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Towers Watson and Threadneedle parent circle Russell Investments

Towers Watson and Threadneedle Investments’ parent company are among the bidders circling Russell Investments, the US asset manager being sold by the London Stock Exchange Group. The FT reports an auction process for the business is now in the second round. Russell Investments has $273bn (£177bn) in funds under management and is expected to be […]

Nick Bamford MM 700
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Nick Bamford: The shocking cost of poor provider service

Impartial, independent professional advice is not cheap and one of the often-discussed contributory factors in this cost is that of regulation. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme interim levy bills are a good example of regulatory costs pressures. Adviser firms have little choice but to find a, hopefully, palatable way to pass this on to the […]

Toby Strauss, Scottish Widows

Scottish Widows appoints head of bulk annuities

Scottish Widows has appointed a managing director of bulk annuities and investment strategy as part of a management shake-up. In October Lloyds Banking Group announced Scottish Widows would enter the bulk annuity market. It has now appointed Jeff Sayers, previously insurance divisional risk officer at Lloyds, to lead the proposition. Sayers joined Lloyds in 2013 […]

My three big calls: Rathbone’s Mona Shah

Long/short funds Developed market equities have been driven higher and higher by quantitative easing over the past few years. However, we think the beta wave has finished now: alpha will deliver the returns going forward. Unconstrained long-short funds, in particular, are starting to look increasingly interesting. They can be more tactical as the performance of […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading

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