for financial planning, is hosting an Economic Forum on 2nd March in London. This is the first in its all new programme of events for advisers and their staff, dedicated to offering valuable ongoing insight into market trends and the opportunities these present. The keynote speech on the uncertainties still dominating the UK economic landscape will be made by the BBC’s Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders. She will take questions from the floor before six leading fund managers give their views on the latest investment strategy opportunities open to advisers across a range of different asset classes:  – Multi-asset: John Chatfeild Roberts, Jupiter – Equities: Mark Lyttleton, BlackRock – Fixed income: Ian Spreadbury, Fidelity – Commodities: Neil Gregson, JP Morgan – Property: Andrew Jackson, Standard Life – Absolute return: David Griffiths, Aegon The Economic Forum is the first in Cofunds’ refreshed programme of events for 2011. The series of regional conferences, interactive training seminars and expos has been completely re-designed based on feedback from advisers as to how they want to gain expert information to help support the development of their businesses. Stephen Wynne-Jones, Head of Marketing at Cofunds said: “The Economic Forum will be an excellent opportunity for advisers to hear insightful debate covering the latest economic issues and investment trends. The event has been put together to allow advisers to network effectively with peers. The focus on sharing information and opinions will allow plenty of time for advisers to quiz the experts. “Having conducted extensive market research including feedback from advisers, we have brought together a programme that we feel really adds...

Interest rates on the up, says Skandia Investment Group

The Bank of England could raise interest rates as early as next week, according to Rupert Watson, head of asset allocation, Skandia Investment Group (SIG). However, Watson believes the rise will more likely occur in May and will be followed by a series of hikes that will result in interest rates hitting 2-3% by the end of next year. In recent weeks, Watson thought that interest rates would stay on hold until the end of this year or early next year, but says recent data and the hawkish minutes at the most recent Bank of England meeting has caused him to change his mind. Commenting, Watson said: “UK rates have been at 0.5% for almost two years – the lowest rate in history by a long distance – and UK inflation has been above target for over a year. UK growth was strong in the middle of last year, but weakened a little into year-end. Although the Bank expects inflation to fall back to target next year, some on the Monetary Policy Committee are worried that rising inflation expectations may lead to a more sustained rise. “Recent data (in particular the recent PMIs) suggests that there has not been a significant slowing in the economy. Meanwhile the global economy is strengthening and the risks from Europe diminishing. The question MPC members will be asking themselves is ‘do interest rates still need to be at the lowest level ever?’. “Given what has happened over the past few weeks, there is a real chance interest rates will rise next week – 10 February. My guess is that the MPC will hold...

How to rock at financial services social media – while staying compliant

Have you ever watched your dad merrily body popping to So Solid Crew on the dance floor, pint of bitter in hand? I have – and I can tell you it’s about as congruous as the phrases ‘rock’ and ‘social media’ in a headline about ‘financial services’ and ‘compliance’. But it’s time we all got used to talking about Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the social web in conversations about savings, IFAs, loans, insurance, investment and the other facets of finance. You see, the sector is beginning to wake up to the possibilities of the social web. I’m talking, of course, about using the Internet to engage with customers and prospects so that meaningful and durable relationships emerge; about bringing beautifully crafted products and services to previously unreachable niche consumer groups; about democratising brands so that customers have a say in how they grow and identify more closely with them as a result; and about delivering customer service that really serves customers. Even better, the financial sector’s ‘internauts’ are doing this social business without disqualifying themselves from the FSA’s Christmas card list. In the financial services sector, compliance was the elephant in the social media room as other sectors – even government – embraced these newfangled ways. Finance threatened to remain the last bastion of the UK’s pre-social media age. Then, along came a few pioneers who finally made the sector sit up and pay attention. So, in this – the first of a three-part series – I’d like to highlight some ingenious social media programmes that show how profitable online communications are possible even with the regulators watching...

Primary (colour) disturbance for the Jedi Knights – the Friday Links blog

Now opinion is divided here at MRM on whether Google’s new office, what with its beach huts, vivid use of primary colours, telephone booths and giant dice, is ueber cool or, as Alex Ion posted, ‘[…] disturbing on the eye…’. The MRM office oldies are with Alex and the MRM nippers are most definitely evangelists. Decide for yourself and take a look here. But if you’re over 35, consider yourself warned, ahem. [Psst, K,  you’re not alone on the trip hazard concerns about that ‘E’ tip – we’d be right there with you in a crumpled heap.] To sooth your assaulted senses, take a look at this rather beautiful and calming urbagram animation of London buses. As Anil Bawa-Cavia says “the city’s extensive bus network is used to sketch an animated portrait of the living city, it’s wonderful.” We couldn’t agree more. Ever wondered what your job would be if you lived and worked in the Star Wars universe? What do you mean ‘no’?? Anyway, fancy finding out? Mostly Jedi Knights here at MRM Towers, though there was one Ewok Chief, ahem. No...