Partners get big payout
Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, the UK unit of Europe’s largest closely held hedge-fund firm, paid its partners as much as ￡60.4 million (US$99 million) for the year through March, according to a corporate filing. The highest-paid partner, who wasn’t identified, received ￡39.4 million, down from ￡78.9 million a year earlier, according to the filing posted on the UK Companies House Web site on Saturday. The UK unit had 46 designated members in that period, meaning each partner received an average pay of as much as ￡1.31 million. Brevan Howard Capital Management LP, based in St. Helier, Jersey, manages about US$40 billion and charges clients fees for overseeing the assets and for positive investment performance in its hedge funds.
SodaStream loses fizz
SodaStream International Ltd, the Israeli maker of home soda machines, fell last week on speculation poor holiday sales will erode earnings. Shares of Lod-based SodaStream sank 3.8 percent last week to US$48.32, the worst annual debut since the firm’s 2010 initial public offering. The shares touched a nine-month low on Thursday. The Bloomberg Israel-US Index rose 0.3 percent to US$110.2 for a 0.5 percent weekly gain. Ituran Location & Control Ltd, which makes devices for locating stolen vehicles, rose 5 percent in the week to a record. SodaStream has declined 24 percent since Oct. 29, the day before the company reported third-quarter sales that fell short of analysts’ estimates, the first miss on record. Surveys of SodaStream products among US retailers showed modest sales growth from the prior year during the holidays, Longbow Research LLC said.
Goldman Sachs ups UK pay
The average pay for Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s top UK bankers rose 77 percent in 2012, even as it declined at US-based peers amid calls from governments and the public to reduce executive compensation. Goldman Sachs paid an average of US$4.67 million in 2012 to UK employees deemed by regulators as risk-takers, as well as their managers, up from US$2.64 million in 2011, according to figures disclosed by the firm. For similar staff at Citigroup Inc, average pay climbed 9 percent to US$2.38 million. At Bank of America Corp, it fell 2 percent to US$2.36 million, and at JPMorgan Chase & Co, it slid 3 percent to US$3.4 million, totals disclosed separately show. The largest US banks reported their figures for 2012 as recently as last week under European disclosure rules that are part of a regulatory push to alter pay practices blamed for contributing to the 2008 financial crisis.
Benz tops BMW in US sales
Mercedes-Benz withstood a sales surge from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW last month, ending its rival’s two-year reign as the top-selling US luxury vehicle brand, as the breadth of Mercedes’ lineup pushed it to an annual record. Daimler AG’s Mercedes posted a 17 percent gain last month with 33,007 deliveries, led by the new entry-level CLA, and revamped mid-size E-Class and premium S-Class cars. For the year, the brand’s sales rose 14 percent to 312,534, or 3,254 more than BMW. Daimler Chief BMW was unable to close the gap after Mercedes opened a 7,610-vehicle lead through November. BMW reported sales last month of 37,389, a drop of just 10 from a year earlier, as deliveries surged 56 percent for its 3 Series and 4 Series sedans. The automaker’s annual total rose 10 percent to 309,280, topping its record from 2007.