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Know Your Customer (KYC) is Becoming More Important Than Ever

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The phrase “Know Your Client”, “Know Your Customer”, or “KYC” for short is becoming a more important term as an increasing number of global institutions are entering the fray, engaging in more alliances and transactions and working together on capital-intensive efforts. KYC is becoming increasingly vital as regulations sprout and fiduciaries should know what kind of party with whom they are dealing. As KYC compliance proliferates, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in our corporate subscription business. Record-breaking fines issued by financial regulators globally, especially in the West, is making KYC compliance a center point issue. Scandals can destroy a financial institution.

KYC is not just about regulation. It’s also about with whom a fiduciary plans on undertaking transactions. Will this institutional entity be a fair partner in a club deal? Do they have substantial assets? Counterparty risk? Who owns the institution, and what is their governance like?

SWFI provides detail on more than 275 institutional entities including people, external fund managers, assets and other important information that cannot be gleamed from the top layer. SWFI is committed to covering more institutional entities. In addition, we also permit our clients, at times, to request institutional entity inclusion, a tremendous benefit that allows the customer to set the menu, versus the provider.

SWFI is investing more into our research area which, again, is growing fast.

World Powers

With that being said, SWFI foresees more cross-border investment in the years to come, despite growing nationalism in certain countries. Big brother and little brother, terms referenced between the U.S. and China, will continue a push-and-pull relationship in the decades to come. Russia, China, India and Europe are not going anywhere, which is why periods of conflict and resolution will vacillate.

Institutional investors should attend conferences and meetings in other countries, or at least make sure the delegation of attendees is somewhat international. This is what SWFI tries to do when we host our summits and forums. We try to get as many international high-level delegates as possible, even in Scottsdale, Arizona. Getting a world view, not just from a “consultant”, but from actual practitioners and policymakers are paramount when making decisions regarding your portfolio. Lastly, SWFI tries to get a diverse point of view. We bring together ESG believers and non-believers, smart beta lovers and haters, and even optimists and doomsayers. Dialogue, respect and debate are core tenets of SWFI conferences.

Michael Maduell

The views in this article are expressed by Michael Maduell.
Michael Maduell is President of the SWFI.
www.swfinstitute.org

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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