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Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Partners with Metlife on Real Estate

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Metlife, Inc. and Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the manager of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, have created a joint venture among their affiliates to invest in Class A office properties in select U.S. markets. This is NBIM’s third real estate platform in the United States – in September they entered into a joint venture with Boston Properties, Inc. They also have a real estate platform with TIAA-CREF.

NBIM will hold a 47.5% stake in the joint venture, while Metlife will hold the remaining stake of 52.5%. Metlife, the life insurance company, is a major investor in commercial real estate and mortgages. Metlife will be the asset manager of the platform.

The initial investment in the joint venture is One Financial Center in Boston, a 46-story office tower located on 10 Dewey Street. The tower is near Boston’s South Station. It is marked at a gross value of assets at US$ 700 million. The net purchase price for NBIM’s 47.5% share is US$ 238 million. It was purchased from One Financial Center Equity, LLC, an affiliate of Beacon Capital Strategic Partners V, L.P. Beacon Capital Strategic Partners V, L.P. is a US$ 4.040 billion closed-end commingled real estate fund. Metlife augmented their share of the building it already owns by 2.5%.

China’s Central Bank Creates Macro-Prudential Management Bureau

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) created a new department to oversee and attempt to eliminate financial risks to the system. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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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.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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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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