Tag : money

Wealthy women shouldn't marry

Victoria Luckwell the daughter of a UK millionaire

The daughter of one of the UK’s richest men has warned wealthy women against marriage after her “gold-digger” ex-husband was awarded a £1.2 million in a divorce payout.


Victoria Luckwell, 37, whose father Mike set up The Moving Picture Company, and is worth an estimated £135 million or $222 million, said the current legal system in Britain acted as a “disincentive” for the rich to wed, because they had no way of protecting their family’s assets.

Her comments came after her ex-husband, Frankie Limata was handed a £1.2 million payout by a judge, despite having signed numerous prenuptial agreements waiving his right to any of his wife’s money. Miss Luckwell has been told by a judge that she must provide him with £900,000 to buy a home plus £300,000 to pay off his debts, buy a car and furnish his home.

As she left court she said: “Sadly I am left to conclude there is a strong financial disincentive for a wealthy woman to marry if she cannot be   assured of protecting her family’s assets. Simply put, this is a gold-digger’s charter.”

Her 71-year-old father added: “A law which rewards a gold digger after signing three legal agreements merits real criticism.”

The couple, who have three children, met in 2005 and prior to their marriage unemployed Mr Limata signed three agreements promising not to make any claims either during or after the marriage on his wife’s property or gifts provided by her family.

But when they split in 2012 he went to court asking for £2.2 million to keep him in the style to which he had become accustomed.

Today after a lengthy hearing earlier this month Family Division judge Mr. Justice Holman ordered her to provide him with £900,000 to buy a home to live in while their three children, aged between two and eight, are growing   up.

In addition she must also provide him with £300,000 to furnish the property and pay off his debts.

Miss Luckwell currently lives in a £6.7 million home in central London, but is now fearful that she may have to sell it in order to meet the payments to her ex.

After the ruling she said her family were “pleased” that the judge had recognised Mr Limata had contributed no capital to the marriage, with all the finances coming from her family.

She said: “We are all distressed that today Frankie was given a financial award at all, given the unforgivable breaches of his promises.

“This has been a painful public hearing during which Frankie made cruel and wholly unjustified criticisms of my family.

“Important public policy considerations arise from this case. Unless Parliament enacts the recent Law Commission’s proposals on nuptial agreements, the law will remain in a state of uncertainty.

“This results in very costly and public hearings a well as enormous emotional distress and financial uncertainty. My recent experience is exactly what nuptial agreements are designed to eliminate.”

Mr Limata claimed he had been forced to “live like a tramp” with all his possessions in bin bags after the couple split up.

He previously turned down an £850,000 offer to settle the case and the judge criticised the legal costs run up by the couple of more than £657,000.

In reaching his findings the judge said : “They do both need a suitable home in which to live. Victoria has one. Frankie does not.”

He said the couple both had a “high” standard of living, allowing them to take   expensive foreign holidays, eat at top restaurants and drive luxury cars.

Miss Luckwell is considering whether to launch an appeal against the judgment but is this case an anomaly or is there a concerted effort to dissuade people away from the idea of marriage?

The perception that men have greater power in the workplace is why women outpace them when it comes to investment returns, researchers say.

Female money managers consistently outperform their male counterparts, and social scientists say this unbalanced power dynamic is one reason why. But, they add that eventually, as the power balance evens out in the workplace, women may lose some of that edge.

Men’s higher testosterone levels lead them to trade more and take more risks: “Men can become a little immune to some of the signals in this market,” said Meredith Jones, a director at consulting firm Rothstein Kass. “Having more women in risk-tasking positions… can help mitigate some irrational exuberance.”

Jones is the author of a study, released Wednesday, that found since 2007, female-owned or female-managed hedge funds delivered returns more than six percentage points higher than hedge funds overall, and two percentage points higher than the S&P 500.

“Women just tend to think about money management and the markets differently,” said Jones.

Research done by social scientist Deborah Gruenfeld, co-director of the Executive Program for Women Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, suggests that the perception of greater power in the workplace can hurt people’s decision-making ability.

“We found that power led to perceived control over outcomes that were uncontrollable and/or unrelated to the participants’ power,” she wrote in a research paper published in Psychological Science in 2009.

“Members of dominant groups… [are] more likely than others to believe they can control the future,” she wrote. In the hedge fund world, that’s men; Rothstein Kass found that only about 20 percent of hedge funds are run by women.

“Power makes people less loss-averse. They’re less concerned about what a loss would feel like,” said Ena Inesi, assistant professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School. She theorized that people in positions of power are more likely to have the resources to weather a loss, so they might not be as concerned about potential negative outcomes.

The differences between how men and women act as managers is also important according to Crystal Hoyt, an associate professor of leadership studies at University of Richmond.

Female managers are more likely to collaborate, since a hard-charging, authoritarian leadership style is more likely to be perceived as masculine. “There’s a backlash if they’re too masculine,” she said. “They have to know when to listen to others and not assume they know exactly what to do,” Hoyt said. Taking the advice of others could improve their success as investors.

Movements like LeanIn.org, founded by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg works to make it easier for women to get on in corporate America. Ironically, social scientists say a more inclusive corporate culture would reduce the current gap between male and female performance when it comes to investing.

It won’t happen overnight. “I could see it taking longer than a decade,” Jones said. “I think they could potentially get closer but I think it’s very difficult to change behavior and biology.”

As more women rise to leadership roles, bosses of both genders will gravitate towards management styles that work best, which means men and women might solicit the advice and expertise of their colleagues. On the flip side, some female executives confident in their power and not bound by gendered tenets about how women “should” behave might act more like men.

The Bank of England have just issued a statement saying it stands by its decision to get rid of the last woman from British banknotes.

Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, has a Herculean task ahead of him. No I’m not talking about slaying the country’s economic dragons. I refer instead to the battle he faces against a 28-year-old student.

caroline perez

Feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez told me in an interview she intended to turn up at the new Bank of England governor’s office as part of her drive to get the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street to put a woman on our bank notes.

The outgoing Bank boss Sir Mervyn King has announced Sir Winston Churchill will replace social reformer Elizabeth Fry on the face of the new fivers from 2016. So apart from the Queen, there will be no women represented for their contributions to our country’s history.

Ms Criado-Perez has launched a legal challenge under the equality act, but was given the brush-off by the Bank of England a few days ago.

But that hasn’t stopped her in her tracks. “I am definitely going to be turning up at the Bank of England offices along with my petition,” she vows.

That petition has now attracted nearly 27,000 signatures, and Ms Criado-Perez is now weighing up a fresh legal assault on the Bank.

Whether she goes ahead with a full judicial review depends on whether she can build a legal fund to back it.

There’s no doubting Ms Criado-Perez’ passion on the subject though. To those who say she’s obsessing about trivialities she retorts: “It’s very easy to say that small decisions like this don’t matter but actually the culture we live in is made up of little tiny sexist acts which you can just ignore but when you think of them collectively you start to see a pattern.”

Her petition argues that this matters because of a broader sexism in society, where only one in five experts in the media is a woman, and where female directors represent less than 17 per cent of the total.

You can see her point. What justification is there for excluding from our bank notes the likes of Rosalind Franklin – the British biophysicist whose research helped discover the structure of DNA, but unlike her male colleagues her wasn’t recognised for it in her lifetime – Mary Seacole – who set up a battlefield hotel for the wounded during the Crimean War – or Mary Wollstonecraft – the writer, philosopher and women’s rights advocate? Particularly when Sir John Houblon gets his mug plastered all over them. Sir John who? I rest my case.

And yes the Queen’s a woman, but the next monarch won’t be. And she’s not there by virtue of historic achievement, but by an accident of birth.

The men on the banknotes – Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, James Watt – are there because of their contributions to Britain’s past. Many women have, against the odds, reached the pinnacle of success in their own fields too.

I called the Bank requesting an interview on the subject but they declined, pointing me instead to a response to a freedom of information request on the matter.

This makes for interesting reading. It reveals that four candidates were shortlisted for the new fiver – Churchill “together with a female character and two other male characters”. So the woman was already outnumbered three to one.

Whoever was picked also had to surmount a number of other hurdles. They had to have made “a lasting contribution which is universally recognised and has had enduring benefits”, have “broad name recognition”, “the person should not be controversial; and…there should be good artwork upon which the Bank could base its pictorial representation”.

Because of the barriers to public success faced by many women over the centuries, there would be few indeed who would meet all those criteria.

So while Mr Carney wrestles with the economic big picture, Ms Criado-Perez is right to keep banging on about minor details.

Money corrupts, they say, and now there’s a study that shows why people get  so sneaky when it comes to making a profit.


The research, which was published in the journal Organizational Behavior  and Human Decision Processes, revealed that people doubled the number of  lies they told in order to earn extra cash if they were first prompted to think  about money. The study involved more than 300 business students who participated  in several experiments, all of which showed that cuing people to consider money  increased either unethical intentions or actions.

“Our research suggests that we may be vulnerable to some influences that  we’re not aware of,” says study co-author Kristen Smith-Crowe, associate  professor of management at the David Eccles School of Business at the University  of Utah, “Our moral behavior may be affected by things in the environment that  we have no idea are affecting us.”

The students were randomly assigned to think about either money or about  nothing in particular by descrambling sentences; the money-related sentences  included phrases such as “She spends money liberally” while those unrelated to  cash included “She walked on grass.”

In one trial involving 50 participants, those who reconstructed the  money-related sentences were far more likely to say they would do things like  steal a ream of paper from the office copy machine than those who worked with  the unrelated sentences. In another test involving 91 students, participants  played a game in which they could either lie to a person they were told was  another player and earn $5 or tell the truth and earn $2.  Students cued to  consider money told twice as many lies.

In the final study, 65 business undergrads— with an average of 3 years full  time work experience— were asked to  place themselves in the position of  considering candidates for employment. They were presented with the case of a  qualified applicant who offered to provide confidential information that would  benefit the company if hired. Again, those primed to think about money were more  likely to hire the unethical candidate. Similarly, those who worked with the  money-related sentences were also more likely to cheat in a game that was rigged  to reward them regardless of whether they played by the rules or not.

But the students could have simply been acting out of self-interest, so to  determine if the students were just being selfish, or whether they were more  motivated by the need to maximize profit and gain — admirable goals in the  commerce-oriented business world — the researchers also conducted other tests to  separate personal greed from a “just doing business” position. They found that a  business mindset was more closely linked to unethical intentions and behaviors  than were feelings related to power, competition or simply looking out for  oneself.

“The main point is a ‘wow’ finding – that small and unnoticeable reminders of  money can produce lying, cheating, and essentially stealing 10 minutes later.  That is really fascinating,” says Kathleen Vohs, professor of marketing at the  University of Minnesota, who has conducted similar research but was not  associated with this study.

Why would thoughts of money increase misbehavior? “[Money cues] trigger this  business decision frame [like seeing the world only through] a cost/benefit  analysis and the significance is that we’re not considering other things like  moral issues,” says Smith-Crowe.

The research adds to prior work connecting wealth, greed and unethical  behavior; one series of studies found that those who were rich were more likely  to engage in sketchy actions, ranging from shoplifting, cutting people off in  their cars to lying to job seekers to giving less to charity proportionally than  those who were less well off.

In one study, this connection was explained almost entirely by the  more common belief among the wealthy that greed — or love of money — was good,  and an admirable quality, rather than by class itself. When the research was  published, author Paul Piff of the University of California in Berkeley told me,  “We’re not arguing that rich people are bad at all, but that psychological  features of wealth have these natural effects.”

Which may explain why money is so often seen as corrupting and having a  negative influence on people’s behavior. That doesn’t bode well for a population  living in an increasingly uncertain and highly unequal economy, where more  relationships have become transactional and the “just business” strategy, rather  than a morally driven one, seems to make more sense. “A lot of the socialization  [into working in business] involves ideas like maximizing profits and  shareholder wealth,” says Smith-Crowe,  “We want to ask the question, and  we’re just starting on research in this:  Can people’s concepts of business  be changed so we can extend them to include moral considerations?”

One can only hope.


Maia Szalavitz is a neuroscience journalist for TIME.com and co-author of  Born  for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential — and Endangered.


(MoneyWatch) Gender is always a hot topic in economics, and nowhere more so that in the work of behavioral economists who focus on what happens in the real world rather than in theory. Of late, behavioral economists have been interested in lying: why people lie, under what conditions they are more likely to lie and what kinds of people are most prone to lying.

The findings are rich, complex and often contradictory. Among other things, academics at the Stockholm School of Economics sought to determine whether men or women were more likely to lie for financial gain. Building on earlier experiments, they got 312 pairs of students to participate in a game of sending and receiving money in which dishonesty was more profitable than honesty. Who would prove the more honest?

Of the 85 men who took part, 55 percent lied to secure a higher payoff. Of the 71 women who took part, only 38 percent lied. This is statistically significant. There was no gender difference in trust.

It is important to emphasize that, in this game, everyone was anonymous — no one knew anything about the other participant. This suggests that decisions about whether to lie derived only from a choice about whether falsifying the truth might lead to a windfall. In more personal circumstances, results may differ because other issues are involved, such as maintaining a reputation, appearing selfless or not wanting to hurt some else’s feelings.

Some will argue that, being anonymous, this makes the results far more solid. I’m not sure. But it does raise questions about the wisdom of leaving big banks overwhelmingly in the hands of men.

(via Margaret Heffernan CBS)