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SWFI First Read, December 6, 2016




BlackRock Hires Former CMO and CCO at Buzzfeed to Lead Marketing Efforts

BlackRock Inc. hired the former Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Creative Officer at Buzzfeed, Frank Cooper, to be the firm’s new global chief marketing officer. Frank Cooper will report to BlackRock CEO Laurence “Larry” Fink. Cooper had stints at PepsiCo Inc., AOL, Warner Bros. and worked as an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles. He will also join BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee.

OMERS Private Equity Sells Majority Stake in V.Group to Advent International

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) exited out of a majority 51% ownership interest in marine services company V.Group. The buyer is Advent International. OMERS will remain a minority investor in V.Group. Goldman Sachs was the financial advisor for V.Group, while Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP was the legal advisor for OMERS. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was the legal advisor for Advent International.

OMERS bought V.Group in 2011 for US$ 520 million from Exponent Private Equity.

Hausman Promoted to Lead Strategic Relationships at OTPP

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) promoted Jonathan Hausman to lead the new Global Strategic Relationships department, which is responsible for developing and cultivating mutually beneficial investment relationships around the world. His appointment as Managing Director and Head of Global Strategic Relationships is effective January 1, 2017. Hausman joined OTPP in 2004.

Damian Graham Named CIO at First State Super

Damian Graham has become Chief Investment Officer of Sydney-based First State Super. Graham was the interim CIO at First State Super in August 2016 when Richard Brandweiner exited for London-based LeapFrog Investments, an impact investment firm.

Agaciro Development Fund Prods Along to Target 200 billion RWF by 2020

The Agaciro Development Fund has so far raised about 37.5 billion RWF out of the targeted 200 billion RWF needed by 2020. RWF stands for Rwanda Franc.

Lionhorn Expands McDonald’s Ownership Empire

Lionhorn Pte Ltd, an entity run by Sheik Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza, acquired the franchise rights for McDonald’s in Singapore and Malaysia from McDonald’s Corporation. McDonald’s migrated ownership interest in 390 restaurants, in which more than 80% were corporate owned to Lionhorn on December 1, 2016. Lionhorn is a franchisee of about 100 McDonald’s restaurants in the western and southern regions of Saudi Arabia.

Accuron Medtech Led Investment Round in Awak Technologies

Singapore-based Awak Technologies Pte. Ltd., a kidney disease treatment pharmaceutical company, raised US$ 11.2 million from investors. The investment round was led by Accuron Medtech, a sovereign wealth enterprise of Temasek Holdings. Other investors in the round include Baxter Healthcare and TP Innovation Holdings, the technology transfer officer for Temasek Polytechnic.

UroMems Gets Investment from Bpifrance

France-based UroMems, a medical device manufacturer raised €14 million in funding. Bpifrance participated in the investment round through its Fonds Acceleration Biotechnologies Sante (Fabs) fund. The capital is being used to finance the development of its artificial urinary sphincter. Goodwin Procter LLP was the legal advisor for UroMems on the capital raise.

Cryptocurrencies Creep into the Middle East



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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CPPIB Inks Partnership Vehicle with La Française and its Shareholder CMNE



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. ]

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Norges Bank Governor Voices Opinion on Relaxing SWF Withdrawals over Specific Uses



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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