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COMEBACK: Goldman Sachs Tops SWFI Financial Advisory League Table for H1 2016

SWFI_leaguetable_july2016reportSovereign wealth funds are significant actors when it comes to the world of direct investing. Since the 2000s, the number of wealth funds has blossomed. However, over the past year, there has been a recognizable slowdown in the dollar amount of cross-border SWF investment as deal making activity considerably subsided. For the first half of 2016, wealth funds and other public pension investors invested US$ 73.2 billion directly, according to data from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database. This is a sharp decline from the US$ 126.7 directly invested in the first half of 2015.

A number of observations are that more wealth funds have been allocating toward alternative investment vehicles such as real estate funds, credit funds and infrastructure funds. Second, there has been some pull back in direct listed equity investing. Third, there were gaps between buyer and seller valuations in industries such as financials. For example, TPG’s bid to acquire ICICI Home Finance was delayed because ICICI Bank demanded a higher valuation. TPG ended up agreeing to a price, then reached out to some wealth funds to help back the deal. Lastly, wealth funds alone in the first half of 2016 invested US$ 37.1 billion directly versus US$ 67 billion from the first half of 2015.

For the first semester of 2016, the top financial advisor was Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs rose from fifth, in the second half of 2015, to first in the current half-year period. Goldman Sachs was ranked #1 for the first half of 2015. Vacating their former top spot which they occupied in the second half of 2015, is Eastdil Secured.

Legal Advisors

For the first half of 2016, the top legal advisor for public fund transactions was Linklaters tied with Herbert Smith Freehills.

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Source: SWFI – Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database – www.swftransaction.com, July 6, 2016

Concerns Raised at Potential BlackRock Takeover of CalPERS’ Private Equity

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has been analyzing options on what to do with its massive US$ 26 billion private equity program. The pension system has embraced the mantra of reducing cost, reducing complexity and reducing risk, the hallmark of its program called “INVO 2020”. CalPERS also wants less, but more strategic relationships with external money managers. At one point, CalPERS was contemplating increasing its direct investment staff to model Canadian pension funds such as Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), OMERS and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension plan. The pendulum has begun to swing the other way as reported earlier by SWFI research staff.

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CDP Signs €1.7 Billion Infrastructure Loan Agreement with Atlantia Group

Cassa depositi e prestiti S.p.A. (CDP) and Atlantia Group’s Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) have signed a €1.7 billion loan contract dedicated to upgrading motorways in Italy under concession to ASPI. €1.1 billion will come in the form of a term loan with a 10-year tenure, with the remaining €600 million wrapped up in a five-year revolving loan.

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Sovereign Funds Commit to Integrating Climate-Related Risks at One Planet Summit

Representatives from a number of sovereign wealth funds who collectively govern over US$ 2 trillion in assets came together at the One Planet Summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris in order to discuss what public asset owners can do to incorporate climate change-related risks and opportunities into investment considerations.

The newly formed committee – called the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group – includes as its founding members the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Norges Bank Investment Management (manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global), Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

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