New Star Asset Management will this week unveil plans to return up to £350m to shareholders in a move which would see its chairman John Duffield pocket £70m, says the Daily Telegraph .
The investment group will announce the return of cash on Friday, alongside what analysts are predicting to be a strong set of full-year results.
Pre-tax profits are estimated to come in at around £68m, compared with last year's £44m.
In its trading update at the end of January, New Star described market conditions in the second half of 2006 as buoyant and said its assets under management rose to £21.1bn, up 25% in 2006.
Because of strong cashflow, it was considering returning capital to shareholders during 2007 "in an amount of not less than £300m, equivalent to at least 100p per existing New Star share".
It is understood the company is keen to take a significant amount of debt on to its books and analysts believe it could return up to £350m – 17% more than New Star indicated previously, says the paper.
CITIGROUP IS reported to be considering taking the axe to about 15,000 staff – equivalent to 5% of its worldwide workforce of more than 325,000 and which would cost it $1bn (£509m), reports the Times.
The job-cutting drive is being spearheaded by Robert Druskin, Citigroup's chief operating officer, who is due to deliver a set of recommendations internally by the end of the week.
Citigroup is expected to publish a final decision on jobs before 16 April, when it reports its first quarter results.
It is under pressure to reduce its spiralling costs, which are currently growing at a faster rate than revenues.
ROYAL BANK of Scotland yesterday denied weekend reports one of its directors, Sir Stephen Lamport, was about to leave the bank to oversee a future coronation of the Prince of Wales, says the Scotsman.
Lamport was private secretary to Prince Charles until he resigned in 2002, later becoming group director for public policy and government affairs at RBS, responsible for overseeing dialogue with policy makers.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that Lamport was leaving the bank, but an RBS spokesman yesterday said Lamport had negotiated a reduction of commitments to the bank and said he knew of no plans for him to leave altogether to return to his former employer.
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