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Hedge Funds: Wall of money drives events in Europe

Neil Wilson, editorial director at HedgeFund Intelligence, argues that there is little substance to the conspiracy theories that dog private equity.

In association with Hedge Fund Intelligence

In an age when venerable names such as Sears have been taken over by hedge fund managers such as Eddie Lampert, the investing public in the US has pretty much got used to the idea that hedge funds have arrived as a big factor in the life of corporate America.

But this is still not yet the case in Europe, where the battle over the future of Dutch banking group ABN Amro has been making such big front-page news in the Financial Times and other journals.

In Europe, and especially in such markets as Germany, there is still a sense of shock and disbelief that big local companies appear to be suddenly at the mercy of a hitherto mysterious community of hedge funds. There is undoubtedly an element of truth in such perceptions.

Private equity

The reality is, of course, more complex. Hedge funds, now armed with more assets and a more assertive approach, are playing an influential role as catalysts driving change in corporate Europe.

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