AUSTRALIA

Cbus, the A$54 billion ($39 billion) industry fund, appointed Nancy Day as its chief operating officer for investments. She moved into the new position after working as head of investment operations at the fund for the past two years.

Day said her role would involve driving the continued internalisation of the Cbus investment model.

"My focus will be on the ambitious investment model including the internalisation of a number of direct investment strategies to continue to drive down investment costs and maximise the retirement outcomes of our 770,000 members," Day said.

Source: Financial Standard

A major industry superannuation fund has teamed up with fund managers responsible for more than A$1 trillion ($717.61 billion) to lobby Australia's 200 biggest businesses to hire women in at least 40% of executive jobs.

Debby Blakey, Hesta:
gender balance 'crucial'

The 40:40 Vision campaign is led by 870,000-member strong Hesta, backed by IFM Investors, Aberdeen Standard Investments, BlackRock Australia, Ellerston Capital, Fidelity International, First Sentier Investors, Pendal Group and WaveStone Capital and aims to increase women's representation in the ASX200.

Hesta chief executive Debby Blakey said gender balance in senior leadership roles was considered by the fund to be a crucial risk-reduction strategy for the long-term future of workers' retirement funds and other super funds would be encouraged to join the push.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

A biotech company backed by AustralianSuper, Hesta, Hostplus and Statewide Super has developed a new preventative treatment shown to reduce Covid-19 levels by up to 96%.

The product, INNA-051, is being developed by Ena Respiratory, and works by stimulating and boosting the innate immune system. Ena raised $11.7 million from a coalition of Australian institutional investors led by Brandon Capital, a venture capital firm that manages the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Australia and New Zealand's largest life science investment fund.

This fund is backed by the four aforementioned industry superannuation funds, as well as Australian and New Zealand state and federal governments and some 50 leading medical research institutes.

Source: Financial Standard

CHINA

China will conform to international rules to promote further integration of its capital markets, and continue interest rate and exchange rate reforms in a steady and prudent manner, Lu Lei, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said during an industry forum on September 26 in Shanghai.

The country is also looking to revise rules for its private equity and overseas investment schemes, Lu said. The Qualified Foreign Limited Partnership scheme allows qualified foreign institutions to make private equity investments in China while the Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership allows foreign fund managers with awarded quotas to raise money in China for overseas investments.

Source: Reuters

The Insurance Association of China published a 2019 social responsibility report, the first of its kind for the insurance sector.

In 2019, China's insurance industry raked in a total of Rmb4.26 trillion ($625.5 billion) in premium income, insuring an aggregate amount of Rmb6.47 quadrillion, according to the report.

In supporting regional integrated development, funds offered by the insurance sector for the Yangtze River economic belt and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region had surpassed Rmb600 billion and Rmb250 billion by the end of last year, respectively.

Source: Insurance Association of China

HONG KONG

Mark Konyn, AIA

AIA has put equity market hedges in place for a period well beyond the US election on November 3, said the insurance firm's chief investment officer, Mark Konyn, who sees heightened equity volatility as the most significant risk for investors.

“Where we have equity hedge strategies in place to protect the downside, we have extended the term until well after the election to avoid being caught out in this period of higher volatility,” said Konyn. He added that Hong Kong-based AIA, which has $221 billion under management, did not directly trade volatility.

Investors are preparing for prolonged uncertainty after President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the election outcome and a peaceful transfer of power, and his attacks on postal voting.

Source: Reuters

JAPAN

The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has continued to commit capital to real estate strategies during the pandemic, but is watching closely the impact of Covid-19 on urbanisation and office demand.

Hideto Yamada, head of global real estate at the world’s largest pension fund, told the annual Inrev conference that GPIF had invested $3 billion, or 0.2% of its total assets, since moving into the asset class two years ago, but said “due to the size of our fund, we need to invest more”. 

The pension fund’s strategy is to gain exposure to the most liquid, gateway cities around the world. But Yamada admitted it was not known whether Covid-19 could effectively reverse urbanisation and undermine the prospects of gateway cities.

Source: IPE Real Assets

Dai-ichi Life Insurance has introduced an environmental, social and governance index as its benchmark for foreign equity investments managed in-house, as part of its efforts to raise the sophistication of ESG investments further. The index is based on the MSCI ACWI ESG Universal Index provided by MSCI.

With ¥36 trillion ($340.86 billion) of assets under management, the insurer also formulated the Dai-ichi Life Basic Policy on ESG Investment in April for incorporating ESG factors into asset management policies and processes for all assets.

Source: Dai-ichi Life

MALAYSIA

Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) chief executive Nik Amlizan Mohamed has moved on, according to sources, raising questions whether the armed forces pension fund will proceed to take its 59.44%-owned investment arm Boustead Holdings private. The reason for her departure from LTAT is not known.

Nik Amlizan has left LTAT

In May, LTAT revealed that it was considering a proposal to privatise Boustead. It intends to acquire the shares in the diversified conglomerate that it does not already own at 80 sen apiece, which would see the armed forces pension fund forking out around RM660 million ($158.87 million).

Nik Amlizan took the helm at LTAT in September 2018, replacing Lodin Wok Kamaruddin. Prior to joining LTAT, she was chief investment officer of Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Kwap), working at the civil service pension fund for 11 years.

Source: The Edge

Manulife announced the appointment of Vibha Coburn as group CEO for Manulife Holdings (MHB) and Malaysia CEO of Manulife Insurance.

Coburn will be responsible for the Canadian group's operations in Malaysia, including its life insurance, health insurance, wealth management and retirement solutions businesses. Most recently, she was chief distribution officer for Asia at Manulife.

She is a member of Manulife’s Asia and global leadership teams and reports to Manulife Asia's general manager of emerging marketsl Sachin Shah.

Source: Asian Insurance Review

MIDDLE EAST

Khaldoon Al Mubarak,
Mubadala

Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Mubadala is taking a stake of about 5% in private equity manager Silver Lake and investing $2 billion in a technology fund run by the firm as part of its drive to diversify away from oil and gas. Mubadala said it would buy the stake from Dyal, a unit of US asset manager Neuberger Berman, but no terms were disclosed.

Mubadala chief executive Khaldoon Al Mubarak said in June that the fund was setting its sights on new markets, mainly in Asia, for tech investments.

Mubadala has also partnered asset manager Barings to form a direct lending platform to provide financing solutions to European middle-market businesses. Barings Mubadala Enterprise and its capital partners aim to provide $3.5 billion in financing over the next 18 months. The partnership will invest alongside US insurance group MassMutual.

Source: Bloomberg; Barings

SINGAPORE

Sovereign wealth fund GIC and private equity firm TPG agreed to invest INR73.5 billion ($1 billion) in the retail venture of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries.

GIC will invest INR55.12 billion for a 1.22% stake, while the US private equity firm will invest Rp18.38 billion for a 0.41% stake in Reliance Retail Ventures, the Indian company said on October 3.

"We believe Reliance Retail will continue to use its extensive supply chain and store networks, as well as strong logistics and data infrastructure, to add value to its customers and shareholders," GIC chief executive Lim Chow Kiat said.

Source: Private Equity News

Sydney-based fund manager EG secured a mandate from Singapore’s GIC to build up a A$400 million ($287.36 million) property portfolio.

The mandate brings to more than A$1.8 billion the amount GIC has committed to Australia through various managers since the Covid-19 pandemic. These managers include Charter Hall, ESR Australia and Primewest for investment mostly in convenience retail and logistics.

The geographical focus of GIC’s latest investments is in value-add opportunities across sectors in Sydney and Melbourne.

Source: IPE Real Assets

Singapore’s GIC was the most active sovereign or public fund in September by number of deals done (12 for a total of $2.27 bilion), while Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala was the most active by value of deals (three for a total of $3.76 billion), according to research firm Global SWF.

Second on the list by both measures was Canada’s La Caisse De Depot et Placement Du Quebec, which did five deals worth a total of $2.77 billion, Global SWF reported in its monthly newsletter.

Sovereign wealth and public pension fuds have deployed $107 billion this year as of the end of September, 34% down on the same period in 2019, said the newsletter.

Source: Global SWF

GIC and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (MassMutual) will increase their shareholding in UK specialist annuity provider Rothesay Life, by acquiring US private fund house Blackstone's 36% interest for an undisclosed sum.

Singapore's sovereign wealth fund and US-based mutual life insurer MassMutual have reached an agreement with Blackstone's Tactical Opportunities business for the deal, which values Rothesay at £5.75 billion ($7.45 billion).

GIC and MassMutual will each become equal 49% shareholders, they said on September 30.

Source: Business Times

INTERNATIONAL (EXCLUDING ASIA)

The UK’s Border to Coast Pensions Partnership has allocated $60 million to Baring Asia Private Equity Fund VII as part of £500 million ($649 million) in commitments across nine private equity managers, it announced last week.

This is a first round of private equity investments, and Border to Coast, which manages assets for 11 British local government pension schemes, will invest a further £485 million in a second series in the period to March 31, 2021. These series are part of a programme to provide a diversified global private equity portfolio over a three-year period.

Border to Coast has also appointed four specialist managers for its multi-asset credit fund, which is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2021 with £2.7 billion. It has chosen Ashmore for emerging market debt, Wellington Management for global high yield, Barings for global syndicated loans and PGIM Fixed Income for securitised credit.

Source: Border to Coast (private equity managers and multi-asset credit managers)