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SWFI First Read, February 8, 2018

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PSP Investments Names New CEO, Bourbonnais Departs for BlackRock

The Board of Directors of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) announced that effective immediately, Neil Cunningham has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of PSP Investments. Prior to this appointment, Cunningham was Senior Vice President, Global Head of Real Estate and Natural Resources at PSP Investments. Cunningham replaces André Bourbonnais who is leaving PSP Investments and joining BlackRock to lead a new group within BlackRock Alternative Investors.

BlackRock Seeks to Raise US$ 10 Billion Buy-and-Hold Fund

BlackRock wants to play in the longer fund lifecycle market, competing against firms like CVC Capital Partners, Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group. BlackRock is seeking to raise a US$ 10 billion fund, a sort of long-term private capital fund, to buy and hold positions in companies for the long-term, something many sovereign funds and major private equity firms already do.

Goldman Sachs Research Sends Warning Bell on Alt Coins

Steve Strongin, Global Head of Investment Research at Goldman Sachs, issued a February 5, 2018 report essentially making the case that the majority of digital currencies are unlikely to survive in their current form. Strongin then informs the reader that investors should prepare for coins to lose all their value due to being replaced by a smaller group of future competitors.

Cleco to Acquire Louisiana Power Plant Assets from NRG Energy

NRG Energy Inc., now being led by the forces of hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, is selling off assets and companies to focus on its core business. In one transaction, NRG Energy is selling power plants in Louisiana to Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC for US$ 1 billion. Cleco is buying NRG South Central Generating LLC (South Central), a subsidiary of NRG Energy. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are co-lead financial advisers for NRG Energy on the sale to Cleco. bcIMC is an minority investor in Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC.

CIC Eyes Rio Tinto’s Australian Coal Assets

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Japan’s GPIF Awards Nissay Asset Management with ESG Disclosure Mandate

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Increasingly asset owners across the Asia-Pacific region are studying the impacts of environmental, social, and governance factors on listed companies. As more Japanese pensions augment asset allocation to listed equities, the importance of corporate non-financial disclosures and practices becomes clear. These disclosures can have a material impression on company stock prices. In addition, Japanʼs Stewardship Code and Corporate Governance Code in 2014 and 2015 were launched, respectively. These codes helped the (environmental, social, and governance) ESG concept gain momentum in Japan.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the largest public pension fund in the world, awarded a research mandate to Nissay Asset Management Corporation. The mandate entails studying ESG disclosures. The study will conduct a comparable analysis on ESG standards and practices, while taking into account input from both investors and companies. With around US$ 110.5 billion in assets under management, Nissay Asset Management is owned by Japanese life insurance giant Nippon Life Insurance Company.

As GPIF boosted its allocation to domestic equities, the asset owner took a deeper look into the impact of ESG on equity investing. GPIF is keen on improving efficiencies in Japan’s capital markets. GPIF is a universal owner of stocks, similar in some aspects to what Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) does.

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management Buys Central Paris Property

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the real estate unit of Norges Bank Investment Management (oversees Norway Global Pension Fund Global), has signed an agreement to acquire a 100 percent interest in an office property located on 54-56 rue la Boétie in central Paris.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Schlumberger Gets Closer to Eurasia Drilling Company

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Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and American oilfield services giant Schlumberger (SLB) have planned a deal to invest in Russia’s Eurasia Drilling Company Limited. RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev made the announcement. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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