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Fall Surprise: Direct Lending Funds Attract US Pensions

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Direct lending funds are continually attracting U.S. pension fund investors. These pension funds are searching for yield and in effect, the committed capital can be perceived as high-risk bank lending. These commitments are falling under many pensions’ high-yield allocation. For example, in late October, the Orange County Employees’ Retirement System (OCERS) committed up to US$ 60 million to OCP Asia’s Orchard Landmark direct lending fund. Formed in September 2009, OCP was created by Stu Wilson and Teall Edds, both from Stark Investments. Essentially, OCP was a spin-off of Stark Investments’ Asian investment operations.

Tighter financial regulation and banks retreating from the frontlines have spurred a decrease in traditional financing choices for mid-sized business in the US.

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White House Nominates Heath Tarbert for CFTC Chairman

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The White House announced Heath P. Tarbert will be nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Tarbert currently serves as Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before joining the U.S. Treasury, Tarbert was a Partner at law firm Allen & Overy. Tarbert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for his current Treasury post at 87 (yes) to 8 (no).

Upon Senate confirmation, Tarbert’s CFTC term would start on April 14, 2019 and last for five years. Tarbert is taking over from J. Christopher Giancarlo whose term ends in April 2019. Tarbert will need a U.S. Senate confirmation to take the head CFTC post.

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KIA Could Sell Stake in North Sea Energy Business

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The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), through its unit Wren House Investment Management, is nearing a deal to sell a 40% stake in its North Sea energy business to JPMorgan Asset Management. In July 2018, KIA closed on a deal to acquire oil and gas pipeline firm North Sea Midstream Partners from ArcLight Capital.

More details to follow –

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Pensioenfonds PGB Hires BMO Global for Equity Protection Strategy

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Pensioenfonds PGB is a Dutch multi-sector pension fund. PGB awarded a mandate to implement a protection strategy for its €12 billion equity portfolio to BMO Global Asset Management. PGB is a €26.5 billion fund. PGB has been using BMO Global’s responsible engagement overlay since 2017.

The Chief Investment Officer of PGB is Harold Clijsen.

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