SAN FRANCISCO, Apr 24, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Thoma Bravo, a leading private equity investment firm, and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investor department of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, have completed their acquisition ofRiverbed Technology, Inc., the leader in application performance infrastructure. The acquisition is valued at approximately $3.5 billion, with Riverbed stockholders receiving $21.00 per share in cash. With the transaction’s close, Riverbed stock has ceased trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol RVBD.

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Introduction

As debate over the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is heating up, the White House, and some commentators, have weighed in with an argument for this trade pact that has nothing to do with economics: We need the TPP, they say, because without it, China will impose its own trade rules on the region, and those rules will undermine American trade values. According to President Obama, “[W]e have to make sure the United States — and not countries like China — is the one writing this century’s rules for the world’s economy.”1 Along the same lines, economist Tyler Cowen says: “[E]ither this deal happens on American terms, or an alternative deal arises on Chinese terms without our participation.”2

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Advent International and Temasek agree to acquire a 34.37% stake in Crompton Greaves Ltd’s consumer products business, paying around Rs2,000 crore
Crompton Greaves to sell consumer products unit to Advent, TemasekAdvent International and Temasek agree to acquire a 34.37% stake in Crompton Greaves Ltd’s consumer products business, paying around Rs2,000 crore
Mumbai: Private equity firm Advent International Corp. and Temasek Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd, Singapore’s state-run investment company, have agreed to buy a 34.37% stake in Crompton Greaves Ltd’s consumer electricals business, paying around Rs.2,000 crore.
Advent International said on Friday that it had signed a share-purchase agreement with Avantha Holdings Ltd, the holding company of Crompton Greaves, for the acquisition of the stake in Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd (CGCEL)…
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Swirl founder and Chief Executive Hilmi Ozguc says his startup doesn’t now have a deal with Twitter to use its technology but “it would be a logical outcome of the investment.”Mark Thomson

In what could be a long-term plan to bolster its mobile-advertising tools, Twitter Inc., through its venture arm, has made a strategic investment in micro-location marketing startup Swirl Networks Inc.

Twitter Ventures and two unnamed groups participated as new strategic investors in Swirl’s $18 million growth round at what Venture Capital Dispatch learned was a valuation around $150 million.

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A £30m deal with a private equity fund manager is set to fuel the growth of Lancashire renewable energy company UrbanWind.

The business, based in Preston with an office in Glasgow, has secured the investment from Zouk Capital which will provide equity finance to fund wind turbine schemes.

UrbanWind has about 100 sites across the country in the development appraisal phase, including consented sites. They are now being evaluated for funding approval.

As part of the agreement, Zouk will buy consented sites from UrbanWind. It will then develop them through a joint venture set up between both companies.

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Mylan MYL +3.15% on Friday morning unveiled its formal offer for Irish-domiciled drugmaker Perrigo , offering $60 a share in cash and 2.2 million Mylan shares, valuing the target at around $220 a share at current prices or $31 billion. The move comes as the generic drugmaker works to fend off a $40 billion takeover bidfrom its competitor, Teva Pharmaceuticals.

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In the latest endorsement of the fast-growing private exchange approach to health benefit offerings, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies will launch an online portal for retirees to shop for different plans.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, which represents Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans across the country said the “BCBS Marketplace” will offer Blue-branded Medicare supplement insurance known as Medigap, Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage to retirees in more than 45 states.  Initially, 29 Blue Cross plans including Anthem(ANTM) will participate…

Blue Cross Plans To Launch Private Exchange For Retirees

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Even though penalties under the Affordable Care Act for not having health insurance jumped significantly this year, they still might be too low to attract Americans to signup for subsidized coverage, a new analysis shows.

Avalere Health, a Washington health policy and consulting firm, said some middle income healthy individuals would rather pay the fine when they weigh it against spending a few hundred dollars more on insurance.

The fee icreased to $325 per adult or 2% of income for 2015, according to healthcare.gov. That compares to a fee of $95 per adult or 1 percent of income for those who went without coverage last year…

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schwarzmanThe Blackstone chief appears on CNBC earlier today to discuss the firm’s earnings. In sum: Suck it, everyone.1

Blackstone reported much better-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday, prompting Chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman to declare his private equity firm an “earnings machine.” “We are the most profitable money manager in the world,” boasted the co-founder of Blackstone, which has $310 billion in assets under management. “We just have an economic model that doesn’t depend on a [particular] quarter’s earnings.”…

Steve Schwarzman Can’t Help But Make Money Hand Over Fist: Steve Schwarzman

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ackmanLast October, we got some heartening news: should Bill Ackman’s hedge fund career fail to take off, the Pershing Square founder has a back up gig flipping condos. “I thought it would be fun,” Ackman told the Times of buying a $90 million apartment at luxury development One57. “So myself and a couple of very good friends bought into this idea that someday, someone will really want it and they’ll let me know.” And while some naysayers in the industry, threatened by having the young upstart move in on on their turf, would just loooove to see this whole thing blow up in his face, the word from Bloomberg is that it might actually work out, sooner rather than later…

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“I have a tool kit that operates in many different sectors,” said William McGlashan Jr., who runs the TPG Growth fund.CreditMatthew Millman for The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Since its inception, TPG has been best known for the leveraged buyouts of prominent companies including Continental Airlines, Neiman Marcus and a now-bankrupt Texas utility that was a big player in the energy sector.

But perhaps the brightest spot in its ever-growing constellation of investment vehicles is a relatively low-profile fund that has invested in a diverse array of firms: a cellphone tower operator in Myanmar, a Brazilian airline led by the founder of JetBlue, and the Silicon Valley darlings Uber and Airbnb.

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Like other online lending marketplaces, the company is growing fast, and becoming a magnet for investor cash.

 

Funding Cirlce / Via fundingcircle.com

Another marketplace lender, another massive funding round. The U.K.-based lender Funding Circle has raised $150 million from investors DST Global, run by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, Baillie Gifford, Sands Capital Ventures, Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and an investment fund managed by the asset manager BlackRock.

Funding Circle, founded in 2010, has originated over $1 billion of small business loans in the U.S. and the U.K. and is lending some $75 million a month. The company is projecting that it will lend over $1 billion this year. It did not disclose its valuation in today’s announcement…

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Deutsche Bank AG plans to reduce annual costs by a further 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion), cut back its ownership in the Postbank consumer unit and shrink the securities business to revive profitability. The shares dropped.

Deutsche Bank aims to achieve a return on tangible equity of at least 10 percent in the medium term, the Frankfurt-based company said in a statement Monday, scrapping its previous profitability goal. It will reduce the number of countries or local presences by as much as 15 percent by 2020 and close up to 200 branches…

Deutsche Bank to Cut $3.8 Billion Costs in Strategy Shift

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LONDON — Banco Santander said on Thursday that it had reached a preliminary agreement to combine its asset management arm with Pioneer Investments, a unit of UniCredit of Italy.

The transaction would create a subsidiary with about 400 billion euros, or $429 billion, in assets under management and would be combined under a new holding company called Pioneer Investments, Unicredit said in a news release.

The deal, if consummated, would be the latest effort by Santander to reshape its asset management operations.

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Deutsche Bank on Thursday agreed to pay a total of $2.5 billion to four regulators in the U.S. and U.K., and install in independent monitor as part of a settlement over claims that traders at German banking giant manipulated key interest rate benchmarks such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and similar rates priced in Euros and Yen.

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Like other businesses today, private equity firms and their portfolio companies increasingly face serious data security threats – for example, from individual hackers, from organized criminal enterprises and even from their own employees or vendors.  We all know from recent press reports that a data security breach can seriously harm the reputation and reduce the value of the affected business.  Unremitting efforts by senior management and boards to combat these threats should be seen in 2015 not only as good business but also – with regulators, courts and the plaintiffs’ bar increasingly bearing down on perceived lapses in data protection – as a legal necessity.

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Alexis TsiprasGreece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses reporters outside the European Council headquarters in Brussels on April 23, 2015. Photographer: Philippe Huguen/AFP via Getty Images

As Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras follows an increasingly perilous financial path, his antagonists are just sitting tight.

Finance ministers from the euro region discuss in Riga on Friday where to go from here as talks on more rescue money for Greece enter a fourth month. Frustrated after fruitless calls on Tsipras to tackle his country’s problems, creditors can only withhold the support that would allow him to shield Greeks from financial reality while keeping the country in the currency…

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Commercial Real Estate Direct Staff Report

The $51.2 million CMBS loan against the 472-room Marriott Washington, D.C., hotel has been transferred to special servicing as its maturity date fast approaches.

The loan, divided into two pieces, is securitized through UBS Commercial Mortgage Trust, 2007-FL1. It is one of two remaining collateral loans and faces a May 15 final maturity.

Its transfer to special servicer CWCapital Asset Management was highlighted by Fitch Ratings in a Daily Special e-mail alert.

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WASHINGTON – Private equity investment volume remained strong in Q1 despite a seasonal slowdown in overall private equity activity, according to the Private Equity Growth Capital Council’s (PEGCC) Trends Report for the first quarter of 2015. Investment volume for Q1 was $116 billion, the second highest level for first quarter reporting since 2009.

“Following a record-breaking fourth quarter in 2014, PE investment deal volume remains strong,” said Steve Judge, President and CEO of the PEGCC. “The industry is poised to continue to act on opportunities to help grow our economy and create jobs through investments in businesses.”

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Ever since Ron Paul first introduced it in 2009, the “Federal Reserve Transparency” Act, calling for the elimination of the Federal Reserve System’s exemption from certain kinds of GAO audits, has been the subject of vigorous debate between proponents of greater government accountability and champions of an independent Federal Reserve.

But that debate has for the most part produced more heat than light, with hyperbole on both sides obscuring rather than shedding light on the debate’s central questions—questions like, “What could the proposed Fed Audits possibly reveal that existing audits and Fed testimony do not?,” and “To what extent would such audits pose a threat to the Fed’s independence?”…

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Private equity companies invested €3.1bn in Dutch companies last year, a seven year record, the Financieele Dagblad says on Wednesday. The figures come from PwC and the Dutch association of private equity firms NVP.

Last year, the total number of deals reached 386, a 16% increase on 2008. This is roughly one deal a day, with a value of €8m, the FD says.

NVP chairman Philip Houben told the paper the increase is a ‘sign of confidence in the Dutch economy’ and expects the upward trend to continue this year, partly because it is cheap to borrow…

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MARCELLA4567.jpg

Mercuria Energy Group is looking to tie up with private-equity firms to buy oil and gas production amid weak crude prices, said Chief Executive Officer Marco Dunand.

[GENEVA] Mercuria Energy Group is looking to tie up with private-equity firms to buy oil and gas production amid weak crude prices, said Chief Executive Officer Marco Dunand.

Mercuria could spend as much as US$1 billion on majority or minority stakes and will study projects in places including the US, Argentina and Nigeria, he said in an interview.

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NEW YORK and LONDON, April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ OpenFin, the leading provider of HTML5 runtime technology for the financial industry, today announced it has raised $3.0 million in additional financing. The round was co-led by Bain Capital Ventures, Pivot Investment Partners and Nyca Partners, with participation from 20 senior financial industry executives including Cris Conde, former CEO of SunGard and Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters. The funds will be used for product development and engineering team expansion in both New York and London.

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New York Life Real Estate Investors has provided $205 million of mortgage financing against 757 Third Ave., a 503,000-square-foot office building in midtown Manhattan that recently was acquired by Multi-Employer Property Trust.

MEPT, a commingled investment fund managed by Bentall Kennedy of Seattle, bought the 27-story building for $360 million, or nearly $716/sf, from RFR Realty in a deal brokered by Eastdil Secured. The property had been previously encumbered by a floating-rate loan that Aareal Capital Corp. had provided two years ago….

New York Life Lends $205Mln Against Manhattan’s 757 Third

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The proliferation of retail health means Americans are visiting retail clinics more than 10 million times a year at 1,800-plus locations, yet this convenient and low cost care model accounts for just a fraction of primary care in the U.S., according to a new report.

Manatt Health, a health care consulting firm, said retail clinics represent about 2% of “all primary care encounters” in the U.S. even with the cost of care at a retail clinic about one-third that of traditional outpatient settings. Manatt’s study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, indicated retail health will fuel the move to value-based health care and a “culture of health,” but there are various hurdles that include lack of government reimbursement…

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Institutional investors have been spreading their wings in recent years, experimenting with new ways to put money to work in private equity (PE) beyond the conventional constraints of being passive partners in PE funds. As we discuss in Bain & Company’s Global Private Equity Report 2015, the emergence of so-called “shadow capital” is generating a lot of buzz in the PE community as industry participants ponder the potentially large part it will play in the evolving relationship between general partners (GPs) and limited partners (LPs) in the future.

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Insider trading and fraud in financial markets can never be fully eradicated, as highlighted only too well by the multi-billion rogue trading cases involving Jérôme Kerviel, who lost French bank Société Générale €4.9bn in 2008, Kweku Adoboli at UBS in 2011 and Barings’ Nick Leeson. Now the name Navinder Singh Sarao joins the list over the US ‘flash crash’.

According to the US authorities in the shape of the US Department of Justice, London-based futures trader Sarao, had a hand in sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) on a 600-point wild plunge on 6 May 2010 in the space of five minutes. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) alleges that Sarao and his firm, Nav Sarao Futures Ltd., manipulated the E-Mini S&P500 futures contract provided by theCME Group

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Eric Schmidt, Google’s billionaire chairman, has purchased a 20% stake in DE Shaw, the big quantitative hedge fund firm founded by billionaire David Shaw.

Schmidt’s family office, Hillspire LLC, scooped up the stake from the estate of Lehman Brothers, which purchased the stake for some $750 million before the investment bank failed in 2008, helping to spark the financial crisis. The Lehman Brothers estate had been trying to sell the stake for a while, but the passive nature of the stake and the maturity of DE Shaw made it a bit of a tough sell. The financial terms of Schmidt’s purchase were not disclosed in the announcement of the deal.

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Plenty of writers have claimed that the Federal Reserve fueled last decade’s subprime boom by holding interest rates too low for too long after the dot-com crash. But hardly anyone has tried to explain why the Fed did so.

Yours truly has taken a stab at it, together with my former student (and now eminent Market Monetarist) David Beckworth and my former University of Georgia colleague (and current Özye?in University faculty member) Berrak Bahadir. Here is our just-published article in theJournal of Policy Modeling.

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The true cost of the debt that China’s real estate developers peddled to eager international investors during a five-year property boom is now becoming clear.

Having found themselves shut out of local bond and loan markets seven years ago, a band of developers began looking elsewhere for funds. First an initial public offering, and then a dollar bond sale. It became a well-trodden path. By 2010, a core group of four — Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd., Fantasia Holdings Group Co., Renhe Commercial Holdings Co., Glorious Property Holdings Ltd. — raised a total of $5.6 billion. On Monday, Kaisa buckled under $10.5 billion of debt and defaulted.

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While administrators announce substantial new year job cuts, City Link’s owner Better Capital tells stakeholders it expects to recoup 50% of investments

 City Link van
City Link van at a depot in south London. Administrators at Ernst & Young said they briefed staff of substantial job cuts taking place on 31 December. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
The private equity firm behind City Link expects to recover £20m from the collapsed parcel carrier as it was confirmed thousands of employees would lose their job on New Year’s Eve.Although no redundancies were announced formally on Monday, administrators at Ernst & Young (EY) said they had briefed staff at City Link’s depots around the country that a “substantial” round of cuts would take place on 31 December. The company, which employs 2,727 staff as well as 1,000 self-employed drivers and agency workers, has stopped taking parcels but has opened its warehouses in order to allow customers to retrieve their parcels…

City Link private equity firm hopes to recover £20m despite job losses

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In my previous article, I took the chance and reflected upon what I learned, and how my thoughts have changed since I wrote the twoIBM (IBM) articles during 2014. I wrote the following provocative statement towards the end of the article: “I’m not sure how many investors would have bought IBM if Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)(BRK.B) had not been a shareholder.” The reason why I made this statement was hinted in my conclusion sentence of the article: IBM’s business is too complicated and there are a good amount of disconfirming evidences.

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Electricians carry a cover with the logo of ThyssenKrupp AG at the company's headquarters in the western German city of Essen November 19, 2014. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

(Reuters) – ThyssenKrupp (TKAG.DE) is in advanced talks to sell its loss-making alloys business VDM to private equity firm Lindsay Goldberg Vogel, two sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The sources were confirming a report by German business daily Handelsblatt, which said the price for VDM, which ThyssenKrupp had to buy back from Finland’s Outokumpu (OUT1V.HE) last year, was about 500 million euros ($530 million).

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(Pastiwala. com has raised…)

AHMEDABAD: Waste paper collection and recycling startupPastiwala. com has raised $4 million (Rs 24.8 crore) fromAgnus Capital, a private equity fund of Strides Arcolab’s promoter Arun Kumar.

A top executive at Vadodarabased Sort India Enviro Solutions, which owns Pastiwala-.com, said the startup plans to raise another $20-25 million by the next quarter. “The first round of funds will be used to establish presence across Gujarat to set-up fully automatic material recycling facilities,” said Aashutosh Magdum, co-founder of Sort India Enviro Solutions. “Next fund raising will be of $20-$25 million by next quarter.”…

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Weetabix Ltd.

Packets of Weetabix breakfast cereal, produced by Weetabix Ltd., sit on a shelf inside a supermarket in Slough, U.K. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Packets of Weetabix breakfast cereal, produced by Weetabix Ltd., sit on a shelf inside a supermarket in Slough, U.K. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Baring Private Equity Asia is nearing an agreement to buy about 40 percent of Weetabix Ltd., the cereal brand controlled by China’s Bright Food Group Co., people with knowledge of the matter said.

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ValleyIn today’s San Francisco, the act of commuting is really a statement about your station in the hierarchy of America’s Smuggest Techiest City.

For instance, most San Franciscans spend their mornings trudging to dirty street corners where they are picked up by spartan, overcrowded, public buses and then sit in snarling traffic, watching the clock turn as they get increasingly late to work.

But those people are plebes.

For the technoscenti that make the commute from their hip pads in the city to the campuses of Silicon Valley however, there is a superior option. WiFi-enabled mini-buses that often seat less than 20 and get the people that are “making the world a better place” to work in relative comfort…

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The next time Jesse Cohn makes a buyout offer for a technology company, it won’t be dismissed as a bluff.

Cohn, who runs U.S. activist investments at hedge fund Elliott Management, is infamous throughout technology board rooms for offering to acquire a company to force an auction — a tactic that has proved lucrative. Now, he’s starting an Elliott Management private-equity strategy that will give those offers an added heft, people with knowledge of the matter said.

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The family home of Navinder Singh Sarao, on a suburban street outside London.Simon Dawson/Bloomberg News

The vehicle used by the U.K. trader now blamed for helping cause the 2010 ‘flash crash’ entered into a security agreement with an arm of Credit Suisse Group A.G CS -0.08%. two days before the crash.

Nav Sarao Futures Limited filed a document to the U.K. financial register, Companies House, on May 4 2010, that pledged the company’s credit balances, securities, metals and any property to Credit Suisse (UK) Limited, in return for liabilities.

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International Monetary Fund offices in Washington DC IMF offices in Washington DC. The fund said: ‘The growth of shadow banking size and activities in China stands out and warrants particular monitoring.’ Photograph: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

Fund report says tightening of bank regulations may be driving shift to lending by hedge funds and private equity

Growth in the world’s $70tn (£43tn) shadow banking system is a risk to financial stability and monitoring of the sector is inadequate, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

The Washington-based fund said in its twice-yearly global financial stability report that lending outside the regulated banks was increasing in the post-crisis world, partly because of greater banking regulation.

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Land and Buildings, the activist hedge fund run by former Citigroup C +1.18% real estate investment trust (REIT) stock analyst Jonathan Litt claimed a major victory on Wednesday in Associated Estates Realty AEC +16.38% Corporation’s $2.5 billion sale to industry giant Brookfield Asset Management . Since Litt emerged as a challenger to Associated Estates in mid-2014, calling for the company’s sale, shares have gained over 65%.

Initially, Land and Buildings asked Associated Estates to be sold given what it characterized as a large and persistent discount to its net asset value on public stock markets. The small size of Associated Estates and its large public company costs were creating inefficiencies and cutting into earnings, Land and Buildings argued. After its recommendations were initially rebuffed by Associated Estates, the fund launched a proxy campaign to have directors nominated to the company’s board…

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To hear CEO Bruce Van Saun tell it, Citizens Financial is a bit like a duck on the surface of a lake these days: calm above the water line, furiously paddling to make progress below.

The Providence, Rhode Island-based bank reported first-quarter earnings Wednesday that were up 26% from a year ago and narrowly better than analyst expectations, but the real payoff from the bank’s makeover will come once interest rates start rising.

“Under the surface, we’re growing portfolios that should boost asset yields,” Van Saun tells Forbes, pointing to an emphasis on mortgages over home equity lines of credit, an expansion into prime auto loans rather than just super-prime and targeting commercial real estate and leveraged loan opportunities…

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As Blackstone’s top executives fan out across the globe, pitching their services at elite gatherings of investors, they invariably tell the crowd: Hope you guys like this hotel, because we own it.

When it comes to real estate, Blackstone owns a lot more as well. Theprivate equity firm, while better known for its huge buyouts in the deal boom before the financial crisis, is the largest private sector landlord in the United States. And that was the case even before General Electricannounced on Friday that it would sell a $14 billion chunk of its real estate assets to Blackstone’s fast-growing property division as part of the conglomerate’s retreat from finance.

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Public pension funds in New York and New Jersey are indirect owners of ACE Cash Express, the nation’s second-largest payday lender. It’s not illegal, but it sure borders on hypocritical.

Going back to colonial days, it has been illegal for payday lenders to operate in the state of New York. Same goes for neighboring New Jersey.

But public pension funds in both states are indirect owners of ACE Cash Express Inc., the nation’s second-largest payday lender. It’s not an illegal arrangement, but it sure borders on hypocritical…

Public pensions own payday lender that is illegal in their own states

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Drew Angerer for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — This city’s venerable Union Station, which opened with much fanfare in 1908, was never about the federal union but about the union of two railroads whose separate terminals had formerly occupied valuable space blocks apart, even encroaching on the National Mall.

But, over time, the monumental Beaux-Arts building and its rail yards that united railroads divided the city it served, its 20 north-south tracks bisecting neighborhoods rather than linking them. Now, under an ambitious plan, the air rights over the tracks are to be developed with three million square feet encompassing 1.5 million square feet of office space, 1,300 residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail space, more than 500 hotel rooms, and parks and plazas…

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It’s a maxim that industry professionals have been adhering to for some time, but a new Walk Score Commercial Property Price Indices (CPPI) released by research firm Real Capital Analytics (RCA) proves it: commercial properties in what are considered to be “walkable” locations, in both city cores and suburban markets, get premium pricing from tenants and real estate investors.

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Insurance companies just get can’t enough for their money these days. Interest rates are at all-time lows and even the United States stock markets haven’t mustered much steam.

Flush with trillions of dollars, these once staid institutions are taking on bigger, flashier and riskier investments. Consider the latest billion-dollar deal: Among the players behind the 1.5 billion Canadian dollar acquisition of Cirque du Soleil on Monday was Fosun International, the Chinese insurer.

The industry is poised to take on more risk this year, shifting investments into private equity firms, real estate deals and hedge funds, according to a survey of the industry by Goldman Sachs

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In the red hot market for pharmaceutical deal-making it’s either eat or be eaten. That’s the case with Teva Pharmaceutical’s $82 a share cash and stock bid for generic competitor Mylan MYL +8.91%, a direct challenge to Mylan’s near $30 billion takeover bid for Perrigo , unveiled on April 8.

The question now is whether Mylan’s board of directors and its stockholders will cast their lot with Teva Pharmaceuticals, a company that’s seen its stock dramatically underperform the S&P 500 Index over the past five years, or whether they will continue to support a management team led by CEO Heather Bresch that’s driven a near 250% share price increase since the beginning of 2012, outperforming the S&P’s 66% return…

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The continued expansion of financial assets looks to be an enduring feature of the investment environment, which private equity (PE) firms will need to reckon with for a long time to come. However, the very forces that rescued the boom-year investments—record low interest rates and plentiful capital—are magnifying two issues that are making it more challenging for general partners (GPs) to profit from investments they make today. First, asset prices are and will remain high as investors of all types wield record amounts of capital and are willing to bid up acquisition multiples to acquire assets. Plentiful low-cost debt merely adds upward pressure on prices and ensures they will stay high.

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In a new book, Henry M. Paulson Jr., the former chief executive of Goldman Sachs and the Treasury secretary under President George W. Bush, offers advice on China.

About 340 pages into Henry M. Paulson’s new book on China, a sentence comes almost out of nowhere that stops readers in their tracks.

“Frankly, it’s not a question of if, but when, China’s financial system,” he writes, “will face a reckoning and have to contend with a wave of credit losses and debt restructurings.”

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Greek lenders have increasingly had to turn to the country’s central bank for emergency loans.CreditAlexandros Vlachos/European Pressphoto Agency

As Greece scrambles to secure a financing deal with Europe before running out of cash, the European Central Bank is tightening the vise on the country’s ailing banks by curtailing access to desperately needed emergency loans.

The European Central Bank is now demanding that the value of the collateral that Greek banks post at their own central bank to secure these loans be reduced by as much as 50 percent, according to people who have been briefed on these discussions but who were not authorized to discuss them publicly.

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Paul Germain

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Paul Germain

A fast-growing asset management firm has landed three big hires from large banks in recent weeks.

Paul Germain, the global head of prime brokerage at Credit Suisse, Tomer Seifan, the head of institutional solutions in the New York office of BNP Paribas, and Guillaume Auvray, an executive specialized in systematic trading and derivatives at Morgan Stanley, are set to join New York-based Stone Ridge Asset Management, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The men’s new roles were unclear, but the hires appear to be a coup for Stone Ridge, a New York-based manager of unusual mutual fund strategies for more than 100 institutional investors…

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Jon Corzine testifies at a Capitol Hill hearing on Dec. 15, 2011.

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Jon Corzine testifies at a Capitol Hill hearing on Dec. 15, 2011.

Jon Corzine, the former chief executive of bankrupt financial services firm MF Global, is considering starting his own hedge fund, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday on its online edition, citing people familiar with the matter.

The report said the fund would start with cash from Corzine’s personal funds and some outside investors. According to one source, Corzine said he had been speaking with about a half-dozen potential investors, and expected around $150 million in assets under management.

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Federal transportation aid programs often create perverse incentives for states and metropolitan areas. The worst incentives are created by discretionary funds that encourage state and local governments to adopt wasteful programs in order to get the largest possible share of those funds.

For example, instead of encouraging cities and transit agencies to spend funds efficiently, the New Starts capital grants program encourages them to build the most expensive projects. By building a wildly expensive rail transit system, for example, Salt Lake City has collected $2.17 in federal funds per transit rider over the last 22 years. In comparison, by focusing exclusively on buses, Milwaukee has collected only 26 cents per transit rider…

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The enticing if volatile biotechs continue to intrigue investors. Some of the stocks in the fast-growing sector are more alluring than many others, but make no mistake: Biotechs should not be ignored!

“Biotech stocks are still in favor with investors for all the right reasons: constant M&A, solid clinical data, regulatory reviews, upcoming scientific conferences, selective stock picking, and technical support,” says veteran biotech analyst John McCamant, who is also editor of the Medical Technology Stock Letter, in Berkeley, California…

Two Stocks Stand Out In Red-Hot But Volatile Biotech Sector

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China has been having a rough go of it lately.

The country’s economy has stopped growing at the crazy potent rate that it once did, and the new man in charge has been cracking down on fun stuff like the internet. All in all, it’s starting to feel like there about 1.3 billion folks that could use a fun night out.

Well, TPG Capital ain’t the kind of firm to just sit on its hands and miss out on the opportunity to entertain a nation.

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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

There are now more hedge funds than ever.

Investors have the choice of an estimated 10,149 hedge funds and funds of hedge funds as of March 31, according to new data from industry research firm HFR. That surpasses the previous high of 10,096 set in 2007 before the financial crisis. About 1,040 new funds launched in 2014, a net addition of 176 compared with ones that closed.

Total industry assets are $2.94 trillion, another all-time high, despite relatively muted single-digit returns from most hedge funds last year.

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Like other businesses today, private equity firms and their portfolio companies increasingly face serious data security threats – for example, from individual hackers, from organized criminal enterprises and even from their own employees or vendors.  We all know from recent press reports that a data security breach can seriously harm the reputation and reduce the value of the affected business.  Unremitting efforts by senior management and boards to combat these threats should be seen in 2015 not only as good business but also – with regulators, courts and the plaintiffs’ bar increasingly bearing down on perceived lapses in data protection – as a legal necessity.

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Country risk is the risk that cross-border cash flows will not be realized because of disequilibrium between the domestic platform and that of another country. Given this potential concern, one may require higher returns from an investment as an offsetting factor. Factors that influence country risk can be partitioned a number of ways. We use a simple, two-factor approach:

Political risk. Political risk is concerned with government structure, policy, leadership and stability, conflicts, tensions and war, politican parties and bureaucracy. A measurement of political risk would attempt to capture the degree of movement along the continuum of political freedoms that lead to stable environments over time. Much of the research to date has tended to use qualitative factors in such measurement…

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If you have been searching for a traditional real estate loan for your current purchase or refinancing needs, you may understandably be feeling stressed and frustrated. The unfortunate reality is that most commercial lenders want all of their loans to fit into a neat box and to conform to specific and often stringent parameters and requirements. While some loan requests do indeed fit neatly into their lending parameters, other loan requests do not. There may be one or several factors that are causing traditional commercial lenders to pass over your loan request. The good news is that private hard money commercial lenders may be able to help you, and you can find commercial hard money loans with ease to obtain the financing you need.

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SAN FRANCISCO — With investing opportunities on its mind, New Enterprise Associates has raised the biggest venture capital fund in the industry — and added a little extra on top.

The firm plans to announce on Wednesday that it has closed its 15th investment fund at $2.8 billion, slightly larger than its last several funds. Moreover, it has raised an additional $350 million for what it is calling its NEA 15 Opportunity Fund, a separate pocket of capital intended to funnel more money into select investments.

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