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Friday SWFI News Roundup, December 16, 2016



U.S. President Barack Obama - Dec 16, 2016, Year-End Press Conference

U.S. President Barack Obama – Dec 16, 2016, Year-End Press Conference

FRR to Exclude Tobacco and Thermal Coal from Bond and Equity Portfolios

Paris-based Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR) will now have to exclude tobacco companies and companies that derive more than 20% of their revenue from thermal coal extraction from the fund’s equity and bond portfolios. This decision was made by FRR’s supervisory board.

Korean Teachers’ Credit Union Invests in Distressed Euro Credit Fund

The Korean Teachers’ Credit Union (KTCU) is kicking in €50 million toward the European Special Situations (ESS) Fund II, a fund managed by Cross Ocean Partners, that will target discounted senior secured loans from European banks. KTCU invested €30 million in European Special Situations (ESS) Fund I in 2013.

Centrica Touts Gas Flowing from Cygnus Field

According to Centrica plc, the first gas has flowed from the Cygnus field. This field could possibly be the biggest producing natural gas field in the U.K.’s part of the North Sea. The company projects at peak the gas field could contribute up to 5% of the U.K.’s total gas production.

Gulf Wealth Participates in JetSmarter Series C Round

JetSmarter, an app for private jet services, raised US$ 105 million in a Series C round at a reported US$ 1.5 billion pre-money valuation. New investors participating in this round include London-based KZ Capital, a Qatar private equity fund, JetEdge, and an Abu Dhabi-based equity fund. Existing investors and backers such as Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and members of the Saudi royal family participated in the Series C round as well. XOJET President and CEO Bradley Stewart joined JetSmarter’s board in connection with the Series C round.

PKA Sells German Windfarm Stake to ITOCHU-Led Investor Group

An investor consortium led by Japan’s ITOCHU Group purchased Denmark’s PKA 22.5% ownership stake in the Butendiek German offshore windfarm. The windfarm is close to the border of Denmark and Germany, close to the island of Sylt. PKA typically holds on to these types of investments for 25 years, but they had the opportunity to make a timely profit for its members. PKA had invested in the windfarm in 2013, together with Industriens Pension.

Mirae Asset Financial Group Eyes Charles Schwab SF Building

Mirae Asset Financial Group indicated interest to acquire the headquarters of Charles Schwab in San Francisco. The prospective seller is CIM Group, which bought the building in January 2010. The 18-storey property, located at 211 Main Street, is apparently worth about US$ 300 million. Charles Schwab’s building lease expires in May 2018. The building was constructed in 1973.

Merseyside Pension, West Yorkshire Pension and Lancashire County Pension Joining GLIL Infrastructure

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Mubadala Invests in No Fly Zone Drone Radar Company



Data Collective led a US$ 15 million Series A round into Salt Lake City-based Fortem Technologies, Inc., a company that works on solutions that can detect, identify and classify drones in real time to maintain airspace safety. Other investors in the round include Boeing, Mubadala Investment Company, Manifest Growth, New Ground Ventures and Signia Venture Partners.

Ibrahim Ajami, Head of Mubadala Ventures said in the press release, ” Mubadala is excited to work with Fortem and its outstanding leadership team to help grow its business to new markets.”

Ajami added, “We strongly believe the TrueView radar is essential to maintain a safe airspace for both the aircraft and the critical infrastructure on the ground.”

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Ireland and China to Open New €150 Milllion Joint Tech Fund



The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and CIC Capital Corporation – a sovereign wealth enterprise (SWE) of the China Investment Corporation – announced the formation of a joint €150 million fund targeting high-growth Irish technology firms looking to expand into Chinese markets, as well as a special emphasis on Chinese companies hoping to set up shop in Ireland as a base for their European operations.

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How ESG Considerations Can Drive Voting at the Board Level



The Council of Institutional Investor’s spring conference for 2018 – held this week in Washington D.C. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel – was packed with member-hosted panels, where nearly 400 of the top investment professional, regulators, and corporate governance experts gathered together to share their insights and engage in forward-looking discussions on how to drive a multi-stakeholder approach to responsible investment over the long-term.

Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI) had the opportunity to attend several breakout sessions, including one presented by Maryland-based Institutional Shareholder Services that sought to address one of the most pressing challenges facing institutional investors today: How can environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria help drive voting at the board level? Moderated by Georgina Marshall, Head of Global Research at ISS, panelists provided a diverse array of perspectives on how to harness ESG considerations as an effective decision-making tool.

Player-Coach Model

For Bonnie Saynay, Global Head of Responsible Investments at Invesco, fostering an environment conducive to communication with investment teams using a “player-coach” model is critical. Moreover, Saynay warned investors of thinking too broadly on ESG considerations, and to instead focus in on the criteria that is most important to them as an organization, and to then tailor their stewardship practices to match those priorities: “If everything is important, nothing is important,” she said.

Clare Payne, head of corporate governance for North America at Legal & General Investment Management, highlighted the importance of procuring the latest ranking data from a number of different providers, as well as how to develop one’s own internal system for scoring so as to cut through the clutter and provide a contextualized framework for making investment decisions on your own terms.

Remuneration is the name of the game for Robbie Miles, Vice President and ESG analyst at Allianz Global Investors. Amid the ever broadening scope of influence that responsible investment commands, Miles urged attendees to work with their managers on mandates that link compensation to the long-term performance of the fund, as well as long-term holding periods.

Wrapping up the panel was Stu Dalheim, Vice President of Shareholder Advocacy at Calvert Research Management, advocated for diversity at the board level across a number of different metrics – including ethnicity, gender, and professional backgrounds – in order to reflect the reality of their client base, as well as provide an apparatus for robust debate and adaptation in an ever-changing business environment.

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