In 2012 Terra Firma [the private equity firm of which Guy Hands is founder and chairman] purchased Four Seasons Healthcare, the UK’s largest care home operator. The debate over the future of care for the elderly in Britain is a subject about which I feel passionately. It is not just an economic issue but also an issue as to where the UK wants to go with regard to providing care for some of the most vulnerable people in society. Read more.
Guy Hands’ View
17 July 2015
The increase in life expectancy highlights the need for better elderly care. Even as the debate between domiciliary and residential care continues, it is evident that the existing divide between health and social care needs to be replaced, argues Guy Hands.
The NHS, as always, was a major battleground during the election. But while there were plenty of angry clashes and big promises over funding, almost no attention was given to the crisis in social care.
Yet how our growing elderly population is supported is not just one of the most serious challenges facing the country but at the heart of the NHS’s problems. Read more.
22 June 2015
The announcement that another £500 million is to be saved this year from the UK’s defence budget has raised fresh question marks over whether Britain will meet its pledge to spend two per cent of GDP on defence. It’s an embarrassment for David Cameron because only last year he called on fellow NATO leaders to join Britain in meeting the goal – something only three other countries out of the 29 members were achieving. Read more.
12 June 2015
As George Osborne prepares for next month’s Budget, he will already have told his speechwriters to provide a strong section on supporting entrepreneurship. The Conservatives made strong play throughout the election campaign of the importance of startups for the country’s future. David Cameron went so far as to say it was the willingness of entrepreneurs to take risks which “pumped” him up in his fight to remain in Downing Street. Read more.
13 March 2015
There have been many explanations, including on these pages, for why Saudi Arabia has not cut production to shore up the price of oil. These range from the use of the oil price as a foreign policy weapon – whether to wage economic war against rivals Iran, or to help their US allies bring Russia into line – to the belief that the Saudis are protecting their long-term market position by making the exploitation of shale gas and tar sands unviable. Read more.
2 February 2015
In November 2011, I hosted a dinner for senior German bankers that was dominated by heated debate over the continuing Greek financial crisis. They were adamant that Greece should not again be rescued by Germany and its European partners or the International Monetary Fund. I argued that a further bailout was the only option. Read more.
14 January 2015
2014 will be remembered as a year of unpredictable crises on the world stage fuelling an atmosphere of profound uncertainty in the financial markets.
The global political situation was volatile and contentious. The outbreak of Ebola and the mobilisation of ISIS shocked many, but more surprising was the slow response of Western governments to contain them. Governments in particular failed to understand how ISIS could use social media to attract recruits, raise finance, organise itself and fight a very different war to anything we have seen before. ISIS’ recent capture of a Jordanian pilot is a tragic event and a government’s worst nightmare. In contrast, for fundamentalists capture or death represents martyrdom and glory rather than defeat. The psychological advantage that groups like Isis have is profound and to defeat them moderate Muslim governments and the West will need to be far more ready to accept the human costs of war. Indeed, the threat from Islamic State militants is considered by many to pose the biggest threat to the West since the Soviet Union. Read more.
5 January 2015
It’s that time of the year when, having over-indulged over the holiday period, we promise to do better over the next 12 months. Our political leaders have over-indulged for a good deal longer than just a few days, and we can see the cost in the state of the public finances and falling standards of living for most people. So here are a few New Year’s Resolutions which, if they made it into the party manifestos for the coming election, would leave us all feeling healthier. Read more.
29 December 2014
The following letter is from Guy Hands about our article “Last hurrah”, which appeared in the December 6th issue:
SIR – You questioned whether the interests of a private-equity (PE) house and its investors in a fund it manages can be meaningfully aligned when the PE house will receive no carry at the end of a fund’s life (“Last hurrah”, December 6th). In this scenario, you argued the PE house will focus on management fees rather than on maximising returns for investors. Read more.
9 December 2014
I can imagine ministers’ horror when they read front-page stories earlier this autumn that the UK could suffer blackouts this winter. The speed with which National Grid promised that generating capacity would meet demand, no matter how low temperatures fall, shows how deep are memories of the political damage caused by the three-day week in the 1970s.