Weekend Giant Reading, May 31 — June 1, 2014

Here’s what happening down on the Avenue of Giants.

California's Second Largest City Ahead Of GDP Figures

A visitor looks out over Blacks Beach in San Diego, California, U.S on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.


Here now, the news:

- Self Harm: The United Nation’s employee union is pushing hard to prevent the professionalization of its own pension fund. Here is the union’s (flawed) logic: “The organization’s union has posted an online petition calling on Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to block the reforms, or ‘protect our pension fund from the wolves of Wall Street.’ Since May 15, nearly 10,000 people have signed.” The pension employees aren’t the wolves! They are the sheep dogs keeping the wolves at bay... and you’re about to neuter them. Sigh.

- Sisyphus: NYCRS has a new CIO. I hope he can finally push this system up to the top of the “good governance mountain” ...

- The Beta of Alpha: CalPERS has 700 private equity funds. Seven. Hundred. It must be nice paying 2 and 20 for beta exposure to an asset class...

- New SWFs I: In a bid to pass Abu Dhabi for sheer number of sovereign funds, Oman sets up a fourth sovereign investment vehicle: The “SME Development Fund.

- New SWFs II: Here’s the best name for a sovereign wealth fund I’ve seen to date: “Africa China Growing Together Fund”.

- The Fee Machine I: According to the SEC, “In some instances, investors’ pockets are being picked.” True.

- The Fee Machine II: ‘For PE firms to be deficient in their treatment of fees and expenses more than half the time is significant.’ True.

- The Fee Machine III: Thank you, David Blake. Good paper.

- Giants I: The CPPIB has cracked $200B in AuM with a 16.5% year.

- Giants II: North Dakota’s Legacy Fund: “This month’s transfer of $81.7 million will put the account over the $2 billion mark.”

- Collaboration: The Qatar Investment Authority is allocating $2B to a JV with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

- China: Australia’s Future Fund is struggling to find real estate opportunities in China that it can invest in.

- Innovation: Taiwan’s National Development Fund is seeding a $400M fund to finance new tech startups.

- Human Resources: ADIA has appointed its first “global head of research": BP’s Christof Rühl.

- ESG: Apparently, adding ESG factors to your investment decisions "... can add 40 basis points ... per month.” Screeeeeech. Sorry, what was that now?

- Health Care: It looks as though Nigeria’s new NSIA has plans to get into the domestic, private health care industry.

- Moves: QIC hires “tilt guru” from NZ Super.

- Hedge Funds: CalPERS is cutting its hedge fund allocation.

- Seeds of Change: Temasek is moving into the hedge fund seeding space, which is a good thing.

- SDFs I: Taiwan’s National Development Fund is investing T$20B to “help domestic companies of strategic importance to merge.”

- SDFs II: It sounds to me as though the Libyan Investment Authority will become more of an SDF than SWF; it has a big, new domestic focus.

- SDFs III: Ireland’s new SIF will “provide equity and loans on commercial terms to developers who cannot access finance.”

- Hoarders: Giants begin piling up cash in anticipation of correction.

- Hiring: CalPERs has launched its CIO search to replace the late, great Joe Dear.

- Logistics: APG is investing $650 million in a Chinese warehouse and logistics company.

- Real Estate I: The GIC is selling a US$200 million golf course in Florida.

- Real Estate II: The GIC is also selling some of its Australian real estate; says market is “heated”.

- Real Estate III: Denmark’s ATP puts half a billion into a Brussels office property.

Have a great weekend!