The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in preliminary stages of investigating Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone, iPad and iMac. The investigation surrounds whether Apple violated U.S. securities laws regarding disclosures on software updates that slowed the performance of older iPhone models.
The government agencies requested information from Apple.
Apple made a public apology once this information was revealed to the public. Apple then moved to lower the price of battery replacements in its retail locations down to US$ 29 from US$ 79.
Apple is facing a number of issues. First, CalSTRS and activist investor Jana Partners recently issued a warning to Apple regarding the negative effects of smartphone addiction on children. Second, the iPhone X was pushed out in September 2017 with a US$ 1,000 price (US$ 999.00 to US$ 1,149.00 according to sources) – a record price tag of a standard smart phone. Apple informed suppliers it was lowering its first quarter 2018 production target for the iPhone X down 50% to roughly 20 million phone units from 40 million units. The weaker-than-expected demand has spooked some investors. Last, Apple is planning to delay new iOS software features until 2019.
Atlas Merchant Capital LLC and Singapore’s GIC Private Limited acquired just under a 25% equity stake in Dresher, Pennsylvania-based Ascensus, the largest independent recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. San Francisco Genstar Capital LLC and New York-based Aquiline Capital Partners LLC were the sellers of the shares in Ascensus and will maintain control over the company.
Atlas Merchant Capital LLC was founded by Bob Diamond and David Schamis. Diamond is the former group chief executive of Barclays plc.
GIC is an investor in Alight Solutions, a provider of human capital solutions.
Barclays acted as the lead financial advisor and J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisor to Ascensus in connection with this transaction. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal counsel to Ascensus.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal counsel to Atlas Merchant Capital and Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal counsel to GIC.
In 2015, JC Flowers sold Ascensus to Genstar Capital and Aquiline Capital Partners.
The Value of Research: Skill, Capacity, and Opportunity
This article is sponsored by S&P Dow Jones Indices.
How much should a portfolio manager be willing to pay for research? The question is of importance to any manager, but has become particularly pertinent since newly imposed European rules require that the costs of investment research—previously offered by many investment banks as an in-kind consideration in return for brokerage business—be unbundled from trading.
Unfortunately, attempts to determine a fair value for research in the most general circumstances are doomed to fail. Even if we only consider direct recommendations to buy or sell certain securities, the value of such recommendations to a portfolio manager will vary according to the absolute size of positions taken in response. Instead, we provide a framework for estimating relative research values across markets and constituents, under certain stylized (but reasonable) assumptions.
REPORT: The Value of Research: Skill, Capacity, and Opportunity
Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad is prepping to declare more than 1 billion MYR in a dividend payout to the Malaysian government for 2019. Khazanah Nasional is undergoing a significant strategy shift to focus more on domestic assets, while selling off venture tech investments, overseas real estate, fund investments, and other non-strategic assets. The wealth fund also plans to scale back its overseas presence in markets such as San Francisco and London.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
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