Expert view

The M&A market is coming back to life

By Ian Leaman, September 21, 2010

I recently sat in Amsterdam with colleagues from across Europe discussing the world of mergers & acquisitions. The mood was upbeat. Consensus among this group of senior deal-makers was that confidence levels amongst both buyers and sellers is markedly higher than it has been for the last couple of years.

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New year, new powers

By Elissa Bayer, September 16, 2010

A new year followed by a Day of Atonement is always a good time to reflect on the last 12 months and to contemplate what might be around the corner.

Two years ago at this time was the beginning of what turned out to be the worst financial crisis the world has ever known. The effect of what happened that September has been well documented, and the aftermath has proved to be quite as difficult and traumatic as people expected.

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Chin up, everyone

By Jonathan Morris, August 26, 2010

As the summer draws to an end, we could be forgiven for feeling a slight winter chill as we read of stark warnings from government ministers, trade union calls for a "day of action" to protest public expenditure cuts and fears of a "double-dip" recession.

For those of us who witnessed the economic and political turmoil of the 1970s and 1980s, images of bulging picket lines, rubbish overflowing onto the streets, mass-unemployment and Denis Healey running cap in hand to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) quickly spring to mind.

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Private beats public when it comes to equity

By Ian Leaman, August 12, 2010

Using equity capital raised from the public markets is tried, tested and generally trusted. But private equity (aka venture capital) is less established and certainly less trusted. Yet this huge pool of finance offers private businesses an ideal route to growth.

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Taking pensions later is not the solution

By Ros Altmann, July 28, 2010

The new government has been unveiling its plans for pension reform, saying it wants to "reinvigorate retirement".

It has announced a "triple guarantee" for the Basic State Pension to rise in line with prices, earnings or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest. A better state pension is long overdue but, as people are living longer, the government says it is only affordable if paid from a later age.

So men's pension age will be increased to 66 in 2016, ten years earlier than planned. All men now in their 50s will thus have to wait an extra year for their state pension.

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Is it all doom and gloom out there?

By Michael Ranis, July 22, 2010

It is hardly surprising that there is still a negative attitude towards the global economy at present when recently published statistics do not paint a pretty picture, often falling below analysts' expectations. China is growing at a slower pace (still hovering around 10 per cent, but no longer 13 per cent), and new concerns about an imminent fall in real estate prices worry me.

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Ignore the Indian market at your peril

By Jonathan Morris, July 15, 2010

When the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, lead a large business delegation to India later this month, they will demonstrate the significance our new government attaches to one of its key foreign policy commitments - forging a new "special relationship" with India.

It is very important that they do so, for India represents to UK businesses an exciting economy to target at a time when our more traditional export markets, such as the US and Western Europe, are struggling to pull themselves out of the effects of the financial downturn.

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How to sell your firm

By Ian Leaman, July 8, 2010

I've helped successful entrepreneurs to sell their businesses for over 20 years. Despite the harsh business environment, great businesses are being snapped up. This is because so few good businesses are available. Here are my top 10 tips to achieve a successful business sale.

● Engage a top adviser

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On BP stock, herd instinct is dictating

By Elissa Bayer, July 1, 2010

BP may, fundamentally, be regarded as good value. The company has vast assets. Outside the Gulf of Mexico it is still busy producing oil, contributing to the company's bottom line.

But - and it's a big but – the PR war is still not won. The Chief Executive, Tony Hayward, cannot even go sailing with his son without causing an incident.

BP has become a day trading stock. Who would have thought it?

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I'm looking at car parks for new ideas

By David Pearl, June 17, 2010

After a flurry of activity at the beginning of the year, my sense is that the property industry has quietened down again.

It could be post-election lethargy, the prospect of a long-awaited summer, the World Cup or, maybe, most of the population is too busy queuing up for iPads to do any business. It's probably that the market can't take its finger off the pause button because the banks still aren't lending in any meaningful way.

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