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Sovereigns Series: Worlds in Motion

Developed in partnership with the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, this series focuses on issues important to members of the sovereign universe and their private sector counterparts.
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Sovereign actors face a cacophony of significant dynamic and novel challenges in the decade to 2030 and beyond. These include accelerating climate change, rising bilateralism/fading multilateralism, trade disputes and trade wars amid increasing protectionism, cybersecurity, the use of sanctions as a geopolitical foreign policy tool, exploding data management and data protection issues, fintech, migration, resource nationalism, food security and recently, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on societies and markets. Existing traditional challenges remain — national security, territorial sovereignty and maritime disputes, raising finance and so on — but in a more connected and complex and changing world. Faced with all these new and traditional challenges through the 2020s, these state actors will continue to be critical participants in the business and financial marketplace.

We help our sovereign actor clients navigate this fast-shifting landscape with calibrated, strategic and coherent advice. We offer experience, technical expertise, an innate sense of how sovereign actors operate, bench strength, geographic reach and a deep understanding of the pervasive issues throughout the sovereign universe.

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After a period of decline in the role of the sovereign state, the impact of the Great Financial Crisis (from 2007) has resulted in significant growth in the size, ambition and activities of state actors in the global business and financial markets, in particular in the emerging and frontier markets.

This sovereign universe comprises markedly distinct actors playing myriad roles including:

  • sovereign states
  • state agencies
  • central banks
  • state-owned enterprises
  • public pension funds
  • national development banks
  • sovereign wealth funds
  • supranationals
     

For more episodes, please visit FInsight: Global Financial Institutions Industry Podcast

 

Episode 25: Sovereigns Series - Compliance in a Changing Landscape

In this episode of FInsight and part of the on-going Sovereigns Series: Worlds in Motion, Pete Chapman and Lucy Shawdon from our Compliance and Investigations team in London take a look at compliance in a changing landscape, specifically in the context of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs). The episode goes through current developments, emerging trends, risks, and other important items that sovereign wealth funds need to consider, as we move to the post-pandemic economy. It also covers topics around due diligence and risk management, focusing on geographic, sectoral, litigation, reputational and regulatory risks.


Episode 22: Sovereigns Series - Navigating Tax Transparency in Europe

In the aftermath of COVID-19 and the resulting low-yielding environment, sovereign actors are looking more than ever to real estate, infrastructure, private equity, private debt and other alternative assets for strategic investment opportunities.

In this second of two episodes, Baker McKenzie partners Pat McDonald (Chicago), James Burdett (London), Matt Legg (London), Guillaume Le Camus (Paris) and Diogo Duarte de Oliveira (Luxembourg) take a close look at sovereign wealth funds — our current observations of our SWF clients' approach to tax governance and structuring. In this episode, we take a closer look at some of the European tax issues currently affecting SWF's investment activity - particularly the increasing volume of tax transparency requirements.

 

 

Episode 21: Sovereigns Series - COP26 Key Takeaways for Sovereign Wealth Funds

In this episode of FInsight, Andrew Hedges and Kay She from Baker McKenzie's EMI group in London discuss their experience and observations while on the ground in Glasgow. They cover business imperatives and challenges affecting the global economy and how sovereign wealth funds are well-positioned to influence and make an impact on broader sustainability goals and action plans. As discussions on climate-related issues evolve from commitments to execution in the recent COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, we unpack some of the key takeaways relevant for sovereign wealth funds.

 

 

Episode 20: Investment Profile and Tax Focus Areas for Sovereign Wealth Funds

In the aftermath of COVID-19 and the resulting low-yielding environment, sovereign actors are looking more than ever to real estate, infrastructure, private equity, private debt and other alternative assets for strategic investment opportunities.

In this first of two episodes, Baker McKenzie partners Pat McDonald (Chicago), James Burdett (London), Matt Legg (London), Guillaume Le Camus (Paris) and Diogo Duarte de Oliveira (Luxembourg) take a close look at sovereign wealth funds — our current observations of our SWF clients' approach to tax governance and structuring. Our team examines the investment activities of sovereign players in the post-GFC and pandemic environment, and their areas of tax focus in M&A scenarios, including investing in the US.