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Do HFs Have Penchant For Pensions?

This may be an offer that hedge funds can't refuse.

This may be an offer that hedge funds can't refuse. The U.K.'s Pensions Regulator is discussing whether to allow asset managers, including hedge funds, to run entire pension plans for British companies with financial problems as a way of boosting retirement income at a lower cost, the Financial Times reports. Considering all the criticism and suspicion aimed at hedge funds across the pond by, for example, the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority, it seems like an odd recommendation for hedge funds, which traditionally are tapped to manage a mandate but never the whole kit and caboodle. Of course, it's just a suggestion, for now, and prospective managers would have to meet certain criteria, one of which flies in the face of the hedge fund norm: to be prudent (read: no risk) and to manage conservatively. Currently, insurers handle most pension plans, but consumer groups have complained of the high fees that they charge for lackluster returns. On the other hand, consumers appear leery about such a move. A recent consumer survey found that only 11% of respondents would trust the financial services industry to handle their retirement money, while 40% would prefer an independent company and 20% are confident in the government would do best by them.

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