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Norwegian Ethics Council Chair Mestad Cautions on Insincere ESG Compliance

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esgCurrently, Ola Mestad is the chair of the Council on Ethics for Norway’s Government Pension Global (GPFG) and a professor of law at the University of Oslo. It has been reported that Ola Mestad is not as enthusiastic about the efficacy of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund in recent days, specifically its responsible investment criteria.

The ethics council has a list of companies to be excluded from the sovereign wealth fund’s investment universe. Some of the companies on the exclusion list include Fortune 500 companies like Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Wal-Mart Stores and Boeing Co. In addition, a number of excluded companies have substantial public funds as investors such as Rio Tinto Plc and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.

He said he “gets the feeling” that companies aren’t actually following through on their guidelines.

In a speech to attendees of the Ethical Investment Research and Investment Service’s (EIRIS) 30th anniversary conference in London yesterday, Mr Mestad was quoted as saying that the success of their responsible investing program makes it “superficial” in a way.

According to Mestad when Norway’s oil fund began their responsible investing criteria, they weren’t taken very seriously. Recently that has changed with public companies responding immediately to the giant institutional investor whenever it raises issues concerning the ethics of their operations.clouds

In April of this year, Norway’s sovereign fund began divesting itself from oil companies with operations in Equatorial Guinea. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

SWFI First Read, June 21, 2018

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PSP Investments Nears Deal on Azelis

PSP Investments and EQT Partners (through fund EQT VIII) are in exclusive talks to acquire Belgium-based Azelis S.A. from funds managed by Apax Partners. Formed in 2001, Azelis is a specialty chemicals and food ingredients distributor. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Oxford Properties Wins Rights on Barangaroo Office Development

Melbourne-based Grocon Pty Ltd selected Oxford Properties, the real estate unit of OMERS, as a preferred partner for it’s a A$ 2 billion, 5.2-hectare Barangaroo Central project development. This is an office tower development. Oxford Properties essentially won the rights toward the project (rumored at a price of A$ 100 million), freeing the developer from a high-cost finance deal with Maxcap, a lender.

Investment Management Corporation of Ontario Selects Jean Michel as CIO

The Investment Management Corporation of Ontario named Jean Michel as chief investment officer. This role is effective July 3, 2018. Michel was executive vice president, advisory services to depositors and strategic analysis, at Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ).

Wil Warren Named President of Lexington Partners

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Large Public Asset Owners Commit to Goodman Brazil Logistics Partnership

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Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) unveiled plans to commit 500 million BRL (C$ 175 million) in equity for a 20% interest in the newly established Goodman Brazil Logistics Partnership to invest in prime logistics and industrial assets in the key gateway cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Mubadala Supports Two European Aquaculture Transactions

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Mubadala Investment Company is keen on growing exposure to agribusinesses whether in farming or aquaculture. With money from Mubadala and AMERRA Capital Management LLC, Andromeda Group acquired Nireus SA (at 74.34% stake) and Selonda SA at (79.62% stake), two European aquaculture companies that focus on sea bream and sea bass. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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