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Gonski Leaves Future Fund Chair for ANZ Chair

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David Gonski

David Gonski

David Gonski, the chairman of Australia’s largest sovereign wealth fund, will be stepping down as he plans to take on a new chair role. Gonski will be replacing John Morschel as chairman of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ Bank) in May 2014. Gonski took over the role as chairman of the Future Fund in April 2012. As being the sovereign fund’s second chairman, his term at the Future Fund was due for expiration in April 2017. The decision to step down was to avoid any conflict of interest.

Peter Costello will take over as acting chairman of the Future Fund on January 11, 2014. Costello is the former treasurer of Australia and had been a board member of the sovereign fund since December 2009.

According the ANZ’s press release, ANZ Chairman John Morschel said: “David is one of Australia’s most respected business leaders and company directors. He knows ANZ well having previously served as a director from 2002 to 2007, and it is particularly pleasing to have someone of his calibre join the Board and to succeed me.”

David Gonski is ranked #19 on the Public Investor 100.

Mergermarket Gets Ready to be Sold

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Private equity firm BC Partners hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to advise on the sales of Acuris. Acuris is a collection of financial news and data sites, which includes Mergermarket, Dealreporter, and Debtwire. In 2017, BC Partners sold around a 30% stake in GIC Private Limited.

Before the rebranding to Acuris, Mergermarket was part of The Financial Times Group until 2013 when it was sold off to BC Partners.

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Why Japan Post Sees Promise in Aflac

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Aflac Inc. is an American insurance company founded in 1955. The company is the biggest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Aflac also has major operations in Japan.

In December 2018, Japan Post Holdings (JPHLF) signaled it was spending US$ 2.64 billion for a 7-8 % stake in Aflac. The goal is that, in four years time, Aflac will become an affiliate of Japan Post. Japan Post hopes to accomplish this by becoming the largest voting shareholder of the company. The world’s 13th largest company, with 400,000 employees, Japan Post needs to expand to chase further growth, mainly because Japan Post expects the postal business to decline. Diversification is seen as the optimal route to long term stability for the holding company. Japan’s economy is worrying. Japan’s aging population means that many insurance companies are facing a shrinking customer base, Japan Post settled on a plan to expand overseas.

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RDIF and Development Agency of Serbia Agree to Explore Joint Investments

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The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Development Agency of Serbia, also known as Razvojna agencija Srbije, reached an agreement to work together to identify attractive investment projects to strengthen bilateral economic ties and increase investment flows between Russia and Serbia. Russian capital and businesses are keen on investing in Serbia.

In addition, the two countries signed an agreement to cooperate on civil nuclear energy, according to state-owned Russian reactor builder Rosatom (Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation). Rosatom continues to expand it business of nuclear cooperation deals in a wide number of countries.

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