PensionsMay 28 2013

Morning papers: Gulf in fees paid by council pensions

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ByMatthew Jeynes

Huge disparities in the fees paid by the UK’s local authority pension funds to their fund managers have been revealed in Financial Times research, with some councils paying three times as much as funds the same size elsewhere in the country, reports the Financial Times.

The findings will add to the already intense pressure on fund managers to reduce their charges in an environment of lower returns. They will also feed into a growing political debate over whether council pension funds, which manage some £180bn on behalf of 4.6m people, should be forced into mergers.

Green shoots on the menu as optimism hits six-year high

Britain is eating and drinking its way to an economic recovery, figures from the CBI have revealed, reports The Times.

Hotels, bars and restaurants have enjoyed their biggest rise in trade in almost six years, suggesting that long sought-for green shoots have finally appeared in the vital services sector.

Ex-HSBC executive Niall Booker parachuted in to sort out Co-op

The veteran HSBC banker Niall Booker has been made chief executive of the struggling lender The Co-operative Bank. reports the Independent.

Mr Booker will replace Barry Tootell, who resigned earlier this month after the Co-op Bank’s debt was downgraded to junk status by the credit agency Moody’s amid speculation about the lender’s capital hole.

Investors pour big sums into US biotech

One of Wall Street’s riskiest equity bets is back. In a quest to find the next big medical breakthrough, stock market investors have poured $725m into 10 biotechnology flotations that are attempting to create drugs for illnesses including multiple scelorsis and hepatitis C, reports the Financial Times.

The resurgent mood in the US equity market has proved a boon for these companies, usually ranked among the most speculative investments, as they try to come up with the next medical miracle.

Hedge fund managers generate billions of returns in record start to year

Booming stock markets and global money-printing have allowed some of the world’s biggest hedge funds to generate billions of dollars of returns in a record start to the year, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Hedge fund managers including Chris Hohn, Crispin Odey and Dan Loeb have each generated double-digit returns since the beginning of 2013.

Revealed: The true size of the British jobs gap

The jobs market remains weak and is likely to continue to struggle well into the second half of the decade, making this a more severe downturn for employment levels than the two previous recessions, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank, reports the Independent.

The analysis conflicts with the conventional wisdom that the British employment market has performed remarkably well by historic standards since the 2008 global financial crisis.