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Institutional Investors Contemplate Jack Ma’s Long Exit from Alibaba

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Institutional investors in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) are digesting the news that co-founder Jack Ma is planning to leave his position as chairman to focus on education and philanthropy. Some of these investors in Alibaba include Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, Baillie Gifford, and BlackRock. Ma, who was CEO as recently as 2013, has been the public face of Alibaba since its founding in 1999. It is China’s most successful tech company, and its meteoric rise made Jack Ma famous.

Ma was once a little-known English language teacher, with no background in the tech industry. Yet, during the modern internet’s nascent stage, he was a critical component of the team that built the corporation, now worth US$ 500 billion. Alibaba was groundbreaking, guided by the idea of helping Chinese manufacturers sell abroad. Due, in part, to Alibaba’s efforts, Americans imported vast sums of Chinese goods since it opened for business. That figure stands at over US$ 505 billion a year from November 2018. Recent tariffs will impact over US$ 250 billion of that amount, including electronics, consumer goods, and chemicals. Alibaba could be insulated from the shock since it has diversified, as mentioned on its website, by creating new “wholesale and retail online marketplaces as well as businesses in cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, innovation initiatives and others.”

Ma, who is worth US$ 36 billion, shared his thoughts in a letter to shareholders: “I have put a lot of thought and preparation into this succession plan for ten years. I am delighted to announce the plan today, thanks to the support of the Alibaba Partnership and our board of directors.” Ma suggested that his departure should be seen as good news for stakeholders in the company: “This transition demonstrates that Alibaba has stepped up to the next level of corporate governance from a company that relies on individuals, to one built on systems of organizational excellence and a culture of talent development.” Ma is not going anywhere yet. He will remain on the Alibaba board into 2020. Then, Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, will become executive chairman. Zhang has been CEO since 2015, and he is credited with building the company’s largest online sales event. He has also spearheaded Alibaba’s international expansion. Ma was quick to award kudos to Zhang, writing that “His analytical mind is unparalleled, he holds dear our mission and vision, he embraces responsibility with passion, and he has the guts to innovate and test creative business models.”

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Antares Bain Capital Complete Financing Solution Backs symplr Deal

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On December 10, 2018, Antares Bain Capital Complete Financing Solution provided a senior secured unitranche credit facility for Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. to acquire symplr, a healthcare governance, risk, and compliance software-as-a-service platform from Pamlico Capital and The CapStreet Group. Golub Capital provided financing for the transaction as well.

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PSP Investments Exits Antelliq

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On December 14th, Private equity firm BC Partners, Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), and other minority co-investors have signed a definitive agreement with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to sell Antelliq Corporation, a Vitré, France-based provider of digital animal identification, traceability, and monitoring solutions. Upon close, Antelliq will be a wholly owned and separately operated subsidiary within the Merck Animal Health Division. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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JPMorgan Edges Out Hamilton Lane on Florida SBA In-State Mandate

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The Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) manages a plethora of Florida state funds, including the state’s defined benefit plans. Florida’s SBA awarded a private equity portfolio mandate which targets high-technology businesses in Florida to J.P. Morgan Asset Management. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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