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Future Fund Bids for Listed Australian Infrastructure Fund



According to the press release, “The Future Fund Board of Guardians confirms that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Australian Infrastructure Fund (AIX) to acquire all of AIX’s portfolio assets as part of an agreed transaction.

David Neal, Chief Investment Officer at the Future Fund said: “Australian infrastructure assets are attractive to the Future Fund because of their strong correlation with Australian economic growth, inflation protection and relative high levels of earnings certainty. These characteristics provide a strong fit with the Fund’s mandate to achieve high, risk adjusted returns over the long term.

“Over the last five years, the Fund has been building its Tangible Assets program. The infrastructure program is part of that and is now valued at over $4.3 billion or 5.6% of the portfolio. We continue to seek opportunities to increase our exposure to quality Australian and international infrastructure assets.”

The proposal is consistent with the Future Fund’s long stated strategy, and will further enhance the Fund’s direct exposure to quality domestic infrastructure assets. The Future Fund already directly holds 16.8% of Australia Pacific Airports Corporation. The Future Fund has given careful consideration to its proposal. The MOU provides exclusivity and sets out the process to close the transaction, including the requirement for a period of confirmatory due diligence and final approval by the Future Fund Board of Guardians.

The proposal to acquire AIX’s assets for $2 billion represents a 10% premium to the AIX Directors’ published valuation of its assets as at 30 June 2012 and provides AIX securityholders with certainty of value.

Any transaction would require the support of the Board of Directors of Australian Infrastructure Fund Limited and the sub-committee of independent directors of Hastings Funds Management Limited, as well as the approval of AIX securityholders.”

Read more: Press Release

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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