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Ashby Monk, Ph.D., executive director of the Global Projects Center at Stanford University and a senior research associate at the University of Oxford, has been blogging about sovereign and pension funds since 2008. 

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The Daily Brief: Unfriendly West Pushing SWF East

Here now, the news:

Here’s why I do what I do: "Compensation is up and performance is down at hedge funds." Yes. That is insane.

- An increasingly unfriendly West is reportedly pushing the China Investment Corporation to look East for assets to invest in.

- Norway's Government Pension Fund - Global has developed a new rainforest policy for its portfolio companies.

- France's Strategic Investment Fund would consider co-investing alongside the Libyan Investment Authority in Petroplus' plant in Normandy.

- Poland’s richest man and the Qatar Investment Authority are backing a new $700 million company to invest in African and South American minerals.

- "Many institutional investors... are failing to act in their own best interests, exhibiting behaviour at odds with their stated goals." Yes, I’d noticed. 

- After GM's liability buyout with Pru, other pensions may get some good deals on GM's illiquid assets... like this one.

- The New Zealand Superannuation Fund’s strategic tilting policy seems to be working out rather well. What's tilting, you ask? Think macro bets and portfolio rebalancing on steroids.

- Retirement planning is now "...a luxury some sub-Saharan African nations feel they can and should afford." Cool.

- Here's the CEO of Mumtalakat on his fund's foreign investment strategy: "When we invest internationally, we always have our eye on Bahrain."

- Of the 700 or so venture capital firms registered to do business in the US, only fifty have any real chance of persistent outperformance.

Here’s some interesting insights from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s CEO: "What we try to do is exploit the areas where we have comparative advantages, and that tends to be in larger transactions, in transactions where the value creation will play out over a long period of time, and in transactions that are occasionally complex in nature... We've now built a team with high capabilities that can transact globally and in complex large-scale opportunities."

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