Conference Reports


Labour and the Locusts:
Private Equity’s Impact on the Economy and the Labour Market


7th British-German Trade Union Forum at Manchester University


Date: 16-17 July 2008


The main purpose of this year’s German–British trade union forum was to address
the emerging challenges posed by new financial actors, such as private equity and
hedge funds. Key topics included the ownership structure, lack of public disclosure
and management strategies adopted to meet the new demands of capital markets.
• Most of the discussion addressed the unique challenges posed by private equity
funds. The ownership structure and legal status of private equity funds bestow
unique financial power, combining tax concessions with no public disclosure.


  • Pivate equity funds are limited companies, meaning they have no legal
    obligation to disclose their balance sheets.
  • The finite life of such funds (10 years) means private equity funds normally aim
    to dispose of the purchased company within a timeframe of 3 to 5 years.
  • Private equity uses a point concept of value: the primary aim is to make the firm
    most profitable just before it is relisted on public equity markets.
    In many ways this strategy prevents long-term investment.


November 2008


  • For an English Executive Summary (84 KB) please click here
  • A German Executive Summary will be available soon  
  • For a free download of the complete report (English version 453 KB) please click here

'creating sustainable growth in europe'
Midpoint policy debates

Summary report

Anglo-German Foundation


This report summarises the speeches, presentations and discussions at the two policy debates held in November and December 2007 in Berlin and London to mark the halfway point of the Foundation’s research initiative on ‘creating sustainable growth in europe’ (see the initiative here). It includes a Foreword by Professor Sir Tony Atkinson, the chairman of the Academic Advisory Board, and provides both an overview of the aims of the initiative and insights into the programme findings so far and their possible implications for policy in the two countries and beyond.


  • For a free download of the complete report (English 834 KB) please click here
  • For a free download of the complete report (German 926 KB) please click here