Money managers under the microscope
Pension schemes are moving away from the usual equity/bond/real estate mix to put their eggs in as many baskets as possible. No wonder then that the USS — the 31.6 billion pounds UK universities pension fund — is putting an extra 1.5 percent of its assets, or about 474 million pounds, into hedge funds, as its CIO Roger Gray tells Reuters.
If you are rushing to the phone to pitch business with Mr Gray, however, STOP a minute fund manager: be prepared, the USS is not only eyeing alpha, it is going to ask a few questions about how alpha is distributed and how investors are protected.
“Is the board of the hedge fund constituted in a way which gives us assurance that they are actually acting in the interest of the limited partners rather than in the pocket of the managers?” he said.
Key words for this pitch: governance, transparency, best and practice.
Key advice for this pitch: forewarned is forearmed. (The USS does not seem to need the usual ’caveat emptor’ advice).
News and views on the hedge fund industry from Reuters and elsewhere: Headhunters look for FSA’s new CEO – FT UK Chancellor unlikely to get global bank levy breakthrough – Independent FSA loses insider dealing case – Reuters
Clarity is in short supply today when it comes to IPOs. Two companies filed for inital public offerings worth $100 million and $300 million on Monday, underscoring an impression of investors growing more comfortable with companies they may have deemed too risky in 2009.
Following the upbeat tone is aluminum giant UC RUSAL securing some heavy-weight investors --a member of the Rothschild family as well as one of southeast Asia's richest men-- in an IPO now bumped up in value to possibly $27 billion.
Despite objections, and a rival bid from PAI Partners, a group of three distressed debt investors proved successful in their aggressive bid to wrestle control of French roofing company Monier through a debt for equity swap.
The restructuring deal sees Monier’s 1.9 billion euro debt load halved in exchange for senior lenders taking full ownership of the firm.