Fund management

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

Pauline Skypala

If any fund manager deserves an award for trying to change the world, or at least start a real debate, it must be Hermes.

The fund manager, owned by the BT pension scheme, the UK’s biggest, today co-hosted a conference with the lengthy title: Creating sustainable wealth through responsible asset management and ownership.

Last week, it handed out awards for transparency in governance, in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).

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.

Ruth Sullivan

Hand cradles a globe above the cracked earth

Half of UK consumers would like to check the ethical credentials of their next investment

Post credit crunch, most people would expect investors - or would-be ones - to focus on how to gain returns from any financial product, while other considerations such as ethical concerns have headed out of the door.

Not so, it seems. An Ipsos Mori/Eiris consumer survey that dropped into my email box today, showed nearly half of UK consumers are keen to find out about the ethical credentials of their next investment. Given that most of those polled are already investors, they are likely to have some relevant views.

They felt banks and other financial institutions should prioritise concerns such as protecting human rights, investing in fair trade, protecting the environment and tackling climate change. These are now the hot issues rather than the more traditional ones of manufacturing relating to alcohol, tobacco and gambling, says Eiris, the Ethical Investment Research Service.

But there is still a long way to go. Awareness of ethical financial products is low as is trust, with more than a third not believing claims made by financial providers. But only 15 per cent thought ethical products were likely to underperform similar standard products.

They might want to take a look at a report brought out this week by Mercer, the consultant, that lays out volumes of academic research on how taking account of environmental, social and corporate governance issues can have a positive impact on portfolio returns.

One thing is sure. Green, social and ethical funds have grown considerably in number and size in Europe over the past year, in spite of the fall-out from the financial crisis.

The number of retail funds increased over the year to the end of June to 683 from 537, or by 27 per cent, according to Vigeo, a corporate social responsibility ratings agency, and Morningstar.

Guy Hands, head of private equity house Terra Firma, warns US and Europe could suffer ‘Japanese problem’ unless banks’ leveraged loans are restructured

Goldman apologises for role in crisis and pledges $500m to help US small businesses

Mark Lowe, who set up Nomos Capital Partners is being sued for discrimination by a former employee

Doomed to repeat history? asks whether we need to learn from excessive consumer debt or was it an issue of leverage in the financial system

Bankers fear over-regulation

Tankers store oil as futures prices rocket

Pauline Skypala

The blog posts on websites read by UK independent financial advisers are alive with objections to comments by Andrew Fisher, outspoken chief executive of Towry Law.

Mr Fisher runs a fee-based advice outfit, but revealed recently that his firm gets £6m a year in trail commission on legacy business it inherited from firms it has taken over. Towry Law does not provide a service in return for this money – an example of how it is possible to earn money for nothing in the strange world of financial advice.

Lehman seeks $10bn clawback in Barclays suit

Bank regulation but at what cost to the economy?

Myners says ISC code is not strong enough

Invesco Perpetual launches split cap

Body created to lobby for the financial sector

TPG investors can cut exposure to financial fund

Terra Firma writes down EMI value

Property portfolios make gains

Cut tax relief for the wealthy, says TUC

Protesters lash out at Goldman

Archbishop of Canterbury attacks City culture

London’s status in doubt as BlueCrest decides to relocate 50 staff to Geneva

Resolution prepares to make further deals

UK’s oldest private equity group, 3i, edges into postive returns

Ceiops to give annuities reprieve in UK, opening the door to exceptions for existing annuity books

Move to curb EU fund managers’ pay

TPG, the private equity firm, could invest in JAL

Microfinance group in CDO scheme

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.

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