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SWFI First Read, February 14, 2017

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U.S. Senate Confirms Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary

In a 53 to 47 vote that was mostly along party lines, the U.S. Senate has confirmed Steven Mnuchin for U.S. Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin was CEO of OneWest Bank, the entity that acquired IndyMac.

Nordea Gets Political Over Dakota Access Pipeline

Nordea has decided to divest from bonds issued by Sunoco Logistics, Philips 66 and Energy Transfer Partners over protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline project in the United States. Nordea had asked for a dialogue with the three companies regarding the pipeline project. Nordea’s peer DNB is facing political stress from advocacy groups like Greenpeace Norge in Norway. DNB claims they are refinancing existing loans that are not linked directly to the pipeline project.

AIG Names Robert Scheinerman as President of Group Retirement

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) announced that Robert Scheinerman, currently President, Individual Retirement, will become President, Group Retirement. Scheinerman has been with AIG since 2003. In his new role, Scheinerman will spearhead the continued expansion of VALIC, AIG’s Group Retirement business. In addition, Todd Solash has joined AIG as President of Individual Retirement. Solash joins AIG from AXA Equitable, where he held key senior management positions, including Senior Executive Director, Head of Individual Annuity Business. Earlier in his career, Solash was a partner at Oliver Wyman Financial Services. Both Solash and Scheinerman will report directly to Jana W. Greer, President and CEO, Individual and Group Retirement, AIG.

Sinochem Corp Eyes Stake in Noble Group

Beijing-based Sinochem Corporation is in early discussions with commodity trader Noble Group on buying a potential equity stake in the firm. Noble Group touts the China Investment Corporation (CIC) as a key shareholder.

POBA Could Allocate to AMP Capital Infrastructure Fund

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White House Nominates Heath Tarbert for CFTC Chairman

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The White House announced Heath P. Tarbert will be nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Tarbert currently serves as Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before joining the U.S. Treasury, Tarbert was a Partner at law firm Allen & Overy. Tarbert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for his current Treasury post at 87 (yes) to 8 (no).

Upon Senate confirmation, Tarbert’s CFTC term would start on April 14, 2019 and last for five years. Tarbert is taking over from J. Christopher Giancarlo whose term ends in April 2019. Tarbert will need a U.S. Senate confirmation to take the head CFTC post.

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KIA Could Sell Stake in North Sea Energy Business

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The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), through its unit Wren House Investment Management, is nearing a deal to sell a 40% stake in its North Sea energy business to JPMorgan Asset Management. In July 2018, KIA closed on a deal to acquire oil and gas pipeline firm North Sea Midstream Partners from ArcLight Capital.

More details to follow –

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Pensioenfonds PGB Hires BMO Global for Equity Protection Strategy

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Pensioenfonds PGB is a Dutch multi-sector pension fund. PGB awarded a mandate to implement a protection strategy for its €12 billion equity portfolio to BMO Global Asset Management. PGB is a €26.5 billion fund. PGB has been using BMO Global’s responsible engagement overlay since 2017.

The Chief Investment Officer of PGB is Harold Clijsen.

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