All posts by Tom

Why snap decisions work

BusinessWeek reviews Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of The Unconscious which discusses the science cited behind the bestseller Blink.  The book helps understand how and why intuition works, but perhaps fails to elaborate on associated processes that help it work well – like being well informed.  The social profile in which the scenarios work also offers insight in to the sheep mentality of consumer behaviour.  Importantly it helps the reader come closer to merging their emotional and intellectual intelligences.

Carlyle’s seedy connections …

Carlyle, the large successful private equity firm, has always been a cause for concern because its claim to excellence at its inception a decade ago was the raft of politicians on its board. The New York Post revealed recently that it paid $12.3 million in fees to a company tied to former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s top political consultant. Carlyle, which invests $1.3 billion for the state pension fund, paid the fees to Searle & Co., of Greenwich, Connecticut, from 2003 through 2006, when Hevesi served as comptroller. Apparently the fees were “in connection with Hank Morris’ work as a placement agent related to [state pension-fund] investments”. Searle, is not the medical company which was run by Rumsfeld which “lobbied” for approval of aspartame, but a small financial-service firm headed by Robert Searle, a longtime personal friend of Morris. Morris has been employed by Searle since 2003. Connections and behaviour like this do not depreciate the value of Carlyle, which is expected to launch an IPO soon. Investors prefer conflicted connections to integrity.

Disclosure and transparency in private equity

Here is a link to the consultation report by Sir David Walker on the UK private equity industry: Disclosure and Transparency in Private Equity.  It offers a profile of the current industry and recommends guidelines for improving transparency.  It does not focus on tax treatment, though there are implications for this.

Ethical Corp magazine reviews it here.

The consultation response period ends 9 October.