FTfm Alchemy was a discussion forum focusing on issues affecting the fund management industry.

The site is no longer available for comment but remains here as an archive: http://discussions.ft.com/alchemy

Spain raises protectionist fears – FT

Hedge funds and private equity groups have raised concerns about the risk of creeping protectionism in proposals made by Spanish diplomats to re-write European Union legislation to regulate their industries, report Nikki Tait and Martin Arnold.

The FT journalists found that the compromise proposal is still not ticking all the right boxes. Here’s an excerpt..

Angelien Kemna will effectively be responsible for the pensions savings of a quarter of all Dutch employees. FTfm’s Face to Face interview looks at the task ahead of APG’s new chief investment officer.

Angelien Kemna has been hailed by the Dutch national press as the country’s most powerful woman in finance. Three months ago, Ms Kemna started as chief investment officer of investment company APG, which looks after €205bn of assets, primarily on behalf of national civil pension fund ABP.

FTfm’s Steve Johnson looked into the debate over active vs passive management in our last issue, with reference to Norway’s state pension fund. He also interviewed Yngve Slyngstad , chief executive of Norges Bank Investment Management, the arm of Oslo’s central bank that manages the fund. Mr Slyngstad thinks there is no debate. Here’s Steve’s investigation for FTfm’s Big Picture.

Norway’s active vs passive debate

By Steve Johnson

Like death and taxes, the debate over the relative merits of active and passive investment will probably always be with us.

But the spat in Norway over the future direction of the Nordic country’s NKr2,500bn (£266bn, €307bn, $433bn) oil-powered Government Pension Fund has helped illuminate the debate, at least as it applies to large institutional funds.

FTfm’s new forum is under construction, but some of the fine details are taking longer to iron out than originally thought. So, rather than leave the blogosphere altogether, we will be continuing with our old format until we’re ready for our re-launch.

FTfm staffing levels will drop over the festive season as the team try to use up their left-over entitlements before the holidays expire. So we won’t be blogging much… if at all.

When we are all back in January this blog will be migrating to a new platform that will hopefully accommodate the way we have noticed you using it. Topics that interest you will stay open, and visible, for longer. You will also be invited to add your comments to columns written by our regular contributors.

We’ll let you know more as soon as we’re back. And, in the meantime… Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from FTfm!

The Pensions Regulator is to launch a new effort aimed at improving the governance of company retirement schemes in the UK

Edmund Truell’s Pension Corp has reached a deal to repair the £450-plus deficit in the pension scheme of Telent

Sir Callum McCarthy, former chairman of the UK’s Financial Services Authority, has been appointed European chairman of JC Flowers, the US private equity group

Dead Russian lawyer’s colleague ‘threatened’

The hedge fund sector looks to be going through the early stages of recovery according to Huw van Steenis

Australians strike carbon deal boosting its hopes of being able to play a major role at next month’s climate change summit

Galleon founder attacks wiretap

Hedge funds and other investors stand to make billions of dollars from their holdings in a bankrupt US mall owner, General Growth Properties

Canberra faces legal challenge on compensation for Australian power operators in relation to a proposed carbon emissions trading scheme

Madoff liquidator seeks fees of $22.1m

Private equity chief in rallying call to defend industry against ‘misguided’ EU regulation

Gartmore confirms plans for IPO

Rising portfolio value bolsters KKR

UK regulator faces pensions dilemma

Paulson starts gold fund amid record prices

Ministers defend new FSA powers

Informant says Galleon tips came from Asia

Worried nations try to cool hot money

Trichet warns on bank bonuses

Electronic rival for convertible bonds planned

FTfm columnist John Dizard was, apparently, just tapping into the global zeitgeist when he wrote of the debate surrounding shale gas reserves. In his November 1 column, Shale gas numbers may not add up, he described what sounded like the lone voice of a softly spoken shale sceptic, Art Berman.

At the time that we went to press, Art Berman was a columnist for World Oil and the editor of World Oil was Perry Fischer. By the end of the week both those facts had changed and  Art Berman now finds himself a star on energy blog spots.

John Dizard, meanwhile, has promised to return to the shale gas issue with “ever more tedious levels of detail”. He says: “Mr Berman is not the only professional who has raised questions about producibility, cost, and decline curves.” We’re hoping whoever the other professionals are that they enjoy being in the limelight.

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.