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One of the architects of the Canada Pension Plan's investing strategy is aiming to replicate his success — for Qatar – Financial Post



Don Raymond, one of the architects of the investment strategy behind the Canada Pension Plan, has been recruited to build similar investment capabilities at the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund with an estimated US$328 billion in assets whose holdings have included stakes in London’s Heathrow airport and New York’s Plaza Hotel.

Raymond told the Financial Post he was approached by a recruiting firm in London and found the opportunity too hard to pass up.

“They knew of my experience in helping formulate the overall investment strategy at CPPIB and my final role as head of total portfolio management and chief investment strategist,” he said. “To be able to do it again at a national level was very appealing.”

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The QIA fund, which was established in 2005 with a mandate to invest and manage Qatar’s reserves and help develop a competitive and diversified economy, has expanded its holdings in recent years in the United States, United Kingdom and Asia, with a growing portfolio of assets in sectors including real estate, financial services and technology.

Raymond spent over 12 years at CPPIB during a crucial time in the pension management organization’s development as it shifted from largely passive investments to active management, developing in-house investment expertise along the way. He was the first employee in the Canadian pension’s public market investments department, overseeing a portfolio of $11 billion in passively managed funds as it grew to $100 billion managed by more than 130 employees using five distinct investment strategies.

In his final role as chief investment strategist, Raymond chaired CPPIB’s investment planning committee and was responsible for overseeing portfolio design and management for the fast-growing capital pool. He also helped develop the United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Investing, which were adopted by the Canadian pension in 2005.

Raymond left CPPIB in 2014. Since then, he had been working at Alignvest Management Corp., an alternative investment management firm with clients including pension plans, foundations and ultra-high net worth family offices.

“I ultimately decided that I had one more major operating role in me at an ‘asset owner’,” the 58-year-old told the Post, adding that he will be leading the overall investment strategy at QIA.

He said he found the vision of the sovereign wealth fund’s chief executive Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud — reportedly a seasoned dealmaker who aspired to steer the fund towards more active investing — to be “bold” and compelling.

“I was offered a high-impact role,” Raymond explained.

“QIA was looking to build capabilities similar to what I had helped build at CPPIB, which was attractive both for them and for me.”

In an interview this month with Bloomberg TV in Davos, Switzerland, during the World Economic Forum, Al Mahmoud said the sovereign wealth fund will be shifting towards greener assets, with no additional investments in coal and no significant expansion of its oil and gas holdings.

“Since most of the country’s income comes from hydrocarbons, we’re not looking to add to that exposure,” Raymond told the Post.

The sovereign wealth fund’s CEO has also said publicly that QIA is looking to increase investments in the United States, with Reuters reporting in July that the target is to hit US$45 billion over the next two years, up from around US$30 billion.

QIA is the ninth-largest sovereign wealth fund in the world by total assets, which stand at US$328 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

Raymond, who moved from Toronto to Qatar’s capital city Doha in the new year, said the location of the new job appealed to his “adventurous streak,” though, as tensions between the United States and Iran escalated this month, he added that he “could have picked a better time to relocate to the Middle East from a regional security perspective.”

His first job out of university in the 1980s was also far from home — in a desert in northwest China — before he returned to Canada for graduate school, earned a PhD, and turned his focus to finance at Burns Fry Ltd. and Goldman Sachs.

“I was a wireline/oilfield engineer and helped open up a new (oilfield services provider) Schlumberger base in the Gobi Desert, not too far from the Kazakhstan border,” recalled Raymond, who also trained as a pilot during a two-year stint in the Canadian military after high school.

He said he doesn’t know how long he’ll spend at Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, but expects it will take several years to build out a team, embed new processes, and execute on that strategy. And while he hopes to have “an enduring impact” on the Qatari institution, he acknowledged that much will depend on the progress he makes.

“Job security is entirely dependent on performance, just like at Alignvest and CPPIB, as one would expect from a world-class investment organization,” he said.

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Shenzhen Holds 2022 Global Investment Promotion Conference to Build a Magnet for International Investors



SHENZHEN, China, Dec. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Shenzhen welcomes outstanding investors from all over the world. The 2022 Shenzhen Global Investment Promotion Conference will be held in Shenzhen, China on December 9. A number of major projects in the fields of information technology, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, new energy, new materials, high-end equipment, and environment protection will be signed to contracts.

With the theme ‘Spur Opening Vitality, Gather Innovation Momentum — Invest in Shenzhen, Build a Winning Future’, the conference will award certificates to outstanding introduced businesses, multinational corporate headquarters, and investment consultants. The conference demonstrates Shenzhen’s determination to promote a high level of openness and present its top business environment, according to the Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality.

Shenzhen’s appeal to investors has not only been shown in China, but also worldwide. There have been 16 sessions of the 2022 Shenzhen Global Investment Promotion Conference held in 16 cities worldwide, including New York, Detroit, Paris, Dublin, Tokyo, Sydney, Brisbane, Johannesburg, Moscow, etc. Through online investment and online signing, Shenzhen has deeply connected with global investors, invited overseas businesses and talent to invest and set up companies in Shenzhen.

The session in Rio de Janeiro received nearly 100 attendees, including Tian Min, the Chinese Consul General to Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Li Ke, the Executive Vice President of BYD, and representatives of well-known local trades, technology companies, and trade associations. Participants have expressed their hopes that Brazilian and Shenzhen businesses will conduct further exchanges and benefit from each other’s strengths, continue to explore new grounds for cooperation, and promote the in-depth development of ChinaBrazil economic and trade relations.

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The Shenzhen Global Investment Promotion Conference has been held for three years with more than 600 projects signed to contracts involving a total intended investment of over 2 trillion yuan. The conference has become a major representation of Shenzhen’s achievements of high-level opening up, high-quality economic and social development, and a world-class business environment. The conference is a major investment platform for gathering global investors and a major exchange platform for investment promotion.

An optimal business environment has made Shenzhen a popular destination for global investors. From January to October 2022, the actual use of FDI in Shenzhen was nearly 10 billion USD, and foreign investor confidence has been strengthened. Up until now, a total of over 170 countries and regions have invested in Shenzhen.

Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee, the UN Resident Coordinator in China, stated, “The experience of Shenzhen, as a hub for investment and being ranked as a top city of Chinese mainland for overall economic competitiveness by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, can serve as an example both for other cities within China that seek to attract more foreign investment, and for cities and countries around the world.”

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SOURCE The Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality

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Canada proposes overhauling foreign investment rules to tackle security risks




OTTAWA, Dec 7 (Reuters) – (This Dec. 7 story has been corrected to delete the phrase saying that only one deal had been previously blocked under the Investment Canada Act, in the ninth paragraph)

Canada on Wednesday proposed beefing up its foreign investment rules to give the government greater power to scrutinize and potentially block overseas deals that bring national security risks.

The proposed amendments would be the biggest overhaul to the Investment Canada Act (ICA) since 2009 and come at a time when the country’s rich deposits of critical minerals, which are crucial to the green transition, are in hot demand.

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“These proposed changes will ensure that foreign investments in Canada are not only to the net benefit of Canadians, but are not detrimental to our national security,” Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, said at a press conference announcing the proposal.

Champagne said the proposed changes are country-agnostic, though his ministry last month ordered three Chinese companies to divest their investments in Canadian critical minerals after a national security review.

The government also took aim at Beijing in its Indo-Pacific strategy launched last month and said it would tighten foreign investment rules to protect intellectual property and prevent Chinese state-owned enterprises from snapping up critical mineral supplies.

The proposed amendments to ICA include a requirement for foreign investors in some Canadian industries to notify the government before finalizing deals.

It would allow the government to impose interim conditions to prevent acquirers from accessing trade secrets, intellectual properties and sensitive personal information, and the authority to accept undertakings to mitigate national security risk.

It would also allow greater exchange of information with allies to better address common national security challenges.

The ICA became law in 1985 and has had several updates.

The sectors impacted by the early disclosure rule have not yet been determined, but Champagne said the targeted industries are going to be linked to sensitive technologies, critical minerals and those dealing with personal information.

Ottawa sees the critical minerals sectors as vital to Canada’s economic prosperity and outlined rules earlier this year to protect the country’s critical minerals resources from foreign state-owned companies.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio

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Initiative to protect Hudson Bay Lowlands to benefit from $800M investment



An Indigenous-led initiative to protect northern Ontario’s Hudson Bay Lowlands is one of four projects to receive a total of $800 million from the federal government over a seven-year period.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new funding at the United Nations’ Biodiversity Conference, COP15, in Montreal on Wednesday.

The four projects, which also include conservation of lands and waters in the Northern Shelf Bioregion in British Columbia, in Qikiqtani Region in Nunavut, and in the Northwest Territories, could protect up to one million square kilometres.

“Our government is here as a partner,” Trudeau said in a press release following the announcement.

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“And today, we took an important step forward – together – to deliver a vision of conservation that has partnership and reconciliation at its core. I’m looking forward to our shared work to deliver results for communities and for the nature that sustains us all.”

Vern Cheechoo, the director of lands and resources with Mushkegowuk Council, said the council is “quite happy with the announcement.”

Mushkegowuk Council represents seven First Nations around northern Ontario’s James Bay Coast. The council also works with Weenusk First Nation and will collaborate with Fort Severn First Nation on a marine conservation initiative tied to the new funding.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $800 million in funding over seven years to support four Indigenous-led conservation projects. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

In a press release, the council said the federal government’s announcement sets the stage to protect a territory that represents almost one third of Ontario’s land mass.

The Hudson Bay Lowlands are home to one of the largest peatland complexes in the world and store an estimated 30 billion tonnes of carbon. The region is also an important habitat for billions of migratory birds.

“It’s important in terms of cooling Mother Earth,” Cheechoo said. “The elders called it the breathing lands.”

Cheechoo said Mushkegowuk Council is still waiting to have more discussions with the federal government to find out what portion of the $800 million it will receive.

But whatever amount it gets, he said it will help build capacity and infrastructure, such as office space, to support researchers, stewards and guardians who will protect the land.

Cheechoo said he hopes the support from the federal government can lead to more long-term funding to permanently protect the area.

He added the new funds will also help promote conservation-based economic activity for the region. He said British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest serves as an example where economic development can also protect the environment.

“The work that they are doing out there, they’ve created like 1,200 jobs, started 200 new businesses,” Cheechoo said.

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