Murder, Probe, Ex-Broker Charged, Fund Management

The trial of five people for the 1982 murder of Roberto Calvi, known as 'God's Banker' for his links to the Vatican, kicked off in Rome last week.

The banker's body was found hanging under Blackfriar's Bridge in London. Lead prosecutor, Luca Tescaroli, said 'a dark and unsettling chapter of Italian and British history will be revealed during the trial...It was a big mistake to say that he committed suicide. We found evidence that proves that Calvi was murdered'.

Refco Inc. affiliates and Thomas H. Lee Partners, the firm's largest shareholder, are subject to a probe in France, which is looking into whether the firm filed misleading information prior to its IPO earlier this year.

US federal prosecutors have charged David Pajcin, a former securities broker, for allegedly obtaining advance copies of Business Week magazine and using information contained therein to invest in 10 companies which the publication covered favorably. Pajcin is said to have obtained the early copies from a worker in the printing shop responsible for the publication of the magazine. He is said to have made $90,000 from the trades.

Finally, Gavin Ralston, the European head over at UK fund manager Schroders, has said that he believes that more banks and insurers are likely to spin off their fund management units. Ralston also said that 'there are more asset management businesses up for sale today than I can remember for a long time'.

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