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The Crown Estate and Oxford Properties Agree on St James’s Market JV

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Every major public investor attracted to European core real estate wants a slice of London. The Crown Estate has been creating joint ventures to revitalize their central London properties. The Crown Estate has established a joint venture with Oxford Properties, the real estate subsidiary of the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, to have Oxford Properties take a 50% stake in the £320 million commercial element of the landmark St James’s Market scheme.

Canadian public investors are keen on historic properties in London with high traffic.

Essentially, the deal will create a strategic partnership based on two 50:50 limited partnerships. Each will own 150-year leasehold interests in two blocks located between London’s Regent Street and Haymarket. The Crown Estate will retain the freehold interest and will take the lead to develop the asset. The 10-year strategy will include revitalization of St James’s Market. The Crown Estate is no stranger to large public investors. Earlier they established the Regent Street Partnership with Norway’s sovereign wealth fund.

In a press release, Paul Clark, Director of Investment and Asset Management of the Crown Estate said, “Partnering with an organisation of the calibre of Oxford Properties speaks volumes about the market’s confidence in our specialist approach to managing third party funds. St James’s Market will deliver the most ambitious redevelopment in St James’s in the last century and represents a major tipping point for our strategy for the area.”

China’s Central Bank Creates Macro-Prudential Management Bureau

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) created a new department to oversee and attempt to eliminate financial risks to the system. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Like its U.S. Peers, Legg Mason Seeks to Trim Costs

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Legg Mason Inc., a Baltimore-based asset manager, has announced a reduction in workforce as is prepares to streamline operations and save money. Legg Mason’s leadership commented that assets under management fell 5 % year-on-year. Legg Mason currently manages US$ 727.2 billion (as of December 31, 2018), which is down from the previous US$ 767.2 billion. CEO Joseph A. Sullivan noted that a global operating platform will centralize fund administration, IT, and other departments that work with affiliates. Sullivan did not discuss the number of layoffs expected, or specify which areas would be impacted. Legg Mason disclosed they planned to close a quarter of its exchange-traded funds in March 2019. These three ETFs include a U.S. strategy, emerging markets, and a developed markets strategy outside the U.S. However, these funds run around US$ 28 million in assets under management.

[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Corporate Governance Advisory Committee

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On February 12, 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed the creation of a Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC). CGAC was formed to advocate for good corporate governance practices among listed companies in Singapore. Bobby Chin, Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, will be the Chair of CGAC. According to a MAS press release, “CGAC will identify current and potential risks to the quality of corporate governance in Singapore.”

MAS formed the Corporate Governance Council (Council) in February 2017. The Council was dissolved after it pushed out a publication of its final recommendations on August 6, 2018.

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