Brunel Pension Partnership sets 2022 deadline for investment firms to reduce exposureA £30bn British pension fund has threatened to sack investment managers that do not take action on the climate crisis, criticising the sector as “not fit for purpose”.Brunel Pension Partnership, which manages pension money for nine councils in south-west England as well as for the Environment Agency, said it would review the mandates of asset managers that don’t reduce exposure to climate risk by 2022. Continue reading...
Customer union’s 1,200 members vow to protect rescued bank’s ethical policiesThe Co-operative Bank has agreed to formally recognise a customer “union” which aims to protect the bank’s ethical policies now it is owned by hedge funds.The Customer Union for Ethical Banking said the agreement would give it influence with the Co-operative Bank’s leadership, and help the group rally support for its long-term goal of returning the lender to cooperative ownership. Continue reading...
Suspension of his high-profile fund sparked investor anger and talk of a formal FCA probe. The horse-riding, Porsche-driving stock picker badly needs to change tackHe was, the BBC declared in 2015, “the man who can’t stop making money”. He was the rock star of pensions and fund management, awarded a CBE for his services to the economy. But now, since Neil Woodford stopped investors from withdrawing their own money from his flagship fund, he is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.His Woodford Equity Income Fund holds the pension savings and investments of tens of thousands of people. But it has been performing so badly that investors were withdrawing money at the rate of £10m a day. Continue reading...
On YouTube, City stock-picker says decision ‘was necessary to protect your interests’Neil Woodford has apologised to investors in his first public comments since he suspended trading in his largest fund on Monday.Once the UK’s most renowned fund manager, Woodford said he was “extremely sorry” for taking the decision to block investors from pulling cash from his flagship Equity Income Fund – but insisted it was in their best interests. Continue reading...
Hargreaves Lansdown among those affected by investment manager’s withddrawals block• Neil Woodford: star fund manager mixes arrogance and humilityThe City stock-picker Neil Woodford has experienced another blow after a decision to block investors from pulling cash from his flagship fund caused share prices to fall in his listed fund and a number of other companies where he is a key investor or which sell his funds.Woodford’s Patient Capital Trust Fund, which is listed on London’s FTSE 250 index, tumbled as much as 20% in early trading before closing 7.2% lower at 71p a share. Continue reading...
Investors are likely to be on toe ahead of Trump-Xi G-20 meet, which could give a new direction in the ongoing trade tensions. So, they can consider these ETFs to hedge their portfolio.
President Donald Trump’s three wealthiest Cabinet members took in tens of millions of dollars last year, including from divesting holdings to avoid conflicts of interest, according to disclosure filings released by the administration.Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her husband took in at least $59.4 million in 2017, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reported income of more than $41.6 million, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tallied $47 million that year, according to annual financial disclosures each made to their agencies. A substantial chunk of the trio’s income came from the sale of assets. They also reported bringing in money from dividends, capital gains and interest on accounts, the filings show.Government officials had until May 15 to file their annual disclosures for 2017, and most officials’ forms were posted online by the Office of Government Ethics earlier this year. The ethics office has yet to formally sign off on and publish the three officials’ disclosures. The departments released them at POLITICO’s request this week.Critics of the administration have scrutinized DeVos’, Mnuchin’s and Ross’ holdings and were watching to see if they divested assets that could pose conflicts of interest with their current jobs. President Donald Trump has defended hiring wealthy and connected people for powerful positions in his administration, saying they don’t want the jobs for the money and that “these are people that are great, brilliant business minds.”Mnuchin’s disclosures show that in 2017, he sold holdings in Seritage Growth Properties, which leases stores to Sears and ESL Partners, a hedge fund run by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, a longtime friend of the Treasury secretary’s. With Sears in bankruptcy and its pension at risk, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year asked Mnuchin to recuse himself from matters before the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. involving the company. The Treasury secretary is one of three PBGC board members who will have a say in the future of Sears pensions. Mnuchin has completed the divestitures required by career ethics officers, a Treasury spokeswoman said. He grossed $2 million to $10 million on his Seritage holdings, according to his filing. Mnuchin received $65,000 to $150,000 on the sale of his interest in ESL Partners.His June 2017 marriage to Scottish actress Louise Linton brought new assets into the family, including more than $2.2 million in real estate in Edinburgh, Scotland, the disclosures show.“The secretary submitted his annual financial disclosure on time, and Treasury is working with OGE to have it promptly certified,” the spokeswoman said.DeVos agreed to divest 102 separate assets when Trump nominated her to be his education secretary. She made three new investments last year, according to her disclosure, including a stake in a Michigan distillery valued at $500,001 to $1 million.The DeVos disclosure, filed May 14, was amended a dozen times before being certified by Education Department ethics officials on Sept. 19. Ross faced scrutiny from government ethics officials and watchdog groups for maintaining stakes in a range of companies that had business before his agency. A year ago, he incorrectly reported that he made all the required divestitures. He said this summer that he would sell all of his equity holdings and buy Treasury securities with the proceeds. Ross pocketed $6.1 million in 2017 for giving up stock options at his former employer, Invesco, and sold stock in the company valued at more than $5 million, the annual disclosure shows. Ross also earned a $970,530 departing bonus.The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center has asked the Commerce Department’s inspector general to investigate whether Ross violated laws banning false statements and omissions in his earlier financial disclosures.“Ross’s financial disclosure is probably the most complicated one that has ever existed,” said Delaney Marsco, a Campaign Legal Center ethics lawyer. “For you or me, these financial disclosure documents would give a complete picture of our finances. But for people who are super wealthy, this doesn’t tell us everything we would want to know.”Some reported holdings are difficult or impossible to decipher. DeVos, Ross and Mnuchin all reported millions of dollars in holdings in limited partnerships and trusts, for example. In August and September 2017, Mnuchin spent $1.1 million to $5.1 million to acquire an asset called North Park I LLC. A Treasury spokeswoman declined to explain the transactions.“His filings are so opaque,” said Jeff Hauser, director of the Revolving Door Project at the progressive Center for Economic and Policy Research. “He’s the Treasury secretary, he gets so much market-moving information. This is not a guy who should be investing. He should be divesting everything.”Democrats won control of the House earlier this month in part by emphasizing public integrity, and they have said they’ll make campaign finance and government ethics a priority in the next Congress. In the Senate, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has introduced legislation that would force high-ranking agency officials to put their money in mutual funds or other conflict-free investments.Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine]]>
U.S. Weekly FundFlows Insight Report: Despite a Strong Market Rally, Fund and ETF Investors Remain Guarded During the Week
For the first week in four investors were overall net sellers of fund assets (including those of conventional funds and ETFs), withdrawing $6.3 billion for Lipper’s fund-flows week ended November
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