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Active investors: rise of the machines

The automation revolution was supposed to come for Lincolnshire fruit pickers, not Mayfair stock pickers. Yet this week saw further evidence of the accelerating shake-out in the active fund management sector, driven by the march of the machines.  Merian Global...

Power to the People?

People - not regulators - are best placed to clean up the web The internet’s great promise was to free information and control from institutions, and put it into the hands of people. It was originally driven by what economist Shane...

It’s my way, or the Huawei

Last week the British government granted Chinese tech giant, Huawei, a licence to supply the country with 5G network technology. This, despite national security concerns and furious lobbying by the US, for whom Huawei has become a pawn in President...

Ear Today, gone tomorrow?

The Times' decision this week to launch a new radio station targeting “disenfranchised” BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live listeners was news to make BBC bosses’ ears bleed, already roiled by job cuts and falling listener numbers. The explosion of political news in...

Show me the purpose

For the world’s business elite the place to be this week was the World Economic Forum in Davos on its 50th anniversary.   Setting out the agenda, founder Klaus Schwab said the mountain top get-together would be based on the premise that the...

BlackRock’s Green New Deal

In This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein outlines a vision for saving the planet in which investors have no role to play. Capitalism, the argument goes, is at odds with the climate. Yet, with the rise of ESG investing, is there now a...

Royal Hunt by The Sun

Queen Elizabeth II’s success as Britain’s longest-reigning monarch may be attributable to the communications advice she inherited from her mother: ‘Never complain, never explain.’ Central to the crown’s longevity has been knowing how much daylight to let in on the magic of...

Head or heart

The constituency of Esher and Walton has returned a Conservative MP to Parliament for 100 years, yet Dominic Raab is currently polling just 5 points ahead of Liberal Democrat Monica Harding in a race which illustrates the changing nature of...

Blistering Billionaires

Billionaire magnate Michael Bloomberg’s decision to run for the US Presidency put the societal value of the super-rich back in the debate this week. Bloomberg is worth an estimated $55 billion and is standing as a Democrat where his fortune...

Revolution 2.0

Good governance in Britain famously relies on its ‘dignified’ monarchy and ‘efficient’ executive. This week both branches of Victorian writer Walter Bagehot’s dictum are in a state of toxic shock. Prince Andrew, reputedly the Queen’s favourite son, was humiliated on...

Pinky and Perky

Succession planners in the corporate world should this week behold and praise the manner of the handover of the reins of the Financial Times editorship. Lionel Barber stepped down and in his place Roula Khalaf will be taking over in January....

Peak Saudi

Saudi Arabia’s decision to list Aramco, it’s state-owned oil company, on the Riyadh stock exchange rather than in New York or London, is being positioned as a statement of national pride this week. In reality, it’s an indication of the...

Dorsey’s Tweetment

‘Expect the unexpected. And whenever possible, be the unexpected’, exhorted Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, to a class of Stanford students back in 2011.  This week he embraced the mantra with a surprise announcement that his platform would no longer run...

Founders syndrome

The 21st century has been littered with the skeletons of massive financial failures and the saga of WeWork reminds us once again that there are sobering lessons still to be learnt. Credit must go to the public investors who refused...

An Inconvenient Truth

In John Locke’s social contract theory, the right of revolution is one of the most fundamental political rights. When the body politic believes that the government of the day is no longer acting in their interest, they have the legitimate...

You can’t be Sirius

Scandalised at the “false, malicious and dangerous” gossip percolating in Britain’s 17th century coffee houses by tradesmen “misspending their time”, King Charles II issued a decree to shut them down. The king worried that mercantile upstarts would defame his Government and disturb the...