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Institutional Investment and Private Equity in the UK

Colin Mayer


A recent report by Paul Myners for the UK Treasury has provided a wealth of information on the structure and operation of the pension fund industry in the UK. The report points to serious deficiencies in the governance of pension funds. These concerns are of considerable significance in their own right. But a fundamental focus of the Review is on their impact on the provision of private equity in the UK. This paper summarizes evidence from the Review and evaluates its proposed remedies. It concludes that to the extent that there is a private equity failure in the UK, it has less to do with the governance of institutions than with diversity and innovation in institutional design. The paper argues that financial regulation bears critically on the extent of institutional innovation and that US regulation has allowed its financial sector to respond more readily to the needs of high technology sectors than the UK's.

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