Australia’s Future Fund Rides the Bullish Wave into March 2017
As of March 31, 2017, the Future Fund reached A$ 129.6 billion in assets. David Neal, Managing Director of the Future Fund, said in a press release, “The Future Fund’s overall risk level remains unchanged and towards the lower end of our normal expectations. This reflects our view that we should only take on additional risk where the expected returns are appropriate. We continue to work hard and in a disciplined way to identify areas of opportunity, taking up those with attractive risk-adjusted returns and ensuring the portfolio is flexible and efficient.”
SEI Investments Loses to BlackRock in Bpf Meubel’s Fiduciary Mandate
Pensioenfonds Meubel (Bpf Meubel), a Netherlands pension fund for the furniture industry, named BlackRock as its fiduciary manager. BlackRock replaces SEI Investments as the fund’s fiduciary manager. In addition, SEI Investments oversees some 80% of the fund’s assets as an asset manager. In 2016, the fund had an annual return of 0.94%, as 46% of its assets are in fixed income versus 29% held in equity. In 2016, SEI Investments earned €6.5 million in its fiduciary manager mandate from Bpf Meubel.
Invesco to Buy ETF Provider Source from Warburg Pincus
Invesco is buying a majority stake in Source, a London-based exchange-traded funds (ETF) provider, from an affiliate of Warburg Pincus. Source oversees US$ 18 billion in assets, while managing US$ 7 billion in subadvised assets. Other investors holding their position in Source include Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. Warburg Pincus had bought into Source in 2014. The financial advisor for Source is JPMorgan, while the legal advisor was Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.
1MDB and IPIC Ink Conditional Agreement
Ever since the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) put heat on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) debacle, government officials from around the world involved want a faster resolution to outstanding issues. The issue between Mubadala and 1MDB encircles agreements on two bond offerings in which IPIC did not receive payment, even though 1MDB maintained they did. On April 24, 2017, 1MDB and IPIC agreed to a conditional agreement in which 1MDB would pay US$ 1.2 billion in two installments. The agreement is conditional on the Arbitration Tribunal in London. The agreement is awaiting a consent award by May 31, 2017.
RDIF and JBIC Make Progress on Key Terms for Russia-Japan Investment Fund
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In December 2016, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn became King of Thailand, succeeding his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away in October 2016. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
by Michael Maduell
In my frequent and vast interactions with chief executives of small-to-large asset management firms, I’ve witnessed a number of traits that successful firms – meaning growing and retaining assets under management plus getting real respect in the industry – are able to properly execute. Besides generating amazing returns and matching the right solutions for the asset owner clients, CEOs need to be advancing their firms. Of course, quality client service should remain front of mind for fund management firms. In this short piece, I will focus on three traits that successful fund managers tend to possess.
1. Abundant Charisma from Founders
What is memorable and what will stick in one’s mind? A cadre of asset managers possess charismatic chief executives. BlackRock’s Larry Fink, DoubleLine’s Gundlach and Rajiv Jain of GQG Partners are some prime examples that come to mind. DoubleLine is a relatively new player compared to BlackRock and already amassed over US$ 100 billion in assets. Being a founder of the fund management company also helps, as CEO hires (often bringing a book-of-business contacts) may tend to look elsewhere unless generously compensated.
Having an effective cheerleader CEO is essential in nurturing and growing a sustainable franchise in a monochromatic industry of imitators. Too often, CEOs of some asset management firms are pure “salespeople” – too pushy or fake, or a highly-bright number-cruncher with low or nil emotional intelligence.
2. Not Drinking Too Much of One’s Own Kool-Aid
“We are a data-driven, technology, ESG-focused, smart-beta, solutions-led provider of services.” Hey, 2018 did I get that right?
Yes, your stuff does not stink. Like a broken clock, many CEOs rely on the flavor of the year or grappling a playbook, beating the idea over the heads of pensions and sovereign fund clients and prospects. In the long-run – meaning maintaining assets over a lengthy period of time – I find it’s better to be more objective when discussing potential strategies. I’m talking about a healthy dose of informative marketing. However, being overly-transparent or even talking yourself out of the strategy is not what I am directly advocating. It is important to be realistic about the strategy or thematic idea, as the attractiveness of these concepts shift over time.
3. Stirring up Controversy – Strategically
Shaking the tree and stirring the pot – this trait can surely backfire if not properly executed. Being the brightest crayon in the box can work. Even virtue signaling – latching onto a social current – can work in some instances, but CEOs that can deliver impactful counter-culture statements that shock the conscience tend to draw attention – and capital. This might not be the best example; however, upon the ascendancy of Abraaj Group, the firm’s founder, Arif Naqvi, often commented to not describe countries like China, India, etc. as emerging markets but as global growth markets – then creating a comparison to Wall Street and its risks. Abraaj was able to raise a ton of capital, before its downfall stemming from early 2018.
Boards need to diligently examine the CEOs they select. Does the firm want to grow or hold the line for the planned dividend? My belief is that if you are not growing, you are decaying, as the world moves faster and faster.
The views in this article are expressed by Michael Maduell.
Michael Maduell is President of SWFI.
State Street Names Maria Cantillon for Head of Sectors Solutions, EMEA
State Street named Maria Cantillon as head of sectors solutions for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She will report to Liz Nolan, CEO of EMEA at State Street. Cantillon replaces Joerg Ambrosius who moved to another role at the firm. Previously, Cantillon was Global Head of Alternative Asset Manager Solutions at State Street.
Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes and Ramesh Balwani Face Federal Charges
Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood-testing company Theranos, is facing federal fraud charges. Also facing charges is Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Both individuals were indicted on charges that they engaged in schemes to defraud investors, doctors and patients, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). They both face two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. These criminal charges were levied after Holmes had settled civil fraud charges initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Russian Investors Chopped Treasury Holdings in April
Revealed in a report from the U.S. Treasury, Russian investors dropped U.S. Treasury holdings in March 2018 from US$ 96.1 billion to US$ 48.7 billion in April 2018. Before March 2018, U.S. Treasury holdings by Russian investors remained steady in the US$ 100 billion range.
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