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SWFI First Read, February 27, 2017

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Chinese Insurer AIA Looks to SE Asia

Chinese mega insurer AIA Group Ltd seeks to grow its overseas investments and insurance business in emerging markets. AIA is increasing its investment presence in Singapore, by moving some team members from Hong Kong to Singapore. AIA also formed a new subsidiary in Singapore. The Southeast Asian countries of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have been major markets for foreign insurers as insurance penetration remains lower compared to other North Asian markets. In fact, AIA is battling Manulife Financial Corporation in a bid for the life insurance operations business of Siam Commercial Bank Pcl which is called SCB Life Assurance Pcl.

Dimensional Fund Advisors Starts Succession Path

David Booth is stepping down as Co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors and is being replaced by Dave Butler. Butler is joining Eduardo Repetto as co-CEO of the firm. Butler will also join Dimensional’s board of directors. Booth will continue to be executive chairman of the company. David Booth and Rex Sinquefield founded Dimensional in 1981 with the idea of using academic theories in real world applications. Dimensional has around US$ 460 billion in assets under management.

Qatar Petroleum Merges Petrochemical Operations to Save Money

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SWFI First Read, September 21, 2018

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U.S. Public Becomes More Aware that Gmail Scans Emails

Alphabet is a major stock holding for sovereign wealth funds and large pensions. Search giant Google is under fire for allowing third-party partners and companies, like Return Path Inc and other advertisers, to share data from Gmail accounts. Many experts and tech observers already knew this, but more people in the public are becoming aware of Google’s practices when it comes to privacy. Google disclosed in a letter to U.S. lawmakers this finding. The Wall Street Journal reported that in some instances, app companies were able to read people’s emails in order to improve their algorithms. In 2017, Google said they would stop scanning all of one’s Gmail messages for the goal of personalized ads.

GPIF Infrastructure Exposure Almost Reached 200 Billion Yen in March 2018

Japan Government Pension Investment Fund’s (GPIF) exposure to infrastructure real estate was 196.8 billion JPY at the end of March 2018. At that period, 57% of the exposure was to the UK, 15% was to Australia, 15% to Sweden, 10% to Spain and 3% to Finland. 21% of GPIF’s infrastructure portfolio was linked to airports versus 27% to ports.

AIMCo-backed sPower Closes $498.7 Million Bond Deal

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Iceland Contemplates a Sovereign Wealth Fund

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The Government of Iceland is looking to possibly form a sovereign wealth fund to stabilize the country from unforeseen shocks to the national economy. The Iceland government released a statement saying, “The state’s contributions to the Fund will be equivalent to new revenues from publicly owned power production companies which are expected to accrue in the coming years.”

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CBRE Global Wins First GPIF Global Real Estate Mandate

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Japan Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) awarded its first global real estate mandate by hiring CBRE Global Investment Partners Limited. This is a global core real estate fund-of-funds separate account. Overseeing this mandate as a gatekeeper is Asset Management One Co., Ltd., which is a unit of Mizuho Financial Group. This RFP was launched in April 2017.

CBRE Global Investment Partners is the multi-manager arm of CBRE Global Investors.

In addition, on August 8, 2018, GPIF hired two custodians for short-term investments. These custodians are Trust & Custody Services Bank, Ltd and The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd.

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