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Australian Future Fund Posts 15.4% in 2012-2013

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futurefundAccording to a news release issued September 2, 2013, Australia’s Future Fund posted a 15.4% gain for financial year 2012/2013 ending June 30th. The return includes a 4.4% gain last quarter.

The gain brings the Future Fund to A$ 88.9 billion (US$ 80.4 billion), realizing a return of 6.2% per annum since its inception in May of 2006.

Mark Burgess, managing director of the Future Fund, notes the performance was, in part, “a result of improved conditions and confidence and the significant degree of policy stimulus being applied across many global markets.” Mr. Burgess and his team also adjusted the Future Fund’s exposure to equities.

In addition, Mark Burgess will be leaving the Future Fund. Informing the board of guardians, Burgess will stay onboard to help facilitate a smooth transition.

In a September 4th press release, Mark Burgess stated, “I appreciate the support I have received from the Board and my colleagues in the Agency and the areas that we have been able to develop in my time with the Fund. With recent strong performance and the Fund now fully invested, I have decided to return to the private sector to bring my experience to that field.”

The infographic below reveals the change in strategy the Future Fund took from from 2012 – present.

Portfolio at 30 June 2012 Target Allocation at 30 June 2013 Actual Portfolio at 30 June 2013
Listed Equity 32.90% 33% 40.60%
Private Equity 6.40% 8% 7.30%
Tangible Assets 12.80% 16.50% 14.10%
Alternative Assets 19% 17.50% 15.60%
Debt 18.30% 17.50% 16.60%
Cash 10.60% 7.50% 5.80%

Data may not sum due to rounding

The Future Fund’s mandate is to return CPI + 4.5%-5.5% over the long term per annum. It has beaten that benchmark on a rolling three year basis since September of 2011. The success contrasts financial years 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 when the fund severely underperformed its benchmark. CPI for those years was 4.5% and 1.5% respectively and the nominal return for those years was 1.5% and -4.2% respectively.

Anne Sheehan to Retire, CalSTRS 1st Corp Gov Director

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Anne Sheehan, the first Corporate Governance Director at California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the current one, plans to retire March 30, 2018. Sheehan’s team manages an activist portfolio worth around US$ 4.1 billion, seeking to influence and help turnaround its large portfolio holdings in select public companies. Sheehan was hired back in 2008.

Christopher J. Ailman, CalSTRS’ chief investment officer, said in a organization release, “Anne has been my most unconventional, best hire.”

A replacement search is underway.

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Temasek Rides with Google on Go-Jek

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Singapore’s Temasek Holdings has reportedly joined forces with Google LLC and Chinese on-demand service provider Meituan-Dianping as part of a US$ 1.2 billion fundraising effort for Indonesian ride-hailing startup Go-Jek that has put regional rivals like Uber and Singapore-based Grab on notice.

Screen Shot Go-Jek, January 19, 2018

Although exact figures for individual stakes have so far been kept secret, the new infusion of capital puts Go-Jek, incorporated as PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa, at a valuation of roughly US$ 4 billion. Samsung Venture Investment Corporation also participated in funding, as well as existing private equity investors KKR & Co. LP and Warburg Pincus LLC.

Google’s direct involvement in Go-Jek’s growth – rather than through its Google Ventures unit – highlights its faith in the latent potential of ride-sharing services – and the tech-enabled consumer services sector as a whole – in Southeast Asia. Home to more than 640 million potential customers, the region was identified as the fastest growing emerging market for e-commerce globally in an industry report published jointly by Google and Temasek last December. According to data compiled by the internet-giant and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, ride-sharing in Southeast Asia is expected to grow into a US$ 20.1 billion industry by 2025, compared to US$ 5.1 billion in 2017.

2011 Origin Story

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Temasek Leads Series B Round for Chinese Robo Startup Rokid

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Rokid Corporation Limited, a Chinese robotics startup that specializes in smart devices assisted by artificial intelligence (AI), announced the closing of a Series B extension round through its WeChat account on January 18, 2018. The capital-raising effort was led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, with additional contributions from Credit Suisse Group, China Development Bank’s overseas investment arm CDIB Capital International, and existing investor IDG Capital. Although Rokid did not disclose the size or terms of the deal in its announcement, the technology company reportedly secured US$ 100 million in funding.

Founded in 2014 by chief executive Mingming Zhu and chief financial officer Eric Wong, Rokid’s core products consist of its smart speakers, the Rokid Pebble and Alien, as well as the newly debuted Rokid Glass augmented reality spectacles. The company’s most exciting offering, however, is its Full Stack Open Platform, a collaborative effort made in partnership with Alibaba that gives third-party developers backdoor access Rokid’s software suite and hardware integration and will – it hopes – help give its offerings the accessibility and recognition they need to thrive outside its home market of China.

Rokid is particularly keen on bringing its products to the U.S., where it believes it can challenge Google and Amazon’s dominance in the smart home arena. Amazon makes the Amazon Echo, while Google has Google Home.

The Series B

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