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It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, so the recent upheavals in the retail investment market had to spell good times for someone. That someone was Hargreaves Lansdown. Middle England’s favourite investment service graduated to the FTSE 100 in March 2011, since when its shares are up another 65 per cent. The company is worth nearly £5bn and its profits are racing ahead.

HL has benefited from two big trends that converged. Thanks to new rules that came in at the end of last year, it is no longer as attractive for financial advisors to serve investors with…

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