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SWFI First Read, June 7, 2016

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Strathclyde Pension Fund to Expand Exposure to Emerging Markets and Credit

The Strathclyde Pension Fund plans to allocate £200 million to £300 million in emerging market debt. The fund is modifying its strategic asset allocation. The fund also plans to expand exposure to credit investments. In addition, the fund is committing £30 million, through its direct investment portfolio, toward Equitix Fund IV, a core infrastructure fund managed by Equitix.

New York Governor Requires State Agencies to Divest from Companies that Boycott or Sanction Israel

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that prevents New York state agencies dealing with companies and organization that support the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS movement calls for an economic boycott of Israel due to its policies toward Palestinians. The bill also affects all public benefit corporations, public authorities, boards and commissions, with regard to New York. However, Cuomo’s executive order does not apply to the New York State Common Retirement Fund. In addition, the states of Illinois, Indiana and Colorado have established similar laws requiring public pension funds to divest from companies that boycott or place economic sanctions on Israel. These moves are in stark contrast of other institutional investors such as Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which in 2014, banned two Israeli companies, Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus, over their alleged activities in building settlements in East Jerusalem.

Goldman Sachs Probed by U.S Investigators Over Compliance with Bank Secrecy Act Over 1MDB

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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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