FSA GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO TWITTER HEDGE FUND

GOOD news for Paul and Simon Hawtin, the brains behind the world’s first social media-based hedge fund, after the FSA yesterday gave the venture the green light to open for business.

The approval for the fund, a spin-off of Derwent Capital that will monitor sentiment threads on Twitter to predict swings in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has been a long time coming – the brothers submitted the application to the FSA back in November.

But it has been worth the wait, as the ensuing buzz has rocketed investor interest by an additional £35m over the launch target of £25m, and when the social media fund opens for business, the brothers can start formally inviting those overflow investors.

“Things can happen quickly now,” said Paul Hawtin, co-founder of Derwent Capital, although he was unable to give an exact launch date for the fund – or even to confirm its name – due to legal reasons given by advisers Reed Smith, who were locked in talks with the brothers yesterday afternoon.

However, he was happy to reveal that the 87 per cent accuracy rate predicted by the fund’s academic partners at Indiana University will translate to a 15 to 20 per cent return for investors.

“The Twitter fund provides a consistent, low-volatility return,” he said. “And if there is another economic downturn, it shouldn’t affect our strategy.”

TAKING THE PLUNGE
ORDINARILY, the sight of a senior banker throwing himself off one of Canary Wharf’s tallest buildings would be cause for serious alarm.

But not when the banker in question is Mike Oxby, head of asset finance at Santander Corporate Banking, and the death-defying leap from 20 Cabot Square is a charity feat for London Air Ambulance.

Oxby (pictured, centre, with colleagues Sarah Davies and Arron Dowie), was joined on the 230-ft descent by 150 City workers from firms including HSBC, Citi and Barclays, which jeopardised its payroll by sending Harvinder Bhamer, Michelle Broomfield, Stephen Hutchinson, Katy Stratford and Naomi Tomlinson.

No doubt fellow jumper Simon Lovat, divisional director of United Insurance Brokers, made sure the group’s life insurance policies were all in order before they took the plunge.

ROAD TRIP HAT-TRICK
CHRISTIAN Wynne of Sanlam Private Wealth was so moved by the death of his friend Steven Ellis from cancer at the age of 29 he plans to complete two long-distance runs and a bike race to raise money in his memory.

This weekend, Wynne will take part in the 10k BUPA Great Manchester run, before moving on to Sweden’s Gothenburg Half Marathon and the 300k road bike race in Vatternrundan.

Wynne has already raised more than 60 per cent of his target for The Cancer Vaccine Institute; to help him reach the full £5k, please visit www.justgiving.com/doingitforsteve.