Cowen Makes Moves, Inks Deal to Buy Convergex Group
The Cowen Group agreed to a deal to purchase New York-based Convergex Group, an agency-focused global brokerage and trading related services provider, for US$ 116 million in cash and stock from a group of investors including BNY Mellon, private equity firm GTCR and other investors. In March 2017, Shanghai-based CEFC China Energy Company Limited agreed to buy a 19.9% stake in Cowen with US$ 100 million in equity and US$ 175 million toward debt refinancing. CEFC China Energy is owned by Shanghai Energy Fund Investment Ltd, which is run by Ye Jianming.
For the Convergex deal, Morgan Stanley was the financial advisor for Cowen, while the legal advisor was Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. Convergex Group was advised by Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Juan Alcaraz to Solely Focus on Allfunds, Leaves CEO Role at Santander Asset Management
Juan Alcaraz, the Chief Executive Officer of Santander Asset Management, has exited this role to focus his efforts on Allfunds. Alcaraz will focus his sole attention on Allfunds, while Juan Manuel San Román will become CEO of Santander Asset Management. Recently, Singapore’s GIC Private Limited and private equity firm Hellman & Friedman acquired Allfunds.
Hiromichi Mizuno Reappointed as GPIF CIO
Hiromichi Mizuno, the Chief Investment Officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), has been reappointed. This reappointment is for a 6-month term, versus a typical 2-year term. Mizuno has been with GPIF since November 2014.
State Street Global Advisors Hires Former Barings Executive
State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) named Andrew Benton as head of U.K. institutional business, reporting to Michael Karpik, the firm’s executive vice president and head of Europe, Middle East and Africa. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
Banking behemoth J.P. Morgan Chase disclosed its own digital currency called JPM Coin. The digital token will be used to settle payments between clients. JPM Coin will be backed by physical U.S. dollars and be based off Quorum. Quorum is J.P. Morgan’s private Ethereum-based chain. JPM Coin plans to compete with Ripple, which created XRP, another digital currency that is used for settlements. Ripple’s main target market is cross-border payments and remittances.
The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority have unveiled their plans for Aber, an interbank digital currency. Both banks have indicated that Aber will be limited to financial settlements using distributed ledger technologies. It will be rolled out on a probational basis, and used by select banks within the two countries. A date for rollout has not yet been declared. A joint statement hinted at a broader application of the currency in the days ahead. If “no technical obstacles are encountered, economic and legal requirements for future uses will be considered.” Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies will be employed. The plan is for ‘Proof-of-Concept’ testing, which involves studying and fully comprehending the ways modern technologies can achieve practical applications. The digital currency has the potential to become a reserve system for central payments.
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La Française and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) formed a strategic partnership for the launch of a real estate investment and development vehicle: Société Foncière et Immobilière du Grand Paris. The joint venture between CPPIB (80%) and Caisse Fédérale du Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe (CMNE) (20%), La Française’s shareholder, will invest in major real estate projects linked to the Grand Paris infrastructure in the Greater Paris area. The parties will initially allocate €387.5 million in equity to the venture. The partnership will target regeneration and infrastructure-led investments.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]
Øystein Olsen, the Governor of Norges Bank, which oversees the Norway Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), voiced his opinion on the Norwegian government’s plans to alter the rules that regulates the country’s SWF withdrawal rules in certain circumstances. The coalition government led by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg wants to relax the limits on SWF withdrawals in specific cases. Norway’s government seeks to raid the fund to pay for the replacement of four major state buildings impacted by a terrorist attack and a crashed Royal Norwegian Navy frigate (KNM Helge Ingstad).
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