“We manage some of the best performing unit trusts in the UK, where ordinary people put in £50 a month in regular savings. We are accessible to all, but we weren’t deemed good enough by the book runners for Royal Mail shares, despite asking for over £50m in the flotation.” The book runners, led by Goldman Sachs and UBS, ran the process of marketing the shares to institutional investors.
“Looking at the allocations going to hedge funds and overseas sovereign wealth funds, we have given away a valuable UK asset to the wrong people.”
He added that people were now taking more interest in their future savings than ever before, thanks to the decline of final salary pensions, “but the Government’s brokers chose to ignore that”.
“Royal Mail was owned by taxpayers and therefore transferring the shares to UK pension funds and unit trusts owned by UK savers would have made far more sense for the long-term health of the business.
“The flotation was a superb idea to ensure the survival of a business that has been technically insolvent for a decade and lost 50,000 job under the last Labour government. It is now on a sound footing and can be a genuine world leader, but the correct decision to float the business now will be overshadowed by appointing the wrong advisers.”
But sources close to the banks denied that hedge funds and overseas investors received preferential treatment, saying that they had access to all types of investor, both in Britain and abroad, and that final decisions about who should be allocated shares were made by ministers.
A spokesman for Goldman Sachs said: “We have a European equity sales desk that covers Europe including the UK – it is all part of one group, we don’t split the teams country by country.”
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