Texas Municipal Retirement System Hires 3 Managers for US$ 750 Million for MBS Investing
Austin-based Texas Municipal Retirement System has hired three external managers to invest in residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and commercial MBS. Each manager will get to manage US$ 250 million for a total of US$ 750 million toward the mortgage investment strategy. The chosen managers are Ellington Management Group, Voya Investment Management and Marathon Asset Management.
Growth in South Korean Foreign Reserves
The foreign exchange reserves of South Korea elevated to a new high in May 2014, touching US$360.91 billion. According to the Bank of Korea, this was a US$ 5.07 billion increase from April.
Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Generates Profit in 2013
Bahrain’s Mumtalakat Holdings suffered five years of straight losses, mostly due to Gulf Air’s financial performance. In 2013, Mumtalakat generated a net profit of US$ 219 million versus a loss in 2012.
Mahmood al-Kooheji, chief executive of Mumtalakat told Reuters in a recent interview, “We’re out of the red and we’ll not be back there again, God willing.”
PineBridge Investments Raises US$ 140 Million for Sharia-Compliant Real Estate Fund
New York-based PineBridge Investments has raised US$ 140 million for a sharia-compliant real estate fund targeting income producing assets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. These assets include retail, logistic properties and social infrastructure. Talal Al-Zain, the former CEO of Mumtalakat Holdings, is the current CEO of MENA for PineBridge Investments, running out of Manama. Al Zain expects a final fund closing of US$ 200 million.
GIC Buys Chinese Corporate Debt
Singapore’s GIC Private Limited has been investing in Chinese corporate debt. The sovereign fund purchased US$ 700 million worth of bonds from Lenovo, due 2019 at 4.5%. These bonds were unrated. The GIC also invested US$ 258 million in a note from Tencent Holdings, due 2020 at 3.2%. Typically, sovereign wealth funds rarely allocate such capital to unrated bonds.
New Mexico SIC Invests US$ 75 Million in Real Estate Debt Fund
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In December 2016, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn became King of Thailand, succeeding his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away in October 2016. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
by Michael Maduell
In my frequent and vast interactions with chief executives of small-to-large asset management firms, I’ve witnessed a number of traits that successful firms – meaning growing and retaining assets under management plus getting real respect in the industry – are able to properly execute. Besides generating amazing returns and matching the right solutions for the asset owner clients, CEOs need to be advancing their firms. Of course, quality client service should remain front of mind for fund management firms. In this short piece, I will focus on three traits that successful fund managers tend to possess.
1. Abundant Charisma from Founders
What is memorable and what will stick in one’s mind? A cadre of asset managers possess charismatic chief executives. BlackRock’s Larry Fink, DoubleLine’s Gundlach and Rajiv Jain of GQG Partners are some prime examples that come to mind. DoubleLine is a relatively new player compared to BlackRock and already amassed over US$ 100 billion in assets. Being a founder of the fund management company also helps, as CEO hires (often bringing a book-of-business contacts) may tend to look elsewhere unless generously compensated.
Having an effective cheerleader CEO is essential in nurturing and growing a sustainable franchise in a monochromatic industry of imitators. Too often, CEOs of some asset management firms are pure “salespeople” – too pushy or fake, or a highly-bright number-cruncher with low or nil emotional intelligence.
2. Not Drinking Too Much of One’s Own Kool-Aid
“We are a data-driven, technology, ESG-focused, smart-beta, solutions-led provider of services.” Hey, 2018 did I get that right?
Yes, your stuff does not stink. Like a broken clock, many CEOs rely on the flavor of the year or grappling a playbook, beating the idea over the heads of pensions and sovereign fund clients and prospects. In the long-run – meaning maintaining assets over a lengthy period of time – I find it’s better to be more objective when discussing potential strategies. I’m talking about a healthy dose of informative marketing. However, being overly-transparent or even talking yourself out of the strategy is not what I am directly advocating. It is important to be realistic about the strategy or thematic idea, as the attractiveness of these concepts shift over time.
3. Stirring up Controversy – Strategically
Shaking the tree and stirring the pot – this trait can surely backfire if not properly executed. Being the brightest crayon in the box can work. Even virtue signaling – latching onto a social current – can work in some instances, but CEOs that can deliver impactful counter-culture statements that shock the conscience tend to draw attention – and capital. This might not be the best example; however, upon the ascendancy of Abraaj Group, the firm’s founder, Arif Naqvi, often commented to not describe countries like China, India, etc. as emerging markets but as global growth markets – then creating a comparison to Wall Street and its risks. Abraaj was able to raise a ton of capital, before its downfall stemming from early 2018.
Boards need to diligently examine the CEOs they select. Does the firm want to grow or hold the line for the planned dividend? My belief is that if you are not growing, you are decaying, as the world moves faster and faster.
The views in this article are expressed by Michael Maduell.
Michael Maduell is President of SWFI.
State Street Names Maria Cantillon for Head of Sectors Solutions, EMEA
State Street named Maria Cantillon as head of sectors solutions for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She will report to Liz Nolan, CEO of EMEA at State Street. Cantillon replaces Joerg Ambrosius who moved to another role at the firm. Previously, Cantillon was Global Head of Alternative Asset Manager Solutions at State Street.
Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh Balwani Face Federal Charges
Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood-testing company Theranos, is facing federal fraud charges. Also facing charges is Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Both individuals were indicted on charges that they engaged in schemes to defraud investors, doctors and patients, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). They both face two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. These criminal charges were levied after Holmes had settled civil fraud charges initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Russian Investors Chopped Treasury Holdings in April
Revealed in a report from the U.S. Treasury, Russian investors dropped U.S. Treasury holdings in March 2018 from US$ 96.1 billion to US$ 48.7 billion in April 2018. Before March 2018, U.S. Treasury holdings by Russian investors remained steady in the US$ 100 billion range.
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