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China Investment Corp May Restructure North American Operations

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torontoskyAppointed in January 2011 as the chief representative of the China Investment Corporation’s (CIC) Toronto office, Felix P. Chee is leaving the Chinese sovereign fund at the end of December. When joining the CIC, Chee perceived the job opportunity as working for a US$ 200 billion startup, tactically to help deploy cash to investments and grow returns for the sovereign wealth fund. Before the CIC, he was an investment executive at Manulife Financial Corporation. Initially, the CIC opened up an office in Toronto to strategically take advantage of Canada’s booming energy and resource sectors – evening relocating Chee and Winston Wenyan Ma to Toronto. The CIC has experienced tremendous asset growth. It is nearing US$ 600 billion in assets (see sovereign fund rankings).

Another major development is Mexico passing legislation to begin the process of opening up their heavily guarded energy sector.

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China’s Central Bank Creates Macro-Prudential Management Bureau

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) created a new department to oversee and attempt to eliminate financial risks to the system. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Like its U.S. Peers, Legg Mason Seeks to Trim Costs

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Legg Mason Inc., a Baltimore-based asset manager, has announced a reduction in workforce as is prepares to streamline operations and save money. Legg Mason’s leadership commented that assets under management fell 5 % year-on-year. Legg Mason currently manages US$ 727.2 billion (as of December 31, 2018), which is down from the previous US$ 767.2 billion. CEO Joseph A. Sullivan noted that a global operating platform will centralize fund administration, IT, and other departments that work with affiliates. Sullivan did not discuss the number of layoffs expected, or specify which areas would be impacted. Legg Mason disclosed they planned to close a quarter of its exchange-traded funds in March 2019. These three ETFs include a U.S. strategy, emerging markets, and a developed markets strategy outside the U.S. However, these funds run around US$ 28 million in assets under management.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Corporate Governance Advisory Committee

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On February 12, 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed the creation of a Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC). CGAC was formed to advocate for good corporate governance practices among listed companies in Singapore. Bobby Chin, Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, will be the Chair of CGAC. According to a MAS press release, “CGAC will identify current and potential risks to the quality of corporate governance in Singapore.”

MAS formed the Corporate Governance Council (Council) in February 2017. The Council was dissolved after it pushed out a publication of its final recommendations on August 6, 2018.

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