Charlie Pretzlik

October 27: Huge news day today, led by Hermes’s decision to name the chief investment officer of Calpers as its next chief executive.

Mark Anson will take over from Tony Watson, who retires at the end of January. Anson is a giant of US fund management and was at the forefront of Calpers’ very aggressive activist strategy. Calpers has some $190bn under management, making Anson a very big fish indeed.

This looks like bad news for Nick Mustoe, who was the obvious internal candidate. There must be questions over whether he stays or what it will cost Hermes to keep him. More important, it will be very interesting to find out more about why Hermes chose Anson (the first foreigner to run a major UK pension fund?) and, above all, what he will do with it.

Royal Dutch Shell has produced some strong results despite the hurricanes. At first glance, it looks like they have generated the largest quarterly profit ever for an oil company. More on their figures here later, on now and in Lex at lunchtime.

GlaxoSmithKline says it is offering free licences to partners able to manufacture its flu drug Relenza, one of two medicines recommended by health experts for use in the event of a bird flu pandemic. This, with its forecast-beating Q3 earnings figures. No news on who will succeed JP Garnier, the chief executive, however.

Good figures also from AstraZeneca: a 49 per cent jump in Q3 earnings. More on both Glaxo and Astra in Lex at lunchtime.

Reuters continues to recover, its Q3 figures would suggest. The guidance for future performance was not quite what many had hoped for, so the shares are off a bit.

At Boots, trading profit before tax fell almost 10 per cent in the first half of the year as the retailer felt the strain of increasing investment in its core health and beauty business. The retailer says its merger with Alliance Unichem could take a year to complete.

Otherwise, bad news on Eurotunnel’s debt restructuring and bad news also for pub and club stocks after the government’s decision to pursue a partial smoking ban. More on all these fun and games after lunch.

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