September 23, 2008

A Year After the Credit Crunch: Selected US Merger Statistics

Here is a recent survey that looks at some interesting comparisons of mergers in the US between the two 12-month periods of August 2006/July 2007 and August 2007/July 2008. No big surprises, but useful – deal activity is trending down…

Posted: The SEC’s Adopting Release for Cross-Border Deals

The SEC has finally posted its adopting release for cross-border deals. We have started to post memos analyzing these rule changes.

Establishing GAPP: Principles for Sovereign Wealth Funds

The recently-formed International Working Group of Sovereign Wealth Funds announced that it has reached a preliminary agreement on a draft set of Generally Accepted Principles and Practices (GAPP), otherwise known by the catchier name of the “Santiago Principles.” The IWG was set up back in May to establish a set of voluntary standards for governance, accountability and investment practices of sovereign wealth funds. Now, the group has come up with principles and practices that the group says will “promote a clearer understanding of the institutional framework, governance, and investment operations of SWFs, thereby fostering trust and confidence in the international financial system.”

As noted in this transcript of the press conference announcing the Santiago Principles, the governance and accountability arrangements are geared toward providing comfort that sovereign wealth funds are separate from their owners, and that “the investment policies and risk management together with other things are intended to make it clear that sovereign wealth funds act from a commercial motive and not other motives.”

The GAPP will be presented to the Internal Monetary Fund’s International Monetary and Financial Committee on October 11th, once the respective governments with funds making up the IWG have had a chance to consider the preliminary recommendations. After that, the group expects to make the principles publicly available.

Tune into the upcoming webcast – “The Rise of Sovereign Fund Investing” – on October 2nd to find out about the latest strategies and investment techniques used by sovereign funds, as well as the latest issues raised in doing these types of deals.