Aureos move leads to City exodus fears

FEARS over the City’s pulling power were stoked yesterday when private equity operator Aureos Capital said it would open a base in Singapore.

Aureos, which runs $1.2bn (£779m) in assets, will offer senior management a move to its Asian office. The firm is following in the footsteps of hedge funds Brevan Howard and BlueCrest Capital, both of whom are opening overseas bureaux as the UK government prepares to ratchet up the highest rate of tax to 50 per cent.

Aureos chief executive Sivendran Vettivetpillai said the firm would plough $1bn into Asia over the next two to three years.

“With all the regulations and tariffs that are coming in the UK, it certainly makes sense to move senior people and thin down the London operation simply because the cost factor is getting out of hand,” he added.

Last night, industry figures warned the impact of tighter regulation from Brussels in the form of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive would further damage the City’s competitiveness.

Simon Walker of the British Venture Capital Association said: “People are rightly very nervous about it as it contains fundamentally protectionist measures.“