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Bank of China and Temasek Sign Strategic Investment Agreement

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According to the press release, “Bank of China Limited (“Bank of China”) and Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited (“Temasek”) jointly announced today that, following negotiations and discussions by the two entities, Temasek will, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Asia Financial Holdings (‘AFH’), acquire a 10% interest in Bank of China for US$3.1 billion. Temasek has also undertaken to subscribe for an additional US$500 million worth of shares during Bank of China’s initial public offering. This transaction is pending government and other relevant regulatory approvals.

With this agreement, Bank of China has introduced another strategic investor following the signing of the strategic investment agreement with Royal Bank of Scotland on August 18, 2005.

Subject to mutual agreement, Temasek will assist Bank of China in improving corporate governance, including the right to nominate suitable candidates for election to Bank of China’s board of directors. Other areas of collaboration and support are under discussions.

In addition to a strong focus on corporate governance, Temasek will facilitate linkages to other players in the Asian financial sector to support the development of Bank of China’s talent pool and technology base. As major financial institutions in Asia, both entities also agreed to strengthen their cooperation and contribute to the financial sector modernization in Asia.

Bank of China said,”Temasek is a major investor in Asia, with a strong reputation and matured operating mechanism in the area of corporate governance. Bank of China is a banking group with nearly a hundred years of history, and has established a prudent business style and a broad customer network. The cooperation of these two strong financial institutions with complementary strengths will result in enhanced competitiveness. The strategic investment by Temasek will support the deepening of the overall reform for Bank of China. The transaction will help Bank of China further strengthen its capital base, improve its shareholder structure and enhance its corporate governance.”

Temasek said, “We are delighted that an agreement has been reached with Bank of China. This is our largest direct investment in China, and is also a long term investment for us. It underlines our confidence in the long-term growth of China’s economy. More importantly, this investment represents our belief that Bank of China has transformed itself into a strong financial institution with extensive networks in China and overseas. We share the bank’s belief in its tremendous potential and are privileged to be an investor.””

Read more: Press Release

Crown Property Bureau Moves Assets to Thailand King Under 2017 Law

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In December 2016, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn became King of Thailand, succeeding his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away in October 2016. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Three Successful Traits in Asset Management CEOs

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by Michael Maduell

In my frequent and vast interactions with chief executives of small-to-large asset management firms, I’ve witnessed a number of traits that successful firms – meaning growing and retaining assets under management plus getting real respect in the industry – are able to properly execute. Besides generating amazing returns and matching the right solutions for the asset owner clients, CEOs need to be advancing their firms. Of course, quality client service should remain front of mind for fund management firms. In this short piece, I will focus on three traits that successful fund managers tend to possess.

1. Abundant Charisma from Founders
What is memorable and what will stick in one’s mind? A cadre of asset managers possess charismatic chief executives. BlackRock’s Larry Fink, DoubleLine’s Gundlach and Rajiv Jain of GQG Partners are some prime examples that come to mind. DoubleLine is a relatively new player compared to BlackRock and already amassed over US$ 100 billion in assets. Being a founder of the fund management company also helps, as CEO hires (often bringing a book-of-business contacts) may tend to look elsewhere unless generously compensated.

Having an effective cheerleader CEO is essential in nurturing and growing a sustainable franchise in a monochromatic industry of imitators. Too often, CEOs of some asset management firms are pure “salespeople” – too pushy or fake, or a highly-bright number-cruncher with low or nil emotional intelligence.

2. Not Drinking Too Much of One’s Own Kool-Aid
“We are a data-driven, technology, ESG-focused, smart-beta, solutions-led provider of services.” Hey, 2018 did I get that right?

Yes, your stuff does not stink. Like a broken clock, many CEOs rely on the flavor of the year or grappling a playbook, beating the idea over the heads of pensions and sovereign fund clients and prospects. In the long-run – meaning maintaining assets over a lengthy period of time – I find it’s better to be more objective when discussing potential strategies. I’m talking about a healthy dose of informative marketing. However, being overly-transparent or even talking yourself out of the strategy is not what I am directly advocating. It is important to be realistic about the strategy or thematic idea, as the attractiveness of these concepts shift over time.

3. Stirring up Controversy – Strategically
Shaking the tree and stirring the pot – this trait can surely backfire if not properly executed. Being the brightest crayon in the box can work. Even virtue signaling – latching onto a social current – can work in some instances, but CEOs that can deliver impactful counter-culture statements that shock the conscience tend to draw attention – and capital. This might not be the best example; however, upon the ascendancy of Abraaj Group, the firm’s founder, Arif Naqvi, often commented to not describe countries like China, India, etc. as emerging markets but as global growth markets – then creating a comparison to Wall Street and its risks. Abraaj was able to raise a ton of capital, before its downfall stemming from early 2018.

Boards need to diligently examine the CEOs they select. Does the firm want to grow or hold the line for the planned dividend? My belief is that if you are not growing, you are decaying, as the world moves faster and faster.

The views in this article are expressed by Michael Maduell.
Michael Maduell is President of SWFI.
www.swfinstitute.org

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SWFI First Read, June 16, 2018

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State Street Names Maria Cantillon for Head of Sectors Solutions, EMEA

State Street named Maria Cantillon as head of sectors solutions for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She will report to Liz Nolan, CEO of EMEA at State Street. Cantillon replaces Joerg Ambrosius who moved to another role at the firm. Previously, Cantillon was Global Head of Alternative Asset Manager Solutions at State Street.

Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh Balwani Face Federal Charges

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood-testing company Theranos, is facing federal fraud charges. Also facing charges is Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Both individuals were indicted on charges that they engaged in schemes to defraud investors, doctors and patients, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). They both face two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. These criminal charges were levied after Holmes had settled civil fraud charges initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Russian Investors Chopped Treasury Holdings in April

Revealed in a report from the U.S. Treasury, Russian investors dropped U.S. Treasury holdings in March 2018 from US$ 96.1 billion to US$ 48.7 billion in April 2018. Before March 2018, U.S. Treasury holdings by Russian investors remained steady in the US$ 100 billion range.

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