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Weekend Giant Reading, January 10 – 12, 2014

Here are this week’s big goings on down on the Avenue of Giants (and in Malta, pictured).

Welcome to the weekend, everybody. I’ve got some news and two papers for your reading enjoyment.

First, here are the big stories from the past week.

  • Bad Governance: The Economistrightly describes what's wrong with New York's (and most of America's) pension funds.

  • The Fee Machine I: Dutch pension funds paid $6.1 billion in fees last year.

  • The Fee Machine II: South Carolina treasurer Loftis continues to rail against South Carolina pension system and the fees it’s paying to Wall Street.

  • White Knights: Will Ireland's SWF manage to get its money back — or even make some money — on its banking bailouts? It’s still a long shot, but it actually just might...

  • Infrastructure: SWFs from Qatar, China and Singapore won't be happy about U.K. regulator's decision to cut the tariffs for Heathrow.

  • SWF Community: The next IFSWF meeting will be in Qatar on November 19 – 20, 2014.

  • Blatant Self-Promotion: Read my post on why using cockpit-style checklists in finance is potentially dangerous ... and why you should do it anyway.

  • Asset Allocation: Will Norway's SWF finally diversify into more asset classes? Maybe.

  • Musical Chairs I: The Korea Investment Corp.'s CIO just quit. With a brand new CEO at the helm, something is clearly off at the KIC.

  • Musical Chairs II: Don Raymond is leaving CPPIB for the private sector. Interestingly, Don was the architect of much of the international expansion of the CPPIB, which was also in the news this week.

  • Divesting: PGGM has decided to sell out from all Israeli banks with ties to West Bank settlements.

  • New SDFs I: Zambia's President announced plans to set up a new SDF to stimulate investment in strategic, non-mining industries. (Here's some background on SDFs.)

  • New SDFs II: Ireland's Strategic Investment Fund has deployed €1.3 billion into the local economy thus far.

  • Collaboration: London's 33 local pensions have dumped "merger" plans but are looking at a pooled investment vehicle à la SIB model.

  • Deal Flow I: Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Tech Investment Co., which is controlled by Mubadala, will invest $10 billion (!) in a New York semiconductor fab.

  • Deal Flow II: A few different SWFs and pensions are competing for Shell's Australian service stations.

  • Deal Flow III: The CIC is selling down 1.2 billion shares of GCL Poly Energy.

  • Concentration: Fiona Mackenzie, the NZSF's head of investments, explains her SWF's focus on fewer and deeper manager relationships.

  • New SWFs I: Ghana's relatively new SWFs are already being recalled for a little regulatory touch up. Watch this space.

  • New SWFs II: Malta is still talking about launching a new SWF. From what pool of money? From the money it earns by selling EU passports...

  • Debtors: Retail investors may soon get a chance to buy Temasek's bonds.

  • Second, here are two interesting new papers.

  • The Korea Investment Corp.: I haven’t yet read this new paper by Youngwon Cho, but it looks interesting, and I will do so over the weekend: “The Paradox of A Sovereign Wealth Fund In A Post-Developmental State: The Case of the Korea Investment Corporation.”

  • And that’s all for now. Be back next week. Enjoy your weekend!

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