Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

from Global Investing:

Big Beasts

This week might just have seen a marked shift in how British investors think about their role as owners of companies.

First up we had three of our largest unions teaming up behind a set of governance guidelines which they will wave noisily in the air at AGMs, but more significantly, Tuesday morning saw the first steps towards building the kind of collaborative architecture for investors envisioned by the Kay Review.

As first steps go, it's fairly tentative (as was the first, first step). In a sparse announcement, the Association of British Insurers, the National Association of Pension Funds and Investment Management Association said they will set up a working group to report back on how collective engagement "might be enhanced to make a positive difference.” It is a response to Economist John Kay's government-backed report from last July, which argued funds could improve returns to savers by presenting a united front to company boards.

We've looked before at how difficult this will be given the diversity of outlook and motivation among investors. Significantly, Tuesday's statement makes explicit reference to drawing in "overseas investors" who at the last count were heading towards ownership of half the UK stock market, though quite how that might work is hard to see. IMA chief executive Daniel Godfrey told Reuters he has already spent some time sounding out some of those foreign share owners, and encountered a "range of views and a range of enthusiasms." The next step, he says, is to work out whether there's a way to navigate past the obstacles.

from Global Investing:

Lipper: Getting serious about giving

"Wouldn't you rather your donations achieve a lot rather than a little? Then you'll need to get serious and proactive. If you do it wrong, you can easily waste your entire donation."

Caroline Fiennes is not one to pull her punches when talking about charitable giving, but the more I talk to her, or read her new book - 'It Ain't What You Give It's The Way That You Give It' - the more it becomes apparent that her philosophy is not all that different from that of a professional fund manager.

Hedge funds vs mutual funds

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By Dunny P. Moonesawmy, Head of Fund Research for Lipper in western Europe, Middle East and Africa. The views expressed are his own.

Hedge funds took some heat from the credit crisis as liquidity and transparency became critical factors in investment decision-making. It’s fair to say hedge funds continued to deliver decent returns to investors, but how do they compare to mutual funds if we focus on performance and risk alone?

from Reuters Money:

Actively managed ETFs and other wrinkles

David Gaffen is pictured in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/HandoutThe following is an edited excerpt from Never Buy Another Stock Again: The Investing Portfolio that Will Preserve Your Wealth and Your Sanity, written by David Gaffen, who is the Reuters markets editor. It was printed with permission of FT Press, an imprint of Pearson.

One of the biggest growth industries in finance right now is in exchange-traded funds, and further growth in ETFs appears likely to come from several places.

from Reuters Money:

Green investing with mutual funds

Tom Roseen is the U.S. and Latin America Research Manager at Lipper --  a Thomson Reuters company that supplies mutual fund information,  fund ratings,  fund analytical tools and fund commentary.

Even if you don’t buy into the global warming argument, you’re probably still interested in finding ways to reduce your gas and oil costs, keep the air breathable for you and your family, and benefit from the global momentum to clean up our planet. So are others.

from Reuters Money:

Fund managers see value in energy stocks

For equity investors, 2010 has yet to deliver the "fun" to fund investing.

The average stock fund has lost 3.5 percent so far this year, according to Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company. And the funds that are at the top of the performance charts thus far this year are typically taking a defensive stance.

One such defensive portfolio is the Ave Maria Growth fund, which is up 4.86 percent through June 23. According to Lipper, top holdings include defense contractor General Dynamics, retailer Coach and tech giant Hewlett-Packard.

from Summit Notebook:

Tax evaders on the run

  By Neil Chatterjee
    The U.S. has promised it will hunt down tax evaders.
    And it seems tax evaders are on the run.
    DBS bank, based in the growing offshore financial centre of
Singapore, told Reuters it had been approached by U.S. citizens
asking for its private banking services. But when told they would
have to sign U.S. tax declaration forms, the potential clients
disappeared.  
    Swiss banks also approached DBS on the hope they could
offload troublesome U.S. clients to a location that so far has
not been reached by the strong arms of Washington or Brussels.
    DBS said no thanks. In fact many private banks and boutique
advisors now seem to be avoiding U.S. clients.
    Will this spread to other nationalities, as governments
invest in tax spies and tax havens invest in white paint?
    Is this the end of offshore private private banking?

Reuters Fund Summit: Will hedge fund regulation open the door to retail investors?

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By Huw Jones

 

Hedge funds are nothing if not optimistic – they have to be in the current climate.

 

 

rtxcvygWhile holed up in an English country resort last weekend, finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 group of countries agreed that the $1.4 trillion hedge funds sector should be made to register, be directly supervised and provide information about their holdings to regulators who track risk in markets.

Mutual funds gaining ground on hedge funds?

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rtr9urwHedge funds have gained a increasing share of the investment pie in recent years but the trend could could be reversing, judging by separate comments made by UBS and Deutsche Bank on Tuesday.

Timothy Bell, global head of hedge funds advisory at UBS Wealth Management, said hedge fund assets could fall further to $1.2 trillion this quarter from $1.4 trillion at the end of 2008 and $1.93 trillion at their peak in mid-2008.

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