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Gresham House, a specialist asset manager partially backed by a UK local government pension scheme, is buying a “new energy” infrastructure manager.The AIM-listed firm has agreed to buy Hazel Capital for its real assets division. The deal is expected to complete later this year.Gresham House said it had agreed to provide growth capital through a secured £4.6m (€5.4m) loan to Hazel Capital.Hazel Capital, founded in 2007 by Ben Guest, advises around £100m of assets primarily through venture capital trusts (VCTs) and enterprise investment schemes (EISs). The firm has developed or acquired around 300 megawatts of capacity in the UK solar market across 28 projects.Tony Dalwood, chief executive of Gresham House, said: “We see a substantial growth opportunity in renewables and new energy infrastructure-related assets. Hazel Capital’s success in generating market-leading returns through its VCT and EIS platform within the growth areas of infrastructure related asset management, fits well with our strategy to develop our range of alternative and illiquid investment solutions for long-term investors.”The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund recently announced it was acquiring a 20% stake in Gresham House, backing a new alternative investment platform aimed at UK public pension funds. Pacific Asset Management joins forces with emerging markets managerPacific Asset Management is moving into the institutional and wholesale markets by becoming a partner in North of South Capital, a boutique emerging markets equities manager.By taking a stake in North of South, Pacific Asset Management was “expanding beyond that business towards the institutional and wholesale markets”, the statement added.North of South Capital was founded in 2004 and based in London. Pacific Asset Management has helped establish several notable UK asset management companies, including Liontrust, River & Mercantile, and Thames River Capital – now part of BMO Global Asset Management after a series of mergers and acquisitions.Campaign group rejects trade body cost disclosure proposal The UK regulator should not adopt any cost disclosure code proposed by the country’s asset management trade body, the Transparency Task Force (TTF) has said.In an official response to the industry body’s proposal that echoes previous comments expressed by its founder, the TTF said that, as a trade body, the Investment Association (IA) was “fundamentally conflicted” and should not be producing regulation. It rejected the idea of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) officially adopting the code. Instead, it should be the regulator that “leads the development of a regulatory framework that mandates for comprehensive cost disclosure, with full industry consultation”.The FCA has said it would not be bound by industry proposals.The campaign group said the IA’s proposed code “falls short of the mark” in several ways. For example, it argued that the code was not sufficiently comprehensive, was voluntary, and used terms to describe costs that did not have legally-binding definitions. The TTF also argued that the IA’s Independent Advisory Board – which fed into the establishment of the disclosure code – failed to perform adequately. The TTF’s founder Andy Agathangelou is a member of the advisory board, which is chaired by Mark Fawcett, chief investment officer at NEST. Earlier this week, the UK’s local government pension scheme announced the launch of a cost transparency code for asset managers that was based on the templates introduced by the IA. read more
Commuters, beware: taxi drivers plan to stage another demonstration against ride-hailing service Uber. Their procession will begin at La Sabana Park and end at the Supreme Court.Taxi drivers are demanding that the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, issue a ruling on a suit presented in 2015 regarding the legality of Uber‘s operations in Costa Rica.Uber launched operations here in August 2015 but Traffic Police soon began fining drivers and confiscating their vehicles, maintaining that the service is illegal.Libertarian lawmakers Otto Guevara and Natalia Díaz filed a complaint before the Sala IV in October 2015, arguing that the articles of the Commerce Code and the Public Transport Law that impede the legal operation of Uber are in fact unconstitutional.The Sala IV admitted the Libertarians’ complaint and ordered the Traffic Police to suspend all sanctions against Uber drivers pending a ruling.Gilbert Ureña, the leader of the National Forum of Taxi Drivers, said this week in a statement that the primary goal of today’s demonstration is to urge the justices to issue a ruling soon. The group also called on President Luis Guillermo Solís to ask the Sala IV move forward with the ruling.Taxi drivers want a ruling as soon as possible because they believe that Uber operations will damage their earnings in December, their busiest season, Ureña said.Drivers promise peaceful marchTaxi association leaders met with Public Security Ministry officials on Tuesday and promised that they “will defend their rights in peace, respect and in accordance with the law.”Security Vice Minister Juan José Andrade said in a statement that police will not allow taxis to block public roads or obstruct citizens’ rights to free transit.The ministry confirmed that the demonstration will start at 9 a.m. and that taxis will make a stop in front of the Finance Ministry in downtown San José, across from the National Theater. There, they will ask ministry officials to open an investigaton of Uber’s tax obligations.Taxi drivers have staged several public demonstrations against Uber since last year. Most of them included widespread blockades of streets, major highways, ports and airports.There were also incidents of taxistas damaging vehicles and attacking citizens who tried to avoid the blockades. Various groups of taxi drivers have clashed with National Police officers.The latest taxi drivers’ demonstration took place on August 9. Clashes with the police resulted in 78 drivers arrested and 20 vehicles seized. Facebook Comments Related posts:Uber Costa Rica drops fares 20 percent and some drivers aren’t happy Taxi protest against Uber snarls traffic across Costa Rica Costa Rica’s regulatory agency will not block Uber Taxi drivers to stage nationwide protest against Uber on Tuesday read more