Daily Archives: July 14, 2009

Steve Johnson

The Wolsley

The Wolseley, a favourite of London's financial powerbrokers

Signs of a slowdown are rarer than hen’s teeth at posh eaterie The Wolseley, a favourite of London’s financial powerbrokers, nestled next to The Ritz, where your humble correspondent had the pleasure of engaging in an enjoyable breakfast meeting.

The only downside was struggling to hear one’s dining companion over the hubbub of a myriad rival conversations; every table was taken by sober looking business people engaged in no doubt far less exciting discussions.

Come the end of one’s feast, many of the original cast had sidled off to do whatever important tasks it was that paid for their meal tickets.

In their stead came a coterie of what can only be described as Women Who Lunch, fortifying themselves with the finest espresso before a spot of light (or not so light) retail therapy in the nearby boutiques.

Once again not a spare table was to be had and, if anything, the hubbub had moved a notch higher.

If we are marooned in the depths of the worst recession since the 1930′s, one would not wish to be tasked with securing a table at said cafe when the good times roll once again.

Sophia Grene

Was it all a dream?

Was it all a dream?

I had to pinch myself to make sure I was awake. I was having lunch with the head of equities from a German fund manager at a Conran restaurant near Tower Bridge. I had asked what trends he saw and the answer flowed as smoothly as the sparkling Perrier.

“I predict a convergence between traditional and alternative fund managers, as long-only managers start to incorporate the new techniques available under Ucits into their toolkit. There is also a blurring between institutional and retail – all these boundaries are blurring,” he said.

This visionary also thought it was possible some investors would ask for more account to be taken of sustainability principles in investing, while he had heard of ETFs, but didn’t think they were likely to take off.

It was as if the whole of the last 18 months had been a dream.

About the blog

FTfm is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

FTfm's specialist writing team offer their insights into the global fund management industry.

About the authors

Pauline Skypala has been editor of FTfm for four years having previously been deputy personal finance editor. She joined the FT in 1999 and has been writing on savings and investment issues throughout her career.

Steve Johnson, FTfm deputy editor, has been a journalist for 17 years, 10 of which have been with the FT.

Sophia Grene, reporter on FTfm, has been a financial journalist in print and online for 12 years.

Ruth Sullivan has worked as a financial/business journalist and foreign correspondent and for the past 10 years has been at the FT.