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Showing posts from October, 2019

Private Equity Titans Cashing Out?

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Tom Metcalf and Gillian Tan of Bloomberg News report that private equity titans have quietly discovered how to get even richer:
Robert Smith built Vista Equity Partners into a money machine.

The private equity firm has racked up more than $120 billion of deals since its 2000 inception, mostly in technology companies, and produced some of the highest returns in the industry.

That has made Smith one of the world’s richest people with a $6 billion fortune. But like many private equity tycoons his wealth is largely illiquid, with the bulk of it locked up in Vista’s investment funds.

Smith, 56, pioneered an increasingly popular way to free up some of that treasure. He sold about 30% of the company he co-founded, helping him to become one of the most prominent philanthropists in the U.S. and buy at least $100 million of real estate, while also adding $500 million to the firm’s balance sheet.

Since cutting his first deal with Dyal Capital Partners in 2015, Smith has stepped up his philanthrop…

Meet OPTrust's New CEO

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Yaelle Gang of the Canadian Investment Review recently wrote a nice article on OPTrust’s new president and CEO Peter Lindley:
It’s been one month since Peter Lindley, the OPSEU Pension Trust’s new president and chief executive officer, started the role.

With an engineering degree and a more than 30-year career in finance under his belt, Lindley’s most recent role was president and head of investments at State Street Global Advisors. “When I went to work at State Street I got to work with investors, mostly pension plans, and providing them with investment advice was something I found a lot of personal satisfaction in,” he says.

The work led Lindley to eventually move to the asset-owner side of the industry. “I felt the next step in my career would be to join an asset owner and, as luck would have it, at the right time this opportunity came up and I was just really excited about it.”

One of the reasons he was attracted to the OPTrust was its leadership in the responsible investment space,…

Hijacking Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund?

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Joel Dryden of CBC News reports that some Alberta teachers are uneasy and looking for answers after learning their pensions are on the move — without their consultation or approval:
Teachers' pensions are currently managed by the independent Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund Board, or ATRF, which was established in 1939.

The corporation currently administers pensions for all teachers in school jurisdictions and charter schools in Alberta, with an option for private school teachers to join as well.

But text of the budget released Thursday disclosed the ATRF was "expected to transfer funds to Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) for management … AIMCo is expected to provide maximum returns to its clients, and processes will be expanded to support broader agency involvement."

Pensions for Workers' Compensation Board and Alberta Health Services employees will also be transferred to AIMCo, according to the budget.

Lee Martin, who has taught at St. Teresa o…

CDPQ Strengthens Ties With Piramal Enterprises

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Late last week, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) announced an investment in Piramal Enterprises Limited (Piramal Enterprises), a leading Indian financial and industrial group active in financial services, pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, and healthcare information management. CDPQ will acquire US$250million in convertible debentures from Piramal Enterprises:
“We are delighted to deepen our partnership with Piramal Enterprises, a company whose value creation approach aligns well with CDPQ’s long-term objectives and perspective as a global institutional investor,” said Anita M.George, Executive Vice-President and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Growth Markets at CDPQ. “This transaction further demonstrates CDPQ’s commitment to invest in different sectors of India’s economy.”

This transaction strengthens an existing partnership between Piramal Enterprises and CDPQ, which began with an initial investment in2017 and includes a residential real estate c…

Stock Market Crash Near?

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Matt Krantz of Investor's Business Daily reports that Nobel Laureate and "Irrational Exuberance" author Robert Shiller says he sees 'bubbles everywhere':
When Nobel Laureate and "Irrational Exuberance" author Robert Shiller says he sees bubbles in the financial markets — you'd better listen up. He literally wrote the book on stock market crashes and bubbles after all.

"I see bubbles everywhere," Shiller, economics professor at Yale University and author of just-published "Narrative Economics" told investors gathered in Los Angeles Wednesday. "There's no place to go. You just have to ride it out. You invest even though you expect the price to decline." Shiller famously predicted the 2000 stock market crash and the 2007 

The timing of Shiller's ominous warning comes at a scary time. This is the month of the 90th anniversary of Black Monday. That day on Oct. 28, 1929, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13…

CalPERS's CIO Ready to Ramp Up In-house PE?

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The CIO of CalPERS, Ben Meng, recently sat down with Reuters's Tom Buerkle to discuss why returns targets are a challenge and what CalPERS is doing to ensure its new private-equity push succeeds. Take the time to listen to this discussion here, it is excellent.

I last spoke with Ben Meng in late March and I must say, he's a really smart and nice guy which is exactly how he comes across in this Reuters exchange.

Meng begins this exchange by discussing his background and how he got lucky coming to the US from China where he was studying engineering. He studied transportation at UC Davis to study in the mid-90s and got familiar with tech stocks.

He opened an Etrade account and started buying high-beta tech stocks and found it "easy and exciting" as he started making money through "a stroke of luck". He actually sold his tech stocks before the tech bubble burst ("another stoke of luck") to finance his Masters in financial engineering at Berkeley Ha…