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

Sophia Grene

The Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund is getting a rough ride at the moment. Having been forced to pick up the tab for the recapitalisation of the Irish banks (some €7bn worth of preference shares in Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks), it is about to lose its chief executive, John Corrigan, who moves upstairs to replace his boss, head of the National Treasury Management Agency, the NPRF’s parent body.

This will not be a pleasant job, but nor will running the NPRF. As well as easing in a new chief executive, it has to work on reconciling its responsible investment policy (it has signed up to the UN Principles for Responsible Investing and is a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project) with its legal mandate to “secure the optimal total financial return provided the level of risk to the moneys held or invested is acceptable”.

According to human rights advocate Mark Cumming, the contradiction between this and the NPRF’s own stated intention to “incorporate ESG factors into investment research, analysis and decision making” stands in the way of its developing coherent policies.

If the Irish government can push through amending legislation requiring the NPRF to bail out the banks, surely it should be able to rewrite the NPRF’s mandate in order to allow it to take long term non-financial risk factors into account and ensure Irish pensioners will not profit from destructive corporate practices such as human rights abuses or uncontrolled environmental damage.

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

Former Optimal chief faces Madoff charges

Two former Bear Stearns fund chiefs cleared of fraud

Schroders celebrates two consecutive quarters of institutional net fund inflows

Brussels warns IASB saying rules shake-up could cause instability

Paulson & Co, the New York hedge fund, has disclosed a 2.08 per cent stake in Cadbury

Galleon probe expands to take in tech analysts

Pauline Skypala

Man in suit praying

Praying for a market miracle

The revelation that the Church of England is relying almost exclusively on returns from equities to pay vicars’ pensions in the future raises an interesting question: which institutions can afford a sufficient time horizon to be able to rely on the expectation that equities will outperform bonds over the longer term?

Sophia Grene

Synthetic ETFs – an efficient way to use modern financial technology to do something useful for investors or a sinister investment banking kinda plot to cream off extra revenue from naive investors who just want to track an index?

In Monday’s FTfm, former Eurizon chief executive Francis Candylaftis called for these evil instruments to be cast into the outer darkness. This sparked a thoughtful explanation by FT Alphaville of precisely where the problem might lie (hint – it’s about the bit where you need collateral), using db x-trackers’ own diagram of how it all works.

Then blogger Andrew Clavell picked up the theme, suggesting a much firmer regulatory hand on the collateral would solve the problem.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Ruth Sullivan

One meeting to watch out for today is the sustainable stock exchanges event in New York, hosted by several United Nations’ bodies including the the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.

The aim of the gathering is to take stock of how the world’s exchanges can work together with investors, regulators and companies to increase corporate transparency and encourage responsible long-term investing.

This will involve tackling environmental, social and corporate governance issues. Eiris, the Ethical Investment Research Services, says one of the key drivers will be to include ESG disclosure into listing rules and corporate governance standards.

Paul Abberley, chief executive of Aviva Investors London says little support from listing authorities “who play a crucial role in setting out what companies report to the market” has come so far.

Many present today will be hoping to discuss measures to encourage best practice among companies through sustainable indices. Some exchanges such as Johannesburg Stock Exchange Socially Responsible index or the Deutsche Borse Daxglobal Alternative Energy Index, and the Indonesian exchange have already done this but there is plenty of scope for others to follow.

Global stock exchanges are likely to hear some challenging calls to take action.

Sophia Grene

Burglar makes off with swag in swag bag

The banks be stealing our ETFs!

Exchange traded products – everyone wants a piece of this pie.

Exchange traded funds started as an investment management product. They were run by investment managers, who had to build scale in order to make any money out of them.

Then the European regulations allowed funds to use swaps and investment bankers realised there was an opportunity to use their skills. Lyxor, an offshoot of Societe Generale, but not its asset manager, and db x-trackers set out to promote their synthetically replicated ETFs, but still claimed they were offering investment management.

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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