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WNBA Touts Transformational Investment: Laurene Powell Jobs, Baron Davis, Condoleezza Rice And Nike Purchase Ownership Stake In The League – Forbes

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A combination of current WNBA owners, boldface-named outside investors like Laureen Jobs Powell and Condoleezza Rice and even Nike have all closed on ownership stakes in a transaction described by the WNBA as “the largest-ever capital raise for a women’s sports property”, $75 million in new funding.

This infusion of funds is designed to grow the league in a variety of ways, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a phone interview. Clearly, the process, which Engelbert said had taken the better part of two years, delayed by the global pandemic, left her time to develop her wishlist for spending the money.

“Deploying capital against what I’ll call broadly a digital transformation,” she said. “But to get a little more specific: WNBA.com, our app, League Pass, our other digital tools, our ability to glean data about our fans and have more consumer touch points — know where our fans want to consume our product. And our merchandise strategy — obviously, we’ve had no capital to evolve a merchandising strategy.”

The league deployed a novel strategy to raise this money, which was run by Allen and Company as financial advisor for the transaction. Rather than expand, as Major League Soccer has, with expansion fees serving as usable capital, or taking high-profile investors into teams, the investors are buying into the league itself, which previously had been owned 50% by the NBA, and 50% divided by each of the 12 WNBA owners.

Engelbert said that the new investments would not substantially complicate who owned how much, noting that in many cases, NBA/WNBA overlapping owners already had shares of the WNBA reflecting both of these holdings. Both the WNBA and NBA Board of Governors have approved this transaction.

Still, the capital raise provides additional equity in the league to Bill Cameron and Brad Hilsabeck of the Dallas Wings, Eric Holoman and Mark Walter of the Los Angeles Sparks, Ginny Gilder of the Seattle Storm, Ted Leonsis of the Washington Mystics, Herb and Steve Simon of the Indiana Fever and Joe and Clara Wu Tsai of the New York Liberty.

In addition, the league has sold equity to Nike, which now complements its existing marketing partnership with the WNBA, and the official outfitter of the players, with an ownership stake in the league itself.

“It’s doubling down on women’s sports,” Engelbert said of Nike’s role. “… I’m really proud that they’ve stepped up and proactively reached out to us and said, we’d like to invest in the WNBA more than we do in our normal marketing partnership.”

Even former WNBA and NBA players have taken part in this round of investment, from Swin Cash, a WNBA great and current New Orleans Pelicans executive, and former NBA point guard Baron Davis.

Several factors allowed for this to serve as the right time for a capital raise in Engelbert’s view. One was the collective bargaining agreement signed with the players in January 2020, giving the league both cost certainty on a labor front (the deal runs through 2027) and, she noted, some new investment promises from the league that required additional funding to fulfill.

Then there’s the upcoming end to the league’s current media rights deal with ESPN, which was extended back in 2014 until 2024, a move that has left the league miles behind many of the other agreements struck since then.

But for Engelbert, it isn’t as simple as one television agreement, though she noted that she believes investors stepping up will make it clear to those looking to participate in broadcasts during the next round of negotiations that the value of those rights has increased dramatically.

“You have to do it well in advance of your next significant media discussion,” Engelbert said. “But again, the media landscape is changing all around us. So you have to deploy it now for all of the conversations you’re having with potential media rights partners, whether that’s in the streaming area, whether it’s in the content, whatever it is, because they’re all going to come back to some model that I assure you, today undervalues us. And then tomorrow, after we deploy this capital, we’re going to get that model right.”

That newly defined model also creates new opportunities for expansion beyond the leagues current 12 teams.

“We’ll have the the ability to think through that, to make sure that we’re setting up future owners who come in with new teams with an economic model that is much better than what they’ve inherited two or three years ago before we started on this business transformation,” Engelbert said. “So yes, definitely a positive for the hopes of expansion as a result of this capital raise.”

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China proposes rules to regulate private pension investment via mutual funds – Reuters.com

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A Chinese national flag flutters near the building of China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) at the Financial Street area in Beijing, China July 16, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/Files

SHANGHAI, June 25 (Reuters) – China’s securities regulator proposed rules to regulate private pension investment via mutual funds, setting the criteria for qualified products and sales agents under a scheme that will channel fresh savings into the country’s capital markets.

The draft rules, published by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) late on Friday, came after Beijing in April launched a milestone private pension scheme to tackle challenges of aging population. read more

Under the scheme, eligible Chinese citizens can buy mutual funds, savings deposits and insurance products via their own individual pension accounts, potentially boosting a pension market that has lured foreign asset managers including Fidelity International and BlackRock.

The proposed rules “have set a relatively high bar for products and institutions, and are designed to ensure safety of pension fund investment and protect investors’ interest,” the CSRC said in a statement on its website.

Initially, pension target funds with at least 50 million yuan ($7.48 million) of assets over the past four quarters are eligible under the pilot pension scheme, the CSRC said.

Other types of retail funds with clear investment strategies and good long-term track records will be gradually added to the eligibility list as the scheme expands, the CSRC said.

Currently, there are 91 pension target funds that meet the CSRC’s criteria, according to TF Securities.

In addition, fund managers and sales agents participating in private pension business must set up internal control systems, adopt long-term incentives, and ensure independent operation of the pension assets, according to the rules.

Independent consultancies estimate China’s private pension market will grow to at least $1.7 trillion by 2025, from $300 billion currently.

In 20 years, 28% of China’s population will be more than 60 years old, up from 10% today, making it one of the most rapidly-aging populations in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

($1 = 6.6878 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Samuel Shen and Brenda Goh
Editing by Nick Zieminski

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Not gold or bank FD, Jefferies finds this asset as top investment by Indians | Mint – Mint

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Amid soaring inflation and slowdown worries, investors are busy finding out save haven for their money. While some are batting in favour of gold, some investors are favouring debt instruments for short term like bank fixed deposits (FDs) and other deposits. But, if we go by the Jefferies findings, around half of the Indian household savings in March 2022 has been invested in real estate properties whereas bank deposits and gold are distant second and third most preferred asset investment options among Indian households.

As per the Jefferies findings, out of $ 10.7 trillion Indian households assets in March 2022, whopping 49.4 per cent have been invested in real estate properties whereas 15.10 per cent went to band deposits 15 per cent of the Indian households savings were invested in gold. Impact of Covid-19 pandemic was also visible in this Jefferies report as Indian households invested 6.20 per cent of their net savings in insurance funds and it was fourth most preferred investment option by Indians.

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Photo: Courtesy Jefferies

Provident funds and pension is at 5th spot after receiving 5.70 per cent of $10.70 trillion Indian households savings in March 2022. Despite heavy FIIs selling at Indian equity markets, DIIs have remained net buyers since October 2021. However, in Jefferies report, equities has received 4.80 per cent of the net Indian households savings in March 2022 and it is 6th most preferred investment option among Indians. As Indian households has a habit of keeping some part of its savings in liquid form. 

Jefferies report has a mention about it as well. As per the Jefferies findings, 3.50 per cent of the net Indian households savings in this period has gone to cash or liquid segment and it an obvious least preferred option among the Indian households.

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HomeFirst Home Healthcare secures investment from Fulcrum – PE Hub

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Harpeth Ventures also participated in the investment.




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