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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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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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