Goldman, HSBC, Lehman, Morgan Stanley, Hedge Funds

Bloomberg reports that 49-year-old Goldman Vice Chairman Suzanne Nora Johnson has resigned from the firm. Ms Johnson, a 21-year Goldman veteran, is the highest-ranking woman at Goldman, and is the second person from the firm's 23-member management committee to announce a departure in just two weeks. She will leave in mid-January.

And Financial News reports that Goldman looks set to become the first firm since 2000 to advise on more than $1 trillion worth of announced M&A deals.

Reuters reports that HSBC has said that its growth has slowed in the second half of the year, due to a slowdown in the US housing market and a relatively weaker performance at the investment bank. Although the investment banking figures are 'well ahead' of last year, current growth is weaker than the 37% jump in profit seen in the first half. The bank's shares fell to a 5-month low.

The Wall Street Journal reports that CEO Dick Fuld is to be awarded an additional $186m stock award payable over the next 10 years. The shares were previously to be paid over in the event that the firm was taken over. Nice.

Morgan Stanley has now done its fifth hedge fund deal of the year. CNN reports that the firm has acquired almost all of the assets of Brookville Capital Management, which has $221m under management.

Commerzbank has opened-up its fund-of-fund hedge fund product, Comas, to institutional investors for the first time. Reuters says that the fund is targeting returns of between 7 - 10%.

Bloomberg reports that US regulator The Securities and Exchange Commission is planning to establish a database that will help it crackdown on insider trading at hedge funds.

The news agency also says that Morgan Stanley, Goldman and 11 other firms have been accused in a US lawsuit of conspiring to 'rig' the fees they charge to short sellers (mainly hedge funds).

Finally, The Financial Times reports that Aberdeen Asset Management has reported a 70% increase in annual pre-tax profits to $106m, in its first full year since the group acquired Deutsche's UK asset management business.

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