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Is This a Financial Data Bubble, Acuris Could be Sold?

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The Blackstone Group, along with its co-investors, Singapore’s GIC Private Limited and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), own Refinitiv, formerly the financial and risk business of Thomson Reuters. Tagged with a US$ 13.5 billion debt package, the October 2018 deal was a landmark transaction in the financial data industry.

Refinitiv is headed up by former McKinsey consultant David Craig who joined Thomson Reuters Corporation in 2007. Craig started as chief strategy officer at Thomson Reuters before becoming president of financial and risk. Before the adoption of the new name of Refinitiv, rival data company FactSet won a gargantuan contract from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, providing data for over 15,000 wealth managers. In a blow to Refinitiv, Merrill Lynch wealth management was a long-term data and terminal client of Thomson Reuters. Refinitiv is trimming costs by cutting approximately 2,000 jobs. The race for artificial intelligence and its integration into financial data is on. The question is how many firms have monetized this? What are the renewal rates with predictive fintech startups versus referential data? [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Like its U.S. Peers, Legg Mason Seeks to Trim Costs

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Legg Mason Inc., a Baltimore-based asset manager, has announced a reduction in workforce as is prepares to streamline operations and save money. Legg Mason’s leadership commented that assets under management fell 5 % year-on-year. Legg Mason currently manages US$ 727.2 billion (as of December 31, 2018), which is down from the previous US$ 767.2 billion. CEO Joseph A. Sullivan noted that a global operating platform will centralize fund administration, IT, and other departments that work with affiliates. Sullivan did not discuss the number of layoffs expected, or specify which areas would be impacted. Legg Mason disclosed they planned to close a quarter of its exchange-traded funds in March 2019. These three ETFs include a U.S. strategy, emerging markets, and a developed markets strategy outside the U.S. However, these funds run around US$ 28 million in assets under management.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Corporate Governance Advisory Committee

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On February 12, 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed the creation of a Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC). CGAC was formed to advocate for good corporate governance practices among listed companies in Singapore. Bobby Chin, Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, will be the Chair of CGAC. According to a MAS press release, “CGAC will identify current and potential risks to the quality of corporate governance in Singapore.”

MAS formed the Corporate Governance Council (Council) in February 2017. The Council was dissolved after it pushed out a publication of its final recommendations on August 6, 2018.

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Mubadala and SAMI Forge Ties to Explore Areas of Collaboration

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Mubadala Investment Company and Saudi Arabia Military Industries Company (SAMI), which is a defence company owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), agreed to a deal to partner and co-invest in defense manufacturing. This partnership grows defence ties between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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