Giant News Roundup, March 17, 2014

Here’s a roundup of some of the top stories and news from down on the Ave of Giants. Enjoy!


Sorry for the radio silence last week. I touched down in San Diego, Taipei, Beijing, Doha, Dar Es Salaam, and NYC in under 7 days. Phew; not an itinerary I’d recommend with any enthusiasm. Anyway, I’m home now and have a few posts lined up for this week. Starting with... the news:

- New SWFs: If you’ve been wondering what’s up with Nigeria’s new NSIA, here’s everything you’d want to know and probably more.

- Disapproving Head Shake: Oregon killed the bill for an independent and professional OIC that could manage more of its assets in house. In other news, rent-seeking dudes on Wall Street were seen everywhere doing this.

- Ethics Over Efficiency: Norway’s government plans to ask its SWF to politicize even more of its investments... Sorry, I mean ‘focus on renewables'. (For some background, read this.)

- The Fee Machine I: The PE merry-go-round, where one GP sells to another GP, continues to circle. And that’s wonderful news for the whole world of I-bankers. As for LPs? Not so much.

- The Fee Machine II: Korea’s Proba is reportedly seeking bids for a mandate that will deliver sub-optimal hedge fund returns, while charging fees on top of fees...

- Corporate Governance: Korea’s NPS, which owns big stakes in the top Korean firms, has plans to get tough over corporate governance.

- Real Estate: The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority set up a JV with Thames Valley Housing for $200 million worth of residential homes.

- Gold Rush: Azerbaijan’s SOFAZ has taken delivery of 20 tons of Gold over the past few years. And if you thought that was crazy, it has plans to take delivery of another 30!

- Diversification: Will Japan finally be turning the risk on at its GPIF? May be.

- Deal Flow: Singapore’s Temasek acquires the shares in Olam it doesn’t already own; total transaction value could be $2.1 billion.

- Collaboration: Ireland’s new Strategic Investment Fund and the China Investment Corporation are jointly seeding a new Irish tech fund with $50 million each. The CIC’s favorite VC shop, WestSummit, will run things alongside Atlantic Bridge apparently.

- Consolidation: The recommendations of Sweden’s Buffer Fund Inquiry that took place two years ago... will now be implemented.

- SDFs: Alberta is setting up a series of new funds; including something that looks a lot like a sovereign development fund. One politician reportedly said the new fund was intended to “do something cool”...

- Geographic Expansion: Singapore’s GIC is increasing its pace of Brazilian investments and will soon set up a new office in Sao Paulo. (If you’re interested, here’s more on setting up overseas offices.)

- Musical Chairs: Korea’s $74 billion SWF has a new Chief Investment Officer.

- The Law: After suing Goldman Sachs for calling it a “Muppet” (or something like that), the Libyan Investment Authority is now going after Societe Generale.

- Libya: By the way, the LIA is hiring a new CIO. It’s London based with travel to Tripoli as required. Arabic is not required. So, why not apply? It could be a lot of fun, and, moreover, you could really help a country during a vulnerable time... Oh just do it already.

Have a great week.