The week's winners
Catlin up 12%
Benfield up 7%
The week's winners Catlin up 12%Benfield up 7%
The week's losersAmlin down 2%Jardine Lloyd Thompson down 1.5%The temperature has been hotting up in London and the rumours about a Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT)/Benfield merger are back. In fact, some say that JLT boss Steve McGill wants to conduct a complete takeover of Benfield, a move which would be costly since Merrill Lynch rates its share price as one of the best performing in the sector for the first part of 2004. It outperformed JLT by 18% over the period. But analysts also agree that Benfield remains an appealing long-term investment. Presently, both companies are denying any foot rubbing under the table. Failing a merger, Chilton and McGill can still sit back and enjoy their lavish remuneration packages. To see how they fare in our investigation into fat cat pay, turn to page 12. Last week, shares in Toad Group leaped up by three quarters following a 'buy' recommendation from investment magazine Investors Chronicle.Meanwhile, Zurich Financial Services was dealt a blow by Goldman Sachs, which downgraded it to 'in line' from 'outperform'. In a note to clients, Goldman Sachs said that "the prospect of significant outperformance (by ZFS) is tempered by the likely development of the non-life cycle both in Europe and North America, where we see increasing evidence of a turn in pricing conditions". Who said the market wasn't going soft?Finally, Hermes Pensions Management acquired a 14.9% stake in the AIM-listed Community Broking Group. Hermes took the stakes through two of the UK's largest pension funds: BT Pension Scheme and Royal Mail Pension Fund.