tweeting off limits
In an age of blogs, twitters, professional and social networking I’ve just learned that some organisations are clipping their employees wings by forbidding them to access such sites from company computers.
At least that’s what happens in the world of some big investment banks.
Brussels has been working overtime on financial matters, coming out with no less than three controversial documents today. Presumably the European Commission is trying to cram in as much as possible before a new Commission is appointed in September. Charlie McCreevy, the EU internal market commissioner, wants to leave his mark.
There has been much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth by private equity managers and hedge funds over one of these documents, which proposes to introduce a pan-European regulatory framework for alternative investment managers.
How things have changed in a year at the European Commission. From exploring the possibility of expanding the Ucits regime to take in hedge funds, open-ended real estate funds and private equity funds, the pendulum seems to have swung completely the other way.
revolving doors spinning faster
Many investors react to poor performance from their investment managers with one thought – the firing line.
But that is not always the the way to go, especially in credit crunch conditions where lack of liquidity, forced de-leveraging and government intervention have made it difficult for investment managers to move fast enough to avoid losses, say consultants Watson Wyatt.
Financial institutions are in the dog house again. This time the sector is gaining attention for being the worst performer to manage its environmental, social and governance risks in 2008.
Hedge funds have spent most of the past nine months cowering behind the sofa as a horror show of mass redemptions dances across their TV screens.
Every so often they peer around the corner in the hope it is safe to come out from hiding and start the serious business of making money once again.
Fresh figures today from HFR, those diligent statisticians of all things hedgie, offer some insight into whether the closing credits of the horror flick are rolling, to be replaced by film of lambs gambolling in the spring sunshine. But only a little.
There’s a lot of loose chat about downward pressure on fees, but those who say that it will only affect the mediocre may be right. One fund manager at least is seeing opportunities for nudging fees upwards, on one new product.
Ashmore Group is offering to take distressed assets off your hands in return for fat management and performance fees. The assets in question could be anything in emerging markets that is suffering from illiquidity. Investors, such as banks or pension funds, may not want them on their books currently, as mark to market valuations are unflattering, but nor do they want to sell them in such an unwelcoming environment.
Reporting the carbon footprint of companies has become big business as fund managers become more green-savvy – but are they savvy enough?
Insight Investment has decided to move the debate forward with a new report asking whether all the data collection and analysis, attempts to come up with carbon labels and other well-intentioned initiatives are missing the point.
Trade bodies and regulators may be scrambling to tighten the rules and write clear classifications of money market funds, but one cool head has pointed out that this may all be unnecessary.
Chris Oulton, CEO of Prime Rate Capital, argues that a European industry standard for these products is already in place:
Whatever happened to Brics, the buzz word coined by Goldman Sachs in 2001 and beloved by fund managers to slickly refer to Brazil, Russia, India and China as an asset class?