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Financial directions – Just one third of mergers create value, says

Mergers improve[QQ] Only 30% of mergers and acquisitions create shareholder value, according ?to a KPMG transaction services survey. This is a marked improvement on the ?last survey in 1999, which found that only 17% of deals added value.

In turn, the percentage of deals that destroy value has fallen from 53% to ?31%. The balance had no discernible impact.

UK funds fall in value

The average pension fund is estimated to have fallen in value by 6% in the ?first three months of 2001, according to The WM Company. The continuing ?fall in technology and telecom stocks – down 70% and 50% respectively ?since March last year – has helped pull down UK equities by 8.4% in ?Q1.

Overseas bonds, +2.2%, were the best performing asset class over the ?quarter followed by property, +1.9%.

The WM Company, (0131) 315 2000

People find saving hard

A survey by personal finance website The Motley Fool found that, when ?presented with an Individual Savings Account brochure, a French menu, a ?video recorder manual, a Shakespeare play and a car manual, 26% of people ?said they found the ISA brochure the most difficult to understand. Eight ?out of ten people did not understand the difference between a tax-free ISA ?and an IFA, or Independent Financial Adviser.

Property is safe as houses

UK commercial property was the best performing asset class of 2000, ?generating a return of +10.4%, compared to -5.9% for equities, says Knight ?Frank.

It is expected to once again be the best performer against equities and ?gilts for 2001, and should generate a double digit return for the sixth ?year running.

Staff aren’t loyal

Fewer than half of employees would recommend their organisation as one of ?the best places to work, according to a study by AON. While many companies ?have acknowledged work/life balance issues, the survey has found that a ?third of respondents would leave their job if offered a similar position ?with slightly higher pay.

Banks get thumbs up

Most treasurers feel that banks are providing the services they need to ?support their business, according to a survey at the Association of ?Corporate Treasurers annual conference. Only 15% claim to be using the ?internet for forex or other money market trading though a third are ?considering using multi-bank web portals.

Dotcoms measure up

Dotcom companies are more concerned with measuring business performance ?than are traditional businesses, claims a survey by the Cranfield School ?of Management Centre for Business Performance. Almost 90% of dotcoms ?measure customer loyalty and profitability, compared with 41% of “clicks ?and mortar” companies, and 26% of traditional businesses. But dotcoms are ?warned against having too many measures.

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