Holiday Giant Reading: December 25 - 31, 2015

Happy holidays, everybody. Here’s some of the big stories from the past month or so for your reading enjoyment.


Happy holidays, everybody. Here’s some of the big stories from the past month or so for your reading enjoyment. I’ve also overlaid some research papers to give you deeper context as to why these stories are interesting.

- QOTD: “In the old days you built armies . . . now you build a sovereign wealth fund.” Indeed. (And here’s why.)

- Overseas Expansion: The China Investment Corporation is going to set up an overseas office in . . . New York. (Here’s why.)

- From Paris To Toronto: As long-term investors from around the world gathered in Paris to commit to investing in resource innovation and clean energy, the Canadian pensions were noting a significant oil & gas buying opportunity and upping their investments. Toronto is clearly on a different wave length than Paris. (And here’s why they shouldn’t be.)

- Peer Collaboration: China and the UAE are launching a $10 billion “Joint Investment Cooperation Fund” to be managed by Mubadala, the China Development Bank and SAFE. (Here’s why this form of peer collaboration makes sense.)

- Seeding Managers: The University of California has announced to will work with Vivek Ranadivé to take the $250 million UC Ventures platform forward. (Here’s why.)

- Blissful Ignorance: CalPERS big plan to uncover “any and all types of types of fees, carry, discounts, rebates and/or any other forms of economic rent” has been . . . scrapped. Huh? Why? Apparently, the fund does not want to alienate the very people who are over-charging them. Personally, I tend to agree with the trustees’ views: “I have to question why we would want to enter into any agreement with somebody who says, ‘I’m reserving the right to charge you fees that I’m not going to tell you about.’” Yup. Dear CalPERS: Read this.

- New SWFs: This just in: The Bahamas is setting up a new sovereign wealth fund! Alright, fine, I’ll take one for the team and offer to come down and help the Bahamian government get this new vehicle set up . . . preferably in January or February. (Here’s where we might start.)

- Old SWFs: Sweden’s AP funds got some remarkable news early this month when they found out that a big percentage of the people working at these funds would not, as expected, be fired. Indeed, the government decided it won’t be shutting down any of the AP funds after all. Phew.

Rajiv Sharma and I have released our latest in a series of sleep aids to help all you insomniacs out there. This one is called, “Social Capital and Building An Institutional Investor’s Collaborative Network.” In it, we try to develop novel, and less resource intensive, mechanisms to help Giants overcome the barriers to efficient long-term investment and aligned access to private markets.

See you in 2016!