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SWFI First Read, November 24, 2016

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Happy Thanksgiving from SWFI

Sue Brake Heads Over to Willis Towers Watson

Sue Brake, a senior investment strategist at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, has exited the wealth fund to join Willis Towers Watson as a senior investment consultant.

APG Group Appoints Dick van Well to the Supervisory Board

APG Group, which oversees APG Asset Management, appointed Dick van Well as a member of its supervisory board.

Investcorp Touts US$ 250 Million Spend on U.S. Real Estate

Bahrain-based Investcorp, through its U.S. real estate unit, acquired a pool of real estate properties in the Boston and Denver metropolitan areas, for a total purchase price of approximately US$ 250 million. The five investments include 20 buildings and 1.8 million square feet of office, industrial, flex and laboratory space.

Some properties include:
Blackstone Science Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Centerpoint I & II, Denver, Colorado
Arapahoe Business Park, Colorado
345 Inverness (Portfolio of 10 office/flex properties), Colorado

In July, CBRE Group, Inc., sold the Centerpoint I & II office buildings to Investcorp.

New Mexico’s State Investment Council Settled with Eastern Real Estate Development LLC

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Why BlackRock Angled the EU Toward a Massive Supranational Pension Fund

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BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm and the company wields tremendous political power whether operating in the United States, Mexico, and parts of Europe. Before the populist wave that led to Brexit, BlackRock bet large in Europe by increasing headcount and lobbying efforts. By 2015, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink proposed the formation of a cross-border personal pension fund for Europe. Fink was keenly aware of the Capital Markets Union project that was revealed in July 2014 by European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. For BlackRock, why compete in each eurozone country when you can possibly win a mandate for the whole pie of Europe. The European pension fund market is hyper-competitive for asset management firms. Other asset managers like Vanguard have lobbied Brussels over issues like the cross-border distribution of funds, but data shows that BlackRock is far more active than its U.S. peers.

EU’s Definition of PEPP

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Malaysia’s Federal Land Development Authority Seeks to Restructure

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Malaysia’s Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), a government agency, is looking to restructure its investment holdings in a bid to reduce debt. The restructuring on the real estate side started in the middle of 2017. The government agency wants to lower its debts of 8.03 billion MYR (US$ 1.94 billion) down to 6.5 billion MYR. The restructuring could take over two years.

FELDA is seeking to dispose of assets which includes real estate in London. FELDA is an investor in student housing in London through its main unit called Felda Investment Corporation (UK properties owned by FIC UK Properties Sdn Bhd). [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Former Iran Central Bank Governor Banned from Leaving Country

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Iran remains in a very fragile financial state as more Iranian bank loans appear to delinquent, while the currency continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar. State-run Tasnim news agency reported that Valiollah Seif, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Iran, is banned from leaving Iran. Seif is under investigation by the Iranian government over possible corruption in the currency market. Some of the central bank’s deputies have been arrested. Abdolnaser Hemmati replaced Valiollah Seif as central bank governor in July 2018. Valiollah Seif was dismissed from his post as governor.

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