Blockchain explainer: a revolution only in its infancy

02 February 2018

Hannah Murphy and Philip Stafford

The word blockchain has been the equivalent of financial fairy dust in recent weeks, adding tens of millions of dollars to the market value of companies, including former camera pioneer Kodak Eastman, that have announced a project involving the technology or simply added it to their names.

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Active fund managers beat market by just 16p for every £100 invested

28 January 2018

Owen Walker

Pension schemes that used active fund managers over the past quarter of a century were rewarded . . . but only by 16p a year for every £100 they invested.

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Big bonuses set to turn housebuilders into new pay villains

by Aime Williams 29 December 2017

 After years of bankers bearing the brunt of political criticism over executive pay, housebuilders look poised to take centre stage as the new villains.

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On executive pay, incentives have limits

01 November 2017

Boards will always need to apply judgment and a sense of proportion.

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Investors pass the buck on governance

30 October 2017

Does corporate governance matter? Or, to be more precise, do investors really care about it? This is a question that I have been pondering for two reasons. First, huge amounts of passive investment has made questions about corporate decision making irrelevant for many investors. When you are just tracking the index, you are not looking at what a company is really doing on the ground and whether its leaders are making the right calls. You are simply passing the buck to the market.

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THE LONG VIEW - How passive investors morphed into the bad guys

14 October 2017

 Markets are suffering from a serious case of passive aggression. Or at least that is what many now believe.

Passive investing - in which funds merely match an index and make no active attempt to choose stocks or other securities - has transformed markets over the past 25 years. In the US more than a third of stock funds assets are passive, while index funds dominate flows of new money into the market.

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Central bankers' face a crisis of confidence as models fail

11 October 2017

Central bankers usurped the titans of Wall Street as the masters of the universe almost a decade ago. They rescued the global economy from the financial crisis, flooding the world with cheap money. They used their powers effectively to get banks lending again. Their actions raised asset prices, keeping business and consumer confidence up. Financial markets and populations hang on their words. But never have they been so vulnerable.

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FT BIG READ - STOCK MARKETS - The return of the stock picker

25 September 2017

 For the past decade, cheap index funds have outperformed the vast majority of equity managers. But as central banks withdraw money from the financial system, active investors believe it is their moment.

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FT BIG READ - INVESTING - The ethical investment boom

04 September 2017

Funds that uphold ‘environmental, social and governance’ standards tend to outperform those that do not. Investors from Swiss Re to large pension funds are taking notice, so does it pay to be ethical?

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Big investors step up rebellion at company meetings

02 September 2017

The world's biggest investors rebelled more at company meetings globally this year compared with last year, as asset managers came under mounting pressure to tackle businesses over high pay, board diversity and bad management.

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FT BIG READ - EQUITIES - The perils of calling the peak

17 August 2017

By many measurements, today’s stock markets are overvalued. Yet amid the flood of central bank money, investors are struggling to work out when or if a crash will come and have rationalised the high prices.

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Equality in executive pay is not always fair

 24 May 2017

"High and unwarranted executive pay is an issue that needs to be addressed for the benefit of society as a whole." So said the UK parliament's business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) select committee in its recent report on corporate governance, reflecting the mood of the times.

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