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Will Sovereign Funds Capture Opportunity in Trump’s Space Force?

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U.S. President Donald Trump is keen on making a mark in the defense industry by launching a Space Force (joining – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) – attempting to ensure American dominance in space. Morgan Stanley eyes a potential windfall, seeing a US$ 1 trillion economy brewing. Morgan Stanley released a note to clients commenting that a Space Force, “could address critical vulnerabilities in national security, raising investor awareness in the formation of what we see as the next trillion-dollar economy.”

Sovereign wealth funds and other asset owners are major financial backers of semiconductors, defense, and companies focused on satellites and rockets. According to SWFI data, since 2014, there has been an increase in direct sovereign wealth fund investment in the aerospace and defense industry. In 2017, sovereign funds directly invested US$ 4.76 billion in aerospace and defense.

On June 18th, President Trump said, “Very importantly, I’m here by directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That’s a big statement.”

Sovereign Wealth Investment

From a sovereign wealth fund perspective, many wealth funds are active in investing strategically in the aerospace and defense arena. Mubadala Investment Company has been active in aerospace investments such as Piaggio Aerospace SpA, while SoftBank Group has tremendous exposure to artificial intelligence companies and semiconductors. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

Canadian Pension Giants Could Support Trans Mountain Pipeline Deal

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The British Columbian (B.C.) government and indigenous groups publicly oppose the Trans Mountain Pipeline project over a number of issues, which include environmental concerns (potential pipeline spills) and land protections. The threat of project derailment sent jitters to Houston-based Kinder Morgan, Inc., requiring the company to halt non-essential spending on Trans Mountain Pipeline L.P. Calgary-based Kinder Morgan Canada Limited, which owns the pipeline, is a listed company that is 70% owned by Kinder Morgan and 30% owned by stock market investors (float). Kinder Morgan Canada hired TD Securities to explore options regarding the future of the pipeline.

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Goldman Sachs Poised to Name David Solomon as New CEO

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Goldman Sachs is poised to name David M. Solomon, the firm’s president, as its new CEO, replacing Lloyd C. Blankfein. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Blackstone and Goldman Invest in Francisco Partners

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Larger alternative investment houses and banks are taking ownership stakes in specialist private equity firms. On July 13, 2018, Blackstone Group’s Strategic Capital Group and Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s Petershill program acquired a minority stake in San Francisco-based Francisco Partners. Francisco Partners is a private equity firm focused on tech-related companies, competing against Thoma Bravo, BC Partners, Vista Equity Partners, Bain Capital and other specialists.

Dipanjan (DJ) Deb is the Co-Founder and CEO of Francisco Partners. Before forming the company in 1999, he was a Principal at Texas Pacific Group (TPG).

Advisors

Francisco Partners was advised by Evercore and Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Simpson Thacher served as legal counsel to Blackstone and Fried Frank served as legal counsel to Goldman Sachs.

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