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SWFI First Read, October 5, 2015

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P2P Lender Prosper Crosses $5 Billion Goal Mark

San Francisco-based Prosper Marketplace, a peer-to-peer lending network, has surpassed US$ 5 billion in loans originated through their platform since inception. In 2014, Prosper moved across the US$ 2 billion threshold in loan origination, showing an increasingly higher usage of consumers choosing online platforms versus traditional banking.

Adrian Orr Made Chair of IFSWF

In conclusion of the IFSWF Milan meeting, NZ Super Fund Chief Executive Adrian Orr has been appointed Chair. The appointment, which is unpaid, is for a three-year term. Orr was previously IFSWF Deputy Chair. IFSWF aims to promote best practice governance and transparency in the management of sovereign wealth funds.

More Heads Leave Harvard Endowment

Harvard Management Co., the manager of Harvard University’s endowment, said two managers have exited – this is of course after the endowment has posted its annual return. Marco Barrozo, the endowment’s head of fixed income, is leaving. Barrozo joined in 2007 and was one of the highest paid managers, earning US$ 4.8 million in 2013. Satu Parikh, managing director and head of commodities at the endowment, has also left. Parikh was hired by the endowment in 2011.

World Bank Asks for More Money

The President of the World Bank pleaded with countries to increase the institution’s capital base. Jim Yong Kim believes the United Nations’ updated goals will require the bank to use more resources. The World Bank is facing competition from the East, with the rise of China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

KIC Chief Goes to National Assembly

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Saudi Aramco Contemplates SABIC Stake from PIF

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Oil giant Saudi Aramco is in early discussions on whether to pursue an ownership stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) from the Public Investment Fund (PIF). At the moment, Saudi Aramco has no plans to buy publicly-held shares of SABIC. SABIC was founded in 1976 by Saudi royal decree to convert oil by-products into useful chemicals, polymers, and fertilizers.

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SWFI First Read, July 19, 2018

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GIC Eyes Provenance Land

GIC Private Limited is nearing a deal to purchase up to 50% of Provenance Land. Provenance Land owns India’s first Four Seasons hotel.

Eduard van Gelderen Leaves UC Regents for PSP Investments CIO Role

Eduard van Gelderen exited his position as Senior Managing Director at the University of California Regents’ Office of the Chief Investment Officer. His role will not be replaced. He accepted an offer to be Chief Investment Officer of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

PAAMCO Prisma Holdings CEOs to Exit

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Google Fined Big Time by EU Regarding Antitrust Violations

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The European Union (EU), through its competition commissioner, levied a €4.34 billion fine against Alphabet Inc., the owner of Google. The fine is over Google having “imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search,” according to the European Commission (EC).

The European Commission is requiring Alphabet to cease from its conduct that it is accused of within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a press release, “Today, mobile internet makes up more than half of global internet traffic. It has changed the lives of millions of Europeans. Our case is about three types of restrictions that Google has imposed on Android device manufacturers and network operators to ensure that traffic on Android devices goes to the Google search engine. In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine. These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules.”

The EC press release added, “In particular, Google: 1. has required manufacturers to pre-install the Google Search app and browser app (Chrome), as a condition for licensing Google’s app store (the Play Store); 2. made payments to certain large manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and 3. has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called “Android forks”).”

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