GIC is now 3rd most powerful asset owner in the world

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GIC, a sovereign wealth fund from Singapore, has risen to become the third most powerful and influential asset owner in the world today. The Singaporean firm follows two American pension funds, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and University of Texas Investment Management Company.

In the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Power 100 2018 list, GIC ranks third, whereas in 2017 it was 10th and in 2016, 11th. Rankings are done according to innovation (50 percent); collaboration (20 percent); talent development (10 per cent); fund size (15 per cent) and tenure (5 per cent). According to CIO, innovation has been given more weight this year due to the accelerated rate of change.

“Power in institutional investing stems from ideas and innovation—concepts that factor massively into our ranking of the world’s most powerful asset owners. That’s more important now than ever as the pace of change accelerates, which is why the category now has a higher weighting than prior years.”

GIC, under the leadership of chief executive officer Lim Chow Kiat, is the eighth biggest sovereign wealth fund the world, with US$390 billion of assets under management.

“This award is a recognition of the work of all at GIC. To protect and enhance our reserves in this highly uncertain environment, we will continue to be disciplined through short-term volatility, take appropriate risks, innovate new ways of investing, and strengthen collaboration with our partners,” Lim told The Business Times on November 8.

Lim entered GIC after graduation in 1993 as a portfolio manager. He eventually became head the fixed income, currency and commodities department. Later on he became group chief investment officer of GIC and deputy group president, as well as president of GIC Asset Management in 2011. At the beginning of 2017, he began his tenure as GIC’s Chief Executive Officer.

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CIO says that “it’s easy to flourish in a bull market, but as we saw this year, anything can happen in an instant,” and praised the top asset owners because “Throughout a swathe of sell-offs and rallies, these esteemed asset owners kept their cool (and their patience) to deliver stellar returns and innovate new concepts to their strategy as they rolled with 2018’s punches.”

That GIC adopted a long-term approach when it came to its investments allowed the company to circumvent the downsides of pro-cyclicality, according to CIO.

In drawing up the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Power 100 2018, the editorial team of CIO sought the input of Raphael Arndt, CIO of Australia’s Future Fund; Jagdeep Singh Bachher, CIO, vice president of Investments, University of California; Matt Clark, CIO, South Dakota Investment Council; and Scott Evans, CIO of the New York City Pension Funds.

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