Happy Friday! Here’s some of the top stories from the past week:
- Fair Trading: After Norway’s sovereign fund made a splash with its endorsement of IEX Group, Dutch pension Giant PGGM is the latest long-term investor to come out in support of the alternative trading platform.
- Host With The Most: Italy graciously hosted the global community of sovereign wealth funds this week in Milan . . . and then tried to sell them all its post office. The check is in the mail!
- Changing of The Guard? It would appear that a leadership transition has finally begun (again) within Singapore’s Temasek.
- The Fee Machine: The biggest sovereign funds on earth were sounding off this week on the insanity of asset management fees in private equity and the need for far greater transparency. Up next: Actually doing something about it . . . most people I talk to complain that sovereign funds tend to be price takers, rather than makers, with top GPs. Either way, knowing is half the battle.
- Re-Up: The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority has received an important endorsement in the form of a fresh $1 billion capital commitment from the federal government. Given that the oil price remains below Nigeria’s policy benchmark, this is surprising.
- Big Losses: It’s always a bit odd for me to see an intergenerational investor, such as the Qatar Investment Authority, take heat from the media for a bad quarter. Then again, the QIA was down $12 billion this quarter. So there’s that.
- QOTD: “PE managers’ fees and expenses are like an iceberg, as so much remains hidden. And the iceberg is very deep . . .” - Professor Ludovic Phalippou
- Overseas Expansion: A few years ago I wrote a paper that described the trend among pensions and sovereign funds to set up overseas offices. And the number of multi-city asset owners continues to climb. This week, the Qatar Investment Authority announced it has set up a NYC office to channel $35 billion in new investments into the US of A. Also, Ontario Teachers anounced this week it would double down on its overseas office strategy with a bolstering of its London presence.
- New SDFs: Britain’s Labour party has a new policy idea: launching a sovereign development fund to catalyze its economy.
- Selfie: Speaking of SDFs, I just wrote a paper on the rise of sovereign development funds. We discuss why SDFs, under the right conditions, outperform traditional investors . . . which they do.
Have a great weekend!