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COP21: How Will This Impact Institutional Investors?

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At the Conference of the Parties’ U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, world leaders huddled to layout a framework on tackling greenhouse gas emissions. The luminaries of global warming were present such as former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Actor Sean Penn and United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon were present as well. Leading many of the negotiations and pushing for the agreement was Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development. After rounds of negotiations and bartering, a global climate agreement has been reached in Paris. For the first time in world history, nearly 200 countries are part of a single agreement on the need to lower greenhouse gas emissions. This is the Paris Agreement.

Despite the historic diplomatic agreement, an agreed framework to price carbon remains key on whether more institutional investors will shed fossil fuel assets.

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GIC Sells Arizona Biltmore to Blackstone

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Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, part of the Blackstone Group, acquired the 740-room Arizona Biltmore hotel, located in Phoenix, for US$ 403.4 million. The deal closed on April 20, 2018.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Mubadala Acquires Stake in Growing Hedge Fund Phoenician Capital

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Mubadala Investment Company, through its unit Mubadala Capital, purchased a minority stake Phoenician Capital, LLC. Although terms and size of the deal were not disclosed, the agreement grants Mubadala Capital rights to invest in a fund managed by the New York-based firm, which generated respective returns of 40.8% and 33.0% in 2016 and 2017, against benchmarks of 12.0% and 21.8% for the S&P 500. The hedge fund runs the Phoenician Offshore Fund Ltd.

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Large Asset Managers Continue to Move Operations Out of California

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In the 2010s, Fisher Investments, an investment firm run by Ken Fisher, moved a large number of employees from the Woodside and San Mateo campuses to a town called Camas in Washington, near Portland. Vanguard has a large operational presence in Arizona, while Charles Schwab Corporation has expanded its technology operations and client services in places like Denver, Dallas, Austin and Phoenix. Dimensional Fund Advisors moved its headquarters in 2008 from Santa Monica, California to Austin.

While asset managers reap profits and try to lower employee head count costs, looking to fly-over country seems appealing.

The Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), part of the Allianz family, selected Austin, Texas as its new office to hire more client services and technology talent. The PIMCO Austin office will open later in 2018. PIMCO is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with an office in New York City.

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