Blog Posts by Stacy Curtin

  • [$$] This week's cartoon: December 5

    More than two-thirds of investment professionals believe UK asset managers will not be able to sell their funds freely across the EU after Brexit

    Copyright © 2015 The Financial Times Limited. Please don't cut and paste articles and redistribute by email or post to the web.

  • [$$] Anne Richards staunches flood of outflows at M&G

    It was almost a year ago today that Anne Richards began her conversations with M&G, Prudential's asset management operation, about becoming its first female chief executive.

    A deal would not be tied up and announced for another three months but both parties were ready for change. M&G had been under the leadership of Michael McLintock for 19 years, while Ms Richards was entering her 14th year as chief investment officer of rival Aberdeen Asset Management.

    "There were only a handful of roles that I would have left Aberdeen for, and this was one of them," says the 52-year-old, who was once a research fellow at Cern, where nuclear physicists bang subatomic particles together in the cause of science.

    During his 19-year tenure, Mr McLintock had turned M&G from a drab outfit serving retail investors into an investment powerhouse with more than £266bn of assets under management. Over the past 24 months, however, the unit has been spluttering: it suffered the highest net outflows of

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  • [$$] 'All-in' fund fee proposal alarms industry

    New proposals from the UK's financial regulator could force asset managers and investment platforms to disclose a 75 per cent increase in the fees they charge investors.

    In a damning report on the fund industry released last month, the Financial Conduct Authority criticised asset managers for hiding costs and outlined proposals for an "all-in fee" that would force companies to include transaction costs in their fee disclosures.

    The FCA also said that charges by intermediary platforms, such as Hargreaves Lansdowne, the Share Centre and Chelsea Financial Services, could "potentially add so much complexity and detail that consumers cease to engage with the information".

    The watchdog did not specify which charges would be included in a new all-in fee, but an estimate by Fitz Partners, the consultancy, based on the addition of transaction and platform charges, showed that investors could see an increase of up to 75 per cent in headline charges.

    More from the

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  • [$$] Movers & shakers: December 5

    ? Schroders has hired Andreas Markwalder as chief executive of its business in Switzerland. Mr Markwalder will join the UK's largest listed asset manager at the start of 2017 from GastroSocial, one of Switzerland's biggest social insurance companies. He succeeds Stephen Mills, who will become chairman of Schroders in Switzerland.

    ? Saminvest, a venture capital investment group formed by the Swedish government in July, has appointed Peder Hasslev as its first chief executive. Mr Hasslev joins from AMF, the SKr550bn Swedish pension provider, where he was head of asset management.

    ? Andrew Astley will join T Rowe Price, the $812.9bn Baltimore-based asset manager, as global head of product in January. Mr Astley previously worked for State Street Global Advisors, the investment arm of the US bank.

    ? RBC Global Asset Management, the $290bn investment arm of the Royal Bank of Canada, is expanding its US institutional business. Linh Pham DiPippa joins from BlackRock as managing

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  • [$$] Trump guns for shareholder activists' rights

    How should Apple decide what chief executive Tim Cook gets paid? The question is going up for debate at the iPhone maker's annual meeting early next year, much to the company's chagrin. A dissident shareholder, quoting Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty's treatise on inequality, has submitted a proposal demanding the company engages outside consultants to revamp Apple's pay practices.

    It is just one of what is likely to be hundreds of contentious votes at shareholder meetings across corporate America next year. While business groups complain that these polls are an expensive nuisance, investors have been well served by the flowering of shareholder democracy - and some institutional investors are warning that the new Trump administration will rip this flowering out by the roots. Shareholders everywhere should be concerned.

    A critical question is who Donald Trump nominates to the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is the main regulator of corporate

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  • [$$] The week's news in brief: December 5

    ? Blackstone, the world's biggest real estate investment manager, is set to sell part of its home rental management company on the US stock market to reduce the New York-based private equity group's position as the largest residential landlord in America.

    Dallas-based Invitation Homes, which has almost 50,000 homes for lease, is planning to sell $1.5bn of stock through an initial public offering, a deal that is expected to value the company at around $7.5bn.

    ? The French regulator plans to impose stricter rules on alternative asset managers to ensure investors are not unfairly blocked from accessing their money in times of market stress.

    The Autorité des Marchés Financiers wants asset managers to explain the circumstances in which redemption gates might be imposed, how these will be applied fairly to all the investors in a fund and to specify how long restrictions on withdrawals will last.

    The AMF has requested that alternative managers respond to its proposals by

    Read More »from [$$] The week's news in brief: December 5
  • [$$] Hong Kong equity funds lose $7.5bn

    Hong Kong investors have withdrawn billions of dollars from equity funds since the start of the year as macroeconomic shocks in Europe, the US and China spread fear to Asia's biggest financial centre.

    New data from the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association, the regional trade body, showed that investors pulled $7.5bn from equity funds in the first nine months of the year - a sharp reversal after $7.1bn of inflows in 2015.

    European equity funds accounted for a significant proportion of the outflows, with investors pulling $2.3bn from these funds in the six months to the end of September, the data showed. The HKIFA said the UK's vote to leave the EU in June prompted these outflows.

    China-focused equity funds also registered a fall in sales - down 83 per cent from last year's net inflows of $10.7bn - following China's unexpected currency devaluation and market turmoil that started in August last year.

    By contrast, Hong Kong investors have poured into global bond

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  • The Latest: Oakland sports teams donating to fire victims

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly fire in a converted warehouse in Oakland, California (all times local):

    9 p.m.

    The NBA Golden State Warriors say the team is donating $50,000 to help families affected by the deadly warehouse fire in Oakland. The team says the money will go to the Unity Council in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, a nonprofit that assists members of the community.

    Before the Warriors hosted the Phoenix Suns Saturday night, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said "We're all with you out there. We're all devastated today." A moment of silence was observed.

    The NFL Oakland Raiders say they've joined forces with the Major League Baseball's Oakland A's to aid those affected by the fire. The Raiders have pledged to match up to $30,000 in contributions through a page set up by the A's.


    6:30 p.m.

    Authorities say nine bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of a warehouse gutted by a fire during an electronic music party Friday night in Oakland,

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  • [$$] 70% of asset managers fear Brexit fund passport loss

    More than two-thirds of investment professionals believe UK asset managers will not be able to sell their funds freely across the EU following Britain's departure from the economic bloc, according to a poll conducted exclusively for FTfm by PwC.

    The professional services provider polled 644 professionals from 400 asset management companies at a conference in London last month. It found widespread concern about the impact of Brexit on UK-based investment companies, which manage £7tn of assets collectively and employ around 50,000 people.

    Asset managers are unlikely to retain full "passporting" privileges that allow UK financial institutions to access the EU single market without restrictions, according to 70 per cent of the respondents.

    Most UK asset managers have bases in Luxembourg or Dublin to sell mutual funds to mainland European investors, and will, in theory, still be able to sell these funds, known as Ucits, to EU-based clients after Brexit.

    More from the

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  • [$$] UK hedge funds need a hard-Brexit contingency plan

    Hedge fund managers in the UK find themselves in an increasingly precarious position following Britain's decision to leave the EU.

    This is particularly the case as the drumbeat for a hard Brexit - which would involve the UK giving up full access to the single market in return for stricter controls over immigration from the EU - gets louder.

    At the centre of the issue is a five-year-old piece of regulation called the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

    This directive regulates alternative investment managers, such as hedge funds or private equity firms, that are either based in the EU, or sell products into the EU.

    More from the Financial Times

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