David Prosser

Will fund boards achieve a better deal for investors?

Though couched in regulatorspeak, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) verdict was damning. ‘It is important the asset management industry, which looks after the savings of millions of investors, is working as well as possible,’ said executive director Christopher Woolard in May, as he unveiled the final results of the FCA’s two-and-a- half year investigation into asset managers and the open-ended funds they run.

Does it matter if fund managers have ‘skin in the game’?

Even the staunchest allies of the UK’s asset management industry must concede this is a business where the professionals too often get rich even when their clients get poorer. This, after all, is the complaint that has driven the astonishing growth of passive fund management in recent years, as many investors have simply got fed up of paying through the nose for active funds that don’t deliver.

A trade war between the US and China would be bad for everyone

Chances are that most investors are not familiar with Reed Smoot or Willis Hawley. But you may soon be hearing a great deal more about this pair of obscure US lawmakers who sponsored the US Tariff Act of 1930. Almost 90 years after their legislation triggered a global trade war widely blamed for plunging the world economy into the Great Depression, president Donald Trump’s US administration stands accused of posing a similar threat, much to the chagrin of financial markets.