Weekend Giant Reading: August 7 – 9, 2015

Welcome to the weekend, everybody. Here’s some news for your reading enjoyment.


Welcome to the weekend, everybody. Here’s some news for your reading enjoyment:

- Hiring: Are you somebody who’s interested in humans surviving on planet earth? You are? OK cool. Do you also like helping to invest huge sums of money, on behalf the biggest sovereign funds on earth, in resource and energy innovation companies, projects and assets? Yeah? Please apply here.

- New SWFs: And the latest country to set up a sovereign fund is: Bangladesh! It will channel $1-2 billion of forex into local infrastructure.

- Professionalization: The Lancashire and London Pensions Partnership will pool the assets of two big pensions to bring costs down. Smart.

- White Knights: During the financial crisis, many sovereign funds came to the rescue of struggling financial services companies (and, as such, earned the nickname “white knights”). But, I have to say, this is the first time I’ve ever seen two sovereign funds, from Qatar and China, coming to the rescue of another sovereign fund, from Malaysia.

- QOTD: “All pension funds are going to be embarrassed when they have to reveal just how much they are actually paying private equity in performance fees ... And once CalPERS publishes what it has paid, it will be difficult for CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) and other pension funds to refuse to do so. The amounts are going to be ginormous, and public officials are going to ask whether these payments ... are warranted.” Yes Indeed.

- The Fee Machine: PGGM has announced that it will “stop investing in outside money managers, including private-equity firms, that don’t fully disclose their fees.” Based on this news and my experience working with asset managers over the past decade, I think it’s reasonable to predict PGGM will soon be 100% in-house ...

- Domestic Direct: Reporters are hailing the China Investment Corporation’s recent investment in a Chinese ride-sharing company as a signal that there is new legitimacy for ride sharing in the country. To me, the fascinating development here is to see the CIC make a domestic, direct investment in something that’s not a bank. That, my friends, is a very new modus operandi for the Chinese SWF.

- LP to GP Transitions I: TIAA-CREF, a pension fund, has closed a $3 billion fund partnership in which other pension funds are entrusting TIAA CREF to invest in Timber on their behalf.

- LP to GP Transitions II: The Queensland Investment Corporation has raised more than A$1 billion in capital for a new global infrastructure fund with a bunch of new pension clients signing up to participate.

- LP to GP Transitions III: Korea’s sovereign fund, KIC, will reportedly start accepting investment mandates from local Korean pension funds.

- Selfie: My latest post, in which I claim that a focus on real assets offers a path to pension professionalization.

Have a great weekend!