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Bloomberg Markets Magazine

Bloomberg Markets Magazine December 2015

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Bloomberg Finance LP
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in this issue

5 min
designer capitalism

Italian fashion magnate Brunello Cucinelli takes time out from meetings with designers of his 2016 winter collection to discuss work—and why people shouldn’t exhaust themselves doing it. It’s a drizzly mid-September morning in Solomeo, the 12th-century hamlet where the 62-year-old CEO has located both his home and the global headquarters of his namesake fashion house. Atop the cypress-forested hill is a medieval castle that Cucinelli has restored for his living quarters and a school. Nearby is a library open to employees featuring Cucinelli’s favorite thinkers, including Kant and Ruskin. Farther down the hill, artisans weave $3,000 cashmere sweaters from the undercoats of rare Hircus goats. He asks the 1,000-member staff to knock off work at 5:30 and not to send business-related e-mails after that to conserve their creative energies. “People need…

2 min
messing with mary jo

WHEN PRESIDENT BARACK Obama picked Mary Jo White to head the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, he pitched the former prosecutor as an enforcer who would be tough on bankers and brokers, warning Wall Street, “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo.” But a group of young activists believe she hasn’t lived up to her billing. “Anybody who cares about effective rules on Wall Street kind of got burned in 2013 with the appointment of Mary Jo White,” says Kurt Walters, above, a 26-year-old with a hipster beard who works for a group called Rootstrikers. Walters’s organization and others with the SEC in their sights, such as Credo Action and Democracy for America, arose from the netroots movement, marrying progressive politics and Internet tools. In place of extensive securities law expertise,…

1 min
how the rich mind their money

When your mind is on your money, the saying goes, your money is on your mind. So it follows that when your mind is too much on your money, you aren’t being productive and enjoying life—which is why savvy rich people often let someone else take care of it for them. Here’s how they decide exactly what kind of help they need. For the well-off , a registered investment adviser is usually the answer. Their ranks have grown as baby boomers have retired and amid concern that the traditional guardians of wealth—banks and brokerages— push homegrown funds in a search for fees. According to research firm Aite Group, assets managed by RIAs increased 15 percent, to $2.7 trillion, from 2013 to 2014. For the ultrarich, a family office will “holistically manage wealth…

3 min
at your service

Family offices that serve more than one clan are in a competitive business, with hundreds of firms hunting one-percenters and their cash. A big part of their pitch is concierge service, and, in this new Gilded Age, that means much more than getting a table at Vaucluse or good tickets to Hamilton. Often, the task is so tough or time-consuming that minders hire specialists such as Kathy Reilly, the Harvard MBA who runs Lifestylist Advisory, or Kimberley Clark, a former Citigroup banker who co-founded Luxe d’Europa. They’ve done all but two things on this list. Which ones didn’t they do? A.E. 1 Tracked down a financier’s assets as he was dying of cancer and losing his memory. 2 Found an agency that handled actors and farm animals for a real-life nativity scene at…

13 min
what are the next steps for new hedge funds?

After a summer that saw extreme volatility in everything from currencies to commodities, the market once again favors those active managers who adopt an absolute-return approach over passive index funds that are less equipped to limit downside risk. In times like these, when money management is at its most challenging, it is no surprise that investors turn to alternative investment vehicles, with the hedge fund industry attracting $18.2 billion in new net capital in the first quarter of 2015—its largest capital inflows in nearly a year. This year has also seen a notable uptick in the number of new hedge funds launched, with 264 new ones joining the fold in Q1 to bring the total number of hedge funds to a record 10,149. The number of launches, however, belies a strong…

1 min
china star

THE LARGE CHINESE city with the best-performing economy isn’t Beijing or Shanghai or even Shenzhen, with its proximity to Hong Kong and status as the country’s first special economic zone. The inland city of Chengdu, population about 14 million, gets the top spot in a ranking from the Milken Institute. Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, known for its pandas and spicy food, is where Intel plans to spend $1.6 billion to upgrade an assembly and testing facility. It’s where Tesla Motors has opened its largest Asian sales center, and where Uber chose to launch a new global product that helps drivers serve commuters as they head into town. Perry Wong, managing director for research at the Milken Institute and co-author of the report, says he was surprised to find Chengdu atop his…