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Twelve stories that rocked 2012

Month by month Citywire Global looks back at the headlines that caught your eye over the past year.

January: Economies are made in bedrooms, not markets

We kick off our look at the biggest stories of 2012 with an exclusive video from Hans Rosling, professor of international health at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and head of the Gapminder organisation.

How will the changing global population picture affect you? Rosling explains the through the medium of coffee cups.

Just click on the picture above to watch the video

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February: Carmignac liquidates disappointing thematic fund

Carmignac Gestion's decision to close its Innovation fund was February's biggest story.

The closure of Innovation was only the second time the leading French firm has ever liquidated a fund, and in both cases the funds were thematic in style with a strong focus on tech.

‘The fund was created with the objective of investing across all innovation sectors, but it has, unfortunately, not lived up to our expectations,’ said Eric Le Coz, Carmignac's deputy director.

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March: Faber predicts derivatives crash

Marc Faber, aka 'Dr Doom', explains how social revolution, financial crises and war will shape our future.

Just click on the picture above to watch the video

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April: Top 200 Club – the ultimate best performing manager ranking

Few managers have achieved the feat of returning over 200% over the past three years. In April's most-read story Citywire Global revealed the best of the best among these elite outperformers.

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May: One year, 10 sectors – the best outperforming managers revealed

May saw us reveal the leading lights who have vastly outperformed the average manager in their sector over the past 12 months.

Performance was calculated in relation to the average manager in the sector over the 12 month period from the end of April 2011 to the end of April 2012.

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June: ‘This is a catastrophe’ says top economist on Spanish bailout

In June Andrew Lilico, director of research bureau Europe Economics, warned that a €100 billion bailout package to recapitalise Spanish banks was a watershed moment that meant policymakers had started to prepare for EMU break-up.

‘The Spanish bailout constitutes the key moment when policymakers have moved from trying to save the euro to trying to achieve an orderly disintegration,’ he said.

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July: Faber breaks habit of a lifetime, loads up on European equity

Dr Doom made a second appearance in our list of the year's biggest stories in July, when he explained why European stocks look more attractive than US companies.

'For the first time in my life, I have been buying European stocks because I can see the markets of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and France near the 6 March 2009 lows,’ Faber said,

‘These markets, compared to the rest of the world are very cheap and some stocks are perfectly fine companies but because these markets were very weak and because there is a threat of a euro break-up, everything has come down to very low valuations.’

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August: Qatari investors buy French boutique

August saw news that KBC Group had sold its European private banking division, which includes French boutique KBL Richelieu Gestion, to a Qatari investment group.

Precision Capital, which represents the interest of private Qatari investors, bought the Luxembourg-based KBL European Private Bankers (KBL epb) for €1 billion, and the acquisition also includes its French private banking and asset management business KBL Richelieu.

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September: FundQuest in major restructure

New that the fund selection arm of BNP Paribas IP is in the midst of a major overhaul was September's big news.

FundQuest, the dedicated multi-management arm of French giant BNP Paribas, is restructuring its business model to become an advisory group.

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October: Carmignac wows investors with Rolling Stones gig

After days of rumours, the worst-kept secret in Paris was finally revealed at the end of October as Edouard Carmignac took to the stage to welcome 'the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band' - The Rolling Stones.

At a time when many were calling for austerity across Europe and even Carmignac himself stating the French economy is going to plummet in coming months, the provocative company founder could not have made a more ostentatious move.

It is reported that hiring the Stones to play a private gig can cost $7 million, with other estimates far exceeding that.

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November: Top growth manager leaves French boutique

European equity manager Teresa Watkins' departure from Comgest after almost 10 years with the Paris-based firm was big news in November.

The Citywire A-rated manager ran Comgest Growth Mid Caps Europe, a €22.6 million fund which she had been managing since November 2008.

British-born Watkins had originally joined the French boutique back in 2003 and her departure follows that of her former co-manager on the European mid cap fund Claire Rodrigue.

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December: Decade Dominators – top 10 ultimate long-term performers revealed

Rounding off our round-up of the year's biggest stories is the dominators who have prevailed across all asset classes over the past decade.

Performance was calculated over 10 years to the end of October 2012 and in euro currency terms. Only managers who have been continuously running their fund over the last 10 years and outperformed their benchmark according to the Citywire database were included in this analysis.

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