Money Advice Group secures £10million from PNC - Money Advice Group secures £10million from PNC -

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Money Advice Group secures £10million from PNC -

Money Advice Group secures £10million from PNC -

Money Advice Group, one of the UK’s leading financial solutions companies, is embarking on a comprehensive growth strategy after securing an asset based lending facility worth £10 million, with PNC Business Credit.

In conjunction with, Dow Schofield Watts, Money Advice Group negotiated the credit facility to enable continued growth through a combination of working capital funding and finance for acquisitions.

Boasting a solid 10-year heritage, Money Advice Group currently holds approximately 8% market share of the fee charging financial solutions industry, with a turnover of £15million. Handling £250million of consumer debt, the financial solutions company has 28,000 clients that it hopes to grow by a third, with the help of the cash reserve from PNC.

Money Advice Group’s expansion plans have been stimulated by increased attention from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), resulting in a compliance review in 2011, which saw a significant number of debt management companies either voluntarily exit the market or be forced to close due to lack of compliance. No longer open to flexible and often lax regulations, the debt management industry is now governed by the OFT’s more stringent ‘Debt Management Guidance’ published in March 2012 – and the enforcement of such has led to an industry trend of consolidation. This has created significant opportunities within the industry for larger players, with the potential to gain more market share by assisting those smaller players who wish to exit completely or sell their book of customers, in light of the cost associations of becoming compliant.

Money Advice Group’s proactive stance has allowed it to anticipate this shift in the debt management industry, and prior to its partnership with PNC, had self-funded an exercise in acquiring a small player exiting the market. The success of such a venture was the catalyst for its ambitious plans for growth and prompted the discussions with PNC to facilitate an acquisitions strategy.

The agreement with PNC is part of Money Advice Group’s overall expansion plans, which will see it take on an additional 3,500 feet² of office space within its existing premises, and boost its workforce with several new appointments within the management and client services teams. Money Advice Group has already recruited 60 members of staff in order to facilitate expansion, bringing the company workforce to 285.

Simon Brown, Managing Director, Money Advice Group commented: “With the introduction of more stringent compliance guidelines than our industry has ever witnessed, we spotted an opportunity in the market. We are extremely proud of our compliant culture but the costs associated with becoming compliant are too excessive for some of the smaller players, so what we find is they want to exit altogether or just sell on some of their books or assets. We trialed this approach last year with the successful acquisition of a smaller company, and it was from this we saw a clear direction for Money Advice Group.

“Our decision to work with PNC stemmed from its reputation in this arena, and its innovative approach to facilities based on loan to value rations against specific assets. This offered a more substantial funding line, enabling us to take advantage of the opportunities in the industry – specifically acquiring both medium-sized and large competitors, and to expand into new markets.

“We have ambitious plans for expansion and growth, and the partnership with PNC has assisted us in realising these plans. We look forward to continuing the working relationship with PNC Business Credit.”

Mark Shackleton, PNC Business Credit said: “Money Advice Group has the infrastructure, industry knowledge and experience to facilitate steady growth through acquisition.  There is a clear strategy to grow the business and we are pleased to be adding Money Advice Group to our growing portfolio of clients”.


Spain scrambles to contain financial crisis -

Spain battled to contain fears of financial collapse Wednesday, scrambling to fund a major banking rescue as its debt risk premium rocketed to a euro-era record.

The interest rate on Spain's 10-year bonds shot to 6.703 percent -- unsustainable over the longer term -- as the nation fought to avoid being the next victim of the eurozone crisis.

When compared to safe German debt, investors in Spanish bonds were demanding an additional 5.39 percentage points, a premium that easily crashed through euro-era records set each day of this week.

Stock prices skidded across the world on fears Spain would need a rescue and the European single currency plunged to $1.2389 -- a low point last seen in July 2010.

Bank of Spain governor Miguel Fernandez Ordonez shook investors by announcing he would depart June 10 -- a month before his term was due to end.

The central bank chief, who said he was leaving early to give his successor time to take the reins, had sought in vain a hearing in the lower house of parliament to explain stricken lender Bankia's woes.

"Nothing is more important now than regaining confidence because without that we cannot resolve any of our problems," Ordonez told the Senate on Wednesday.

But he also said there were risks to Spain's plan to slash the public deficit from 8.9 percent of economic output last year to 5.3 percent this year and 3.0 percent in 2013.

In a recession with 24.4 percent unemployment, the state faces "downward risks" to its revenue forecasts and the threat of higher-than-expected expenses, for example for unemployment benefits, he warned.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that Spain is staking a great part of its future on achieving these fiscal targets," he said.

In Brussels, Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said that if Spain reined in regional government deficits and presented a "solid" two-year budget, then the deficit deadline could be extended to 2014.

Spanish banks, hugely exposed to a property market that crashed in 2008, are at the heart of market concerns.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government this month instructed banks to set aside 30 billion euros in 2012 in case property-related loans go bad, on top of 53.8 billion euros demanded under February reforms.

Hardest hit lender Bankia has asked the government for 19 billion euros in capital in addition to 4.465 billion euros invested by the state earlier this month to salvage its books.

But no-one seems clear about where the money will come from, especially when debt markets are charging exorbitant sums to lend to Spain.

"Some sort of attempt to rescue Spain is likely and it is likely to come in July," said Barcelona-based economist Edward Hugh.

Spain would attempt to cling on until Greek elections were over and the European Stability Mechanism, a permanent rescue fund, was operational, he predicted.

The cost of recapitalising the banks would be 150-200 billion euros, he estimated, assuming that lenders were obliged to make additional provisions for home mortgages.

"My short term feeling is that they will somehow get through the summer at least and keep on going but at any moment the whole thing could buckle," Hugh said.

Economy Minister Luis De Guindos said the state-backed Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB) would issue bonds to raise capital, which it could then inject into Bankia.

He denied a Financial Times report which said the European Central Bank had rejected a Spanish proposal to put newly issued government bonds into Bankia, which could then use them as collateral to borrow from the ECB.

The ECB also issued a statement denying it had taken a position or been consulted on the plan.

But the government failed to quash the concerns over Spain's financial sector.

Centre-right daily El Mundo this week said three other banks, CatalunyaCaixa, NovacaixaGalicia and Banco de Valencia, could need another 30 billion euros in public funds to meet new regulations.

Yet another lender, Banco Popular, whose bonds have been downgraded to junk bond-status, said this week it was in talks to sell its Internet banking business in a scramble for cash.


Richest league but still losing money - The Sun

England’s top flight is the most glamorous and most watched league in the world, as billions tune in to see stars such as Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

But the sort of drama that climaxed with Man City clinching the title with a stoppage-time winner on the final day of the season comes at a hefty price.

According to Deloitte’s Annual Review Of Football Finance, the Premier League remains the richest in Europe.

Figures from the 2010/11 season reveal that total income rose 12 per cent to a record £2,271MILLION — almost £700million ahead of the nearest rival, the German Bundesliga.

Yet between them, the 19 clubs — Birmingham City did not publish accounts — made £16million LESS from day-to-day operations — and LOST an incredible £380MILLION before tax. That is because while total revenue from things such as TV rights, sponsorship and tickets climbed by £241million, spending on wages and transfers went up by a combined £411MILLION.

Only eight of the 19 clubs made a profit, despite the record income coming on the back of the biggest TV deal in the history of league football. Newcastle made the biggest profit — £33million — because of Andy Carroll’s £35million transfer to Liverpool.

Manchester City’s record losses of £197million made up more than half the Premier League deficit. A net transfer spree of £144million on stars including £27million striker Edin Dzeko and a wage bill of £173million contributed to the problem.

Chelsea, who pay the likes of John Terry well over £100,000 a week, topped the salary charts with £191million. The total spend on wages for all clubs was £1,599million. Adam Bull, consultant in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: “Despite the increase in revenue, operating profits reduced by £16million (19 per cent) to £68million in 2010/11 and combined pre-tax losses were £380million.

“Gross transfer spending by Premier League clubs increased by £210million (38 per cent) to a record level of £769million.

“The challenge remains converting impressive revenue growth into sustainable profits. This will become even more important as financial results for 2011/12 will, for the first time, count towards their UEFA Financial Fair Play break-even calculation.”

Under these FFP rules, clubs who do not break even over a three-season period — with a loss safety net of just £36million as the rules are phased in — face fines or even a ban from the lucrative Champions League.

The report also reveals the gap between the so-called big and smaller clubs has widened.

Combined commercial income went up in 2010/11 by nearly £83million but most of that was down to huge new sponsorship deals struck by Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. Revenue from tickets went up £20million across the 19 clubs and the average attendance per game rose — but nearly half of the clubs made less money on the gate than the season before.

To combat the tough economic climate, some clubs lowered prices to keep crowds coming but that meant they ended up taking less money on their ticket sales.

A Premier League spokesman said: “Fans want to see their cash on the field, not in the boardroom. So while profits are down, crowds are up.”

Media rights cash went up 13 per cent, to £1,178million, with much of this down to improved deals with overseas broadcasters.

And the net debt of clubs fell — to £2,360MILLION. Of that, £1,500million is in “soft loans” — money lent to clubs by owners with no interest charged, including Roman Abramovich’s £819million investment in Chelsea.

The report also highlights the gulf between the Premier League and the rest of English football.

While the Premier League clubs raked in £2,271million, the 72 clubs in the Football League’s three divisions took in less than £700million between them.

So in terms of earning and splurging, the English top flight remains in a league of its own.

Chelsea .......... £191m

Man City ......... £173m

Man Utd .......... £153m

Liverpool ........ £135m

Arsenal ........... £124m

Man City ......... £144m

Chelsea ............ £61m

Man Utd ............ £40m

Tottenham ........ £26m

A Villa ............... £18m

Man City ......... £197m

Chelsea ............ £78m

A Villa ............... £54m

Liverpool .......... £49m

Bolton .............. £26m

Newcastle ......... £33m

Blackpool ......... £20m

West Brom ....... £19m

Arsenal ............ £15m

Man Utd ........... £12m

The Edelman Financial Group Announces End of "Go Shop" Period - Yahoo Finance

HOUSTON, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Edelman Financial Group Inc. (EF) ("TEFG" or the "Company") today announced that the "go shop" period set forth in the previously announced merger agreement, entered into on April 16, 2012, by and among TEFG, Summer Holdings II, Inc. ("Parent"), and Summer Merger Sub, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Parent  ("Merger Sub") has expired. Parent and Merger Sub were formed by affiliates of Lee Equity Partners, LLC, a New York based private equity firm ("Lee Equity Partners"). The Merger Agreement was negotiated on behalf of the Company by a special committee of the Board of Directors of the Company composed entirely of independent directors (the "Special Committee"), with the assistance of independent financial and legal advisors.

Under the merger agreement, the Special Committee, on behalf of TEFG, and its representatives had the right to solicit alternative acquisition proposals from third parties during a "go shop" period that expired at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on May 26, 2012. During the "go shop" period, Stephens Inc., the Special Committee's financial advisor, contacted potential acquirers that it and the Special Committee believed might have an interest in an alternative transaction to the merger with Parent. The Special Committee did not receive any alternative acquisition proposals from third parties during the "go shop" period.

The parties currently expect to complete the merger during the third quarter of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of shareholder approval. Following completion of the transaction, TEFG will become a privately held company owned primarily by Lee Equity Partners and its stock will no longer trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

About The Edelman Financial Group

The Edelman Financial Group is a wealth management company that manages approximately $17.7 billion in client assets. Client assets include the gross value of assets under management directly or via outside managers and assets held in brokerage accounts for clients by outside clearing firms. TEFG has approximately 500 employees in 21 states. Additional information is available at

About Lee Equity Partners

Lee Equity Partners is a middle-market private equity investment firm managing more than $1 billion of capital. Lee Equity was founded by Thomas H. Lee and focuses on control buyouts and growth capital financings, typically investing $30 million to $150 million per transaction in companies with enterprise values of $100 million to $500 million. The firm seeks to partner with top-tier management teams to build companies with differentiated market position and high growth potential. Target sectors include business services, consumer/retail, distribution/logistics, financial services, healthcare services, and media.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Information

This press release contains forward looking statements which may be identified by words such as "may," "could," "should," "would," "estimate," "expect," and similar expressions or statements of current expectation, assumption or opinion. These are "forward looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward looking statements, including the following: (1) TEFG may be unable to obtain the shareholder approval required for the transaction; (2) conditions to the closing of the transaction may not be satisfied or waived; (3) the transaction may involve unexpected costs, liabilities or delays; (4) the business of TEFG may suffer as a result of uncertainty surrounding the transaction; (5) TEFG may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (6) legislative developments; (7) changes in tax and other laws; (8) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement, (9) the failure to receive the necessary debt financing set forth in the commitment letters received in connection with the transaction, and (10) other risks to consummation of the transaction, including the risk that the transaction will not be consummated within the expected time period or at all. Additional factors that may affect the future results of TEFG are set forth in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its recent filings on Forms 10-K, 10-K/A, 10-Q, and 8-K, including, but not limited to, those described in TEFG's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 and TEFG's Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2012. These forward looking statements reflect TEFG's expectations as of the date of this press release. TEFG does not undertake any obligation to update any forward looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

This press release may be deemed to be solicitation material in respect of the proposed acquisition of TEFG by Lee Equity. TEFG filed a preliminary proxy statement on Schedule 14A with the SEC on April 16, 2012. When completed, a definitive proxy statement and a form of proxy will be mailed to the shareholders of TEFG. TEFG and Parent also intend to file other relevant materials with the SEC. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF THE EDELMAN FINANCIAL GROUP ARE ADVISED TO READ THE PRELIMINARY PROXY STATEMENT AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, INCLUDING TEFG'S DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT, BECAUSE THOSE DOCUMENTS WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED ACQUISITION. The definitive proxy statement will be mailed to shareholders of The Edelman Financial Group seeking their approval of the proposed transaction. This communication is not a solicitation of a proxy from any security holder of TEFG.

Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of the definitive proxy statement when it becomes available, and other documents filed by The Edelman Financial Group with the SEC, at the SEC's website at Free copies of the proxy statement, when it becomes available, and TEFG's other filings with the SEC may also be obtained from TEFG by directing a request to TEFG, Attention: Corporate Secretary, Susan Bailey, or by calling (713) 220-5115. Such documents are not currently available. You may also read and copy any reports, statements and other information filed with the SEC at the SEC public reference room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at (800) SEC-0330 or visit the SEC's website for further information on its public reference room.

TEFG and its directors, executive officers, and other members of its management and employees may be deemed to be soliciting proxies from TEFG's shareholders in favor of the proposed acquisition. Information regarding TEFG's directors and executive officers is available in its Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the SEC on April 30, 2012. Additional information regarding the interests of TEFG and its directors and executive officers in the proposed acquisition, which may be different than those of TEFG's shareholders generally, is included in the preliminary proxy statement filed with the SEC and will be included in the definitive proxy statement and other relevant documents filed with the SEC when they become available.

Risky business: Rodgers is the biggest gamble Liverpool have ever taken - Daily Mirror

Brendan Rodgers is the biggest gamble in the history of Liverpool Football Club.

Untried, untested and young. It’s an incredible throw of the dice and perhaps illustrates that the American owners do not understand the soul or heartbeat of the club.

Look at the managers down the years. Bob Paisley followed by Shanks, Joe Fagan, Roy Evans and then latterly Gerard Houllier.

Even Graeme Souness was not seen as a gamble at the time because he played for the club, won trophies at Anfield and came in with experience.

Kenny Dalglish was and always will be worshipped. Houllier had experience while the majority of the others came up through the ranks, understood what Liverpool meant and were educated in the boot room.

Dalglish was a former player, a hero, a God. He won the Carling Cup, got Liverpool into Europe and yet was sacked - presumably for not getting into the top four.

Kenny Dalglish, manager of Liverpool looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Liverpool at Stadium of Light on March 10, 2012
No Ken do: Dalglish paid for failing to finish in the top four


So, what is Rodgers’ job requirement?

If you ask me, looking at the squad as it is now, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Liverpool to get into the top four next season.

What will constitute a good season? Finishing sixth. But surely, under the current guidelines, that is not enough for this set-up.

Managing Swansea is one thing but Liverpool quite another. This is not just another former player talking about the boot room.

It is dangerous to underestimate the supporters. They will back Rodgers, support him and give him everything.

But there’s still an aura and an atmosphere at Anfield.

There’s an expectancy, tradition and a demand at Liverpool, and I’m not sure John W Henry and Fenway Sports Group understand that.

Hicks and Gillett were a nightmare. They ran the club to the brink and, while the new owners have the right motives, I don’t think they get the philosophy of the club.

Liverpool are at a crossroads. Everton finished above Liverpool. There are players coming through but are they going to be the next Steven Gerrard?

Some, like Raheem Sterling, have such great promise. But Liverpool need results and improvements now.

Raheem Sterling Liverpool starlet
Red hot: But is starlet Sterling ready to play for Liverpool now?

These are tough times ahead. The Europa League. Thursdays and Sundays. That’s a tall order to cope with.

Rodgers is a good coach and played lovely football at Swansea. But Dalglish did that at times last season and is a good coach.

They have set the bar so high.

Dalglish didn’t make top four, and that saw the end of him. And the longer you stay out of the top four, the harder it becomes to break back in.

It is so tough, especially with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and United trying so hard and breaking the bank to maintain success.

Liverpool can’t compete with that financially. The sort of money afforded to sign players last summer will not be there this time. So Rodgers must turn it around on a limited budget - and that is a huge task.

Liverpool made some bad buys and in the modern game having a director of football or senior figure above should not worry a manager.

Damien Comolli worked well with Dalglish. Louis van Gaal could do well with Rodgers. In these times you need someone to identify players and go and sign them.

But Liverpool just seem to keep getting it wrong.

The Americans have handled the managerial change badly. They underestimated how popular Dalglish was and is.

They have removed a club legend for a managerial rookie.

Rodgers has done really well at Swansea, grew up at Chelsea and graduated from there.

He has played good football at Swansea, but players can also dictate how you play.

It’s not all about how you play at Anfield, because results are paramount.

Rodgers has so much to prove, so much work to do and Liverpool are taking a huge gamble when, after recent failures and setbacks, they cannot afford another mistake.

Interview: John Cross

Financial reporting limitations impacting businesses' bottom lines - CIO UK

Research out from Oracle and Accenture has found inefficient financial reporting could lead to unnecessary costs which would be taken out of more transformational projects.

According to the report, Challenges of Corporate Financial Reporting, less than half of the 1,123 financial staff surveyed had invested in financial reporting systems in the last three years.

On the whole, spreadsheets and emails are still being used as the core tools to record and distribute financial information used in regulated financial reporting processes.

According to Accenture Finance & Enterprise Performance Consulting Group executive director Scott Brennan, enterprise organisations typically spend as much as 1.5 per cent of yearly earnings on financial reporting processes.

He advocates more embedded financial data management through an ERP system, to break down the siloes in reporting.

He said: “The current practices are having a significant impact on investor confidence when companies cannot articulate their financial results clearly. Any improvement on financial reporting systems will go straight through to the bottom-line.”

According to the report, over two thirds of respondents admitted that they have inadequate visibility of reporting processes. Over four fifths of finance managers reported that they find it difficult to control the quality of financial data across the course of their reporting.

Money market fund assets fall to $2.569 trillion - Yahoo Finance

NEW YORK (AP) -- Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets fell by $5.35 billion to $2.563 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, the Investment Company Institute said Thursday.

Assets of the nation's retail money market mutual funds rose $369 million to $889.88 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category rose $390 million to $702.8 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets fell $17 million to $187.08 billion.

Meanwhile, assets of institutional money market funds fell $5.72 billion to $1.673 trillion. Among institutional funds, taxable money market fund assets fell $5.61 billion to $1.586 trillion; assets of tax-exempt funds fell $110 million to $86.95 billion.

The seven-day average yield on money market mutual funds was 0.03 percent in the week that ended Tuesday, unchanged from the previous week, said Money Fund Report, a service of iMoneyNet Inc. in Westborough, Mass.

The 30-day average yield was also unchanged from last week at 0.03 percent. The seven-day compounded yield was flat at 0.03 percent. The 30-day compounded yield was unchanged at 0.03 percent, Money Fund Report said.

The average maturity of portfolios held by money market mutual funds rose to 46 days from 45 days in the previous week.

The online service said its survey of 100 leading commercial banks, savings and loan associations and savings banks in the nation's 10 largest markets showed the annual percentage yield available on money market accounts was unchanged from last week at 0.13 percent.

The North Palm Beach, Fla.-based unit of Bankrate Inc. said the annual percentage yield available on interest-bearing checking accounts was unchanged from the week before at 0.06 percent. said the annual percentage yield on six-month certificates of deposit was unchanged from the previous week at 0.22 percent. The yield on one-year CDs was also unchanged at 0.33 percent. It was flat at 0.53 percent on two-and-a-half-year CDs and steady at 1.13 percent on five-year CDs.

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