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FLEECED: State Street Agrees to Pay to Resolve Fraud Charges

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In a serious blow to market and client confidence, Custodial giant State Street Corporation entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay a US$32.3 million criminal penalty to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve charges that it engaged in a scheme to defraud a number of the bank’s clients by secretly applying commissions to billions of dollars of securities trades. State Street is a global custodian for many pensions, endowments and sovereign funds. Victims of the scheme have been fully repaid and were trading clients in Europe (Irish and U.K. government pensions), the Middle East (a sovereign wealth fund) and Africa.

“State Street engaged in a concerted effort to fleece its clients by secretly charging unwarranted commissions,” said U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Bitkower in a press release.

“State Street deeply regrets this matter and accepts responsibility for the actions of its former employees,” State Street said in a public statement. “The company fully reimbursed the six clients that were impacted, terminated responsible employees, appointed new executives to lead its transition management business, and implemented new and stronger controls.”

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Ardian Auctions Off €1 Billion in Infrastructure Assets to APG

French private equity giant Ardian has auctioned off an undisclosed stake in a portfolio of European infrastructure assets valued at €1 billion to Dutch asset owner manager APG Investments. APG, which first invested in the portfolio in 2006, plans on buying out partnership interests in the portfolio held by other investors. French multinational insurance firm AXA SA will retain its stake as a co-owner of the portfolio alongside APG, with Ardian staying on as asset manager and advisor. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval.

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Tribal Council Approves Cherokee Nation Sovereign Wealth Fund Act

Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved the creation of the Cherokee Nation Sovereign Wealth Fund Act to establish a fund to ensure the continuation of tribal operations and the general welfare of tribal citizens.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Temasek Participates in Series D Round in Chinese Mafengwo Travel Platform

Image Source: Screenshot from Website – December 12, 2017

Chinese social travel platform Mafengwo has raised US$ 133 million in a Series D funding round with aid from new investors, including private equity investor General Atlantic, tourism-centric Ocean Link, the Yuantai Changqing venture capital fund, Hopu Investment Management, and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Existing investors Capital Today, Qiming Venture Partners, and Hillhouse Capital also participated in the latest funding round.

Founded in 2010 by chief executive Gang Chen and chief operations officer Gang Lv in 2010, Mafengwo is popular among the Chinese millennial demographic, who use the app to look up travel information and booking services for nearly 60,000 destinations around the world. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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