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The Canadians Are Building a National Infrastructure Bank

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In November 2016, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau stood up in the House of Commons and announced plans to create a new infrastructure bank, a Canada Infrastructure Bank, for the country. Building infrastructure and creating jobs are popular themes that resonate with many voters in Western countries. Tapping on wealth fund, pension and infrastructure asset manager hunger for suitable infrastructure opportunities, the bank would seek to attract C$ 4 to C$ 5 in private capital from institutional investors for every C$ 1 of Canadian federal money. The proposed bank aims to have C$ 35 billion in capital to help finance infrastructure projects. C$15 billion would come from federal infrastructure funding, while C$ 20 billion would be solicited from institutional investors. The formation of a new infrastructure bank was a campaign promise the Liberals talked about during campaign season. However, legislation to actually form the bank will come after Canada’s federal budget.

The reality is that most institutional investors like sovereign funds focused on infrastructure are attracted to brownfield investments, while governments want new construction (greenfield). This infrastructure bank seeks to give assurances for investors to take on large greenfield infrastructure investments.

Beginning with Leech

Canada’s Liberal government seeks to partner with Canadian pension funds and overseas investors such as sovereign funds to back country infrastructure. The government needs a networking chief with extensive contacts. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Hire its First Chief Investment Officer

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) hired its first chief investment officer. The US$ 10 billion philanthropic vehicle hired David Lee to be its CIO. The search process was conducted by New York-based recruiting firm David Barrett Partners. Lee spent the last eight years working at Princeton University’s endowment – holding the managing director position as his final station. Lee got his MBA at Yale University.

According to the CZI press release, “In this role, Lee will be responsible for managing an investment portfolio that will grow the organization’s ability to fund its efforts across its three core Initiatives – Science, Education and Justice & Opportunity. CZI is a new kind of philanthropic organization that pairs engineering with grantmaking, impact investing, policy and advocacy work, in order to help build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone.”

Lee will report to an investment committee which is led by Yale University CIO David Swensen. Other investment committee members of CZI include Lei Zhang, Founder and CEO of Hillhouse Capital; Matt Cohler, General Partner of venture capital firm Benchmark; and Carter Simonds, a former Managing Director of Blue Ridge Capital – a hedge fund investor.

Photo Credit: CZI

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Saudi Arabia Sends Second Installment of Aid to Pakistan

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On December 14, 2018, Pakistan received its second installment of the US$ 3 billion in aid promised from Saudi Arabia on October 23, 2018. The US$ 1 billion given on December 14th boosted the foreign reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan, which went from US$ 7.2 billion to US$ 8.2 billion. The first installment was given on November 23, 2018. The last installment is expected to occur in January 2019.

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White House Nominates Heath Tarbert for CFTC Chairman

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The White House announced Heath P. Tarbert will be nominated to serve as Commissioner and Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Tarbert currently serves as Assistant Secretary for International Markets at the U.S. Treasury Department. Before joining the U.S. Treasury, Tarbert was a Partner at law firm Allen & Overy. Tarbert was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for his current Treasury post at 87 (yes) to 8 (no).

Upon Senate confirmation, Tarbert’s CFTC term would start on April 14, 2019 and last for five years. Tarbert is taking over from J. Christopher Giancarlo whose term ends in April 2019. Tarbert will need a U.S. Senate confirmation to take the head CFTC post.

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