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Episode 21: 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.

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FInsight · EP21. Sovereigns Series – COP26 Key Takeaways 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.

FInsight · EP20. Sovereigns Series – Investment Profile and Tax Focus Areas of Sovereign Wealth Funds

Episode 19: Crypto around the World (Part 2)

Taking off from the guide Crypto around the World, the second of two episodes takes a closer look at market abuse, sustainability, decentralized finance and future developments. Sue McLean, a partner in our London office, talks to the team that started this project: Iris Barsan, counsel from our Paris office; Julian Hui, associate from our London office; and Chris Murrer, a US attorney in our Zurich office. They also cover specific regulatory and policy considerations, as well as the future impact of central bank digital currencies.

FInsight · EP.19 Crypto Around The World (Part 2)

Episode 18: Litigation Readiness for Financial Institutions

Financial institutions (FIs) surveyed by Baker McKenzie spent an average of USD 272 million each on litigation in 2020 — higher than any other industry — but their readiness strategies may not be keeping up with the scale of the challenge they face.

In this episode of FInsight, Baker McKenzie partners Daniela Fonseca Puggina from our Miami office and Jennifer Semko from our Washington, D.C. office discuss litigation readiness for financial institutions. The episode also covers potential vulnerabilities and disputes that they need to prepare for, current and emerging trends in litigation (from our Litigation Intelligence Tool and Report), and how they can benefit from litigation preparedness.

FInsight · EP.18 Litigation Readiness for Financial Institutions

Episode 17: Sovereigns Series – Key Principles of Investment Treaty Protection

Investment treaties expose sovereigns to significant liability if the rights of foreign investors are encroached on. At the same time, these treaties also grant powerful protections and direct claims to sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) — when they act as foreign investors in other states. In this episode, Andy Moody, partner and head of the dispute resolution practice in London, and Katia Finkel, senior associate in the same practice in London, cover recent examples of SWFs bringing investment treaty claims and how others can obtain access to these protections. The episode also analyzes why investors should consider investment treaties as part of their decision-making process.

FInsight · EP.17 Sovereigns Series – Key Principles of Investment Treaty Protection

Episode 16: Sovereigns Series – Cross-Border Fraud and Asset Tracing in Sovereign Wealth Funds

Fraud poses a particular threat to sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) due to the vast sums of money they invest. They also have a higher risk profile when compared to other funds, with high stakes both politically and financially. In this episode, Charles Thomson and Henry Garfield, partners in Baker McKenzie’s dispute resolution practice in London, talk to Kate Geale about recent developments, legal issues, practical tips, and strategies around cross-border fraud and asset tracing in SWFs. The episode also tackles emerging trends around the growing emphasis on sustainability and the increasing impact of cryptoassets. SWFs may have go through a long process to recover assets, but it is worth it in the end for recovery, punishment and future deterrents.

FInsight · EP.16 Sovereigns Series – Cross-Border Fraud and Asset Tracing in Sovereign Wealth Funds

Special Edition: Finding Balance – Sustainability in Financial Institutions

In this special edition, Eva-Maria Segur Cabanac, a partner in our Vienna office and global sustainability lead for financial institutions, and Jennifer Klass, a partner in our New York office and co-chair of the financial regulation and enforcement practice in North America, talk with Ying Yi Liew on how the COVID-19 pandemic led to the prioritization of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations among financial institutions (FIs). They also cover progress around the creation of common and consistent international standards over disclosure and classification, and the impact of new technologies on sustainability priorities. This episode is part of the sixth installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.

FInsight · Special Edition – Finding Balance: Sustainability In Financial Institutions

Episode 14: Crypto Around the World (Part 1)

Taking off from the guide Crypto Around the World, the first of two episodes takes a broader look at general aspects of cryptoassets. Sue McLean, a partner in our London office, talks to the team that started this project: Iris Barsan, counsel from our Paris office; Julian Hui, associate from our London office; and Chris Murrer, a US attorney in our Zurich office. They cover high-level regulatory issues — both current and emerging — as well as retail investments in crypto.

FInsight · EP.14 Crypto Around The World (Part 1)

Episode 13: Operational Risk

Baker McKenzie partnered with Risk.net on their annual ranking of the Top 10 Op Risks for 2021. In this episode, Karen Man and Jennifer Klass, financial regulatory partners, respectively in our Hong Kong and New York offices, talk about this year’s list and share perspectives on what clients are experiencing in the market. Our partners provide situational examples in light of the continuing push for digitalization and sustainability, including relevant action items for senior executives. They also take a closer look at how financial institutions can manage current and emerging operational risks.

FInsight · EP.13 Operational Risk

Episode 12: Singapore – MAS Revises Technology Risk Management Guidelines

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently revised its Technology Risk Management Guidelines 2021 after feedback from a 2019 public consultation and engaging with cyber security experts. In this episode, Stephanie Magnus, Ken Chia, and Ying Yi Liew take a closer look at compliance, regulator expectations, cyber threats, and other important considerations — taking into account that financial institutions encompass large multinational banks, insurance companies and small fintech startups.

FInsight · EP.12 Singapore – MAS Revises Technology Risk Management Guidelines

In this special edition, Sue McLean, partner and global tech lead for fintech and blockchain, talks to David Hart, a partner in our London office, and Lawrence C. Lee, a partner in our Palo Alto office, to discuss recent trends and developments around fintech. In this episode, they share their observations on recent innovations and take a closer look at various strategies behind the increase in investment and M&A activity. Fintech players, once seen as market disruptors, are becoming essential and critical in the future of financial institutions.

FInsight · EP.11 Fintech – Trends, Investments, And M&A

Episode 10: China – Financial Revolution in 2020 and Beyond

China’s financial institutions are navigating a rapidly evolving market. Recent government actions further strengthened and opened up the industry to more investors – both domestic and foreign. In this episode, Kevin Yuan and Lucca Li from our Shanghai office talk about the economic and regulatory situation, and how COVID-19 has impacted the industry. They also take a closer look at recent innovations and the future landscape for financial institutions in China.

FInsight · EP.10 China – Financial Revolution In 2020 And Beyond

Episode 9: Financial Institutions in Post-COVID Africa

This episode puts the spotlight on Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Wildu du Plessis, a partner in our Johannesburg office and head of Africa, talks about the situation in Africa, in the context of the current pandemic and beyond. He shares his observations around regulatory and technological development — focusing on key topics around digitalization, cryptocurrencies, cashless transactions, and sustainability  — and how financial institutions can succeed in the post-pandemic continent.

FInsight · EP.9 Financial Institutions In Post-COVID Africa

Special Edition: Finding Balance – Financial Infrastructure

In this special edition, Sue McLean, a partner at our London office, talks with Chris Murrer about the future of the financial infrastructure sector — payment providers, exchanges, card schemes, clearing houses and depositories — as it transitions into the business renewal phase. Basing on client, industry and legal perspectives, we explore what the post-COVID environment looks like for the sector. This episode is part of the fifth installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.

FInsight · Special Edition: Finding Balance – Financial Infrastructure

Episode 7: Insurtech (Part 2)

Taking off from the recent publication, Insurtech: Opportunities and Legal Challenges for the Insurance Industry, Chris Murrer and Iris Barsan walk through observations in the market, as well as key developments that define the current insurtech landscape. In this second installment, they take a deeper look into regulations and considerations around recent developments in insurtech. They also touch on important points covering ethical concerns, data privacy, discrimination, and other financial regulations.

FInsight · EP.7 Insurtech (Part 2)

Episode 6: Insurtech (Part 1)

Taking off from the recent publication Insurtech: Opportunities and Legal Challenges for the Insurance Industry, Chris Murrer and Iris Barsan walk through observations in the market, as well as key developments that define the current insurtech landscape. This first installment focuses on new capabilities across the US and Europe, and how regulations are moving in response to innovations in the market.

FInsight · EP.6 Insurtech (Part 1)

Special Edition: Finding Balance – Insurance

In this special edition, Martin C.W. Tam, a partner at our Hong Kong office, talks with Ying Yi Liew about the future of the insurance sector as it transitions into the business renewal phase. Basing on client, industry and legal perspectives, we explore what the post-COVID environment looks like for the sector. This episode is part of the fourth installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.

FInsight · Special Edition: Finding Balance – Insurance

Special Edition: Finding Balance – Financial Sponsors

In this special edition, Michael Fieweger, a partner at our Chicago office, talks with Ying Yi Liew about the future of financial sponsors — private equity/credit funds, asset management and sovereign wealth funds —  as the industry transitions into the business renewal phase. Basing on client, industry and legal perspectives, we explore what the post-COVID environment looks like for financial sponsors. This episode is part of the third installment of Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.

FInsight · Special Edition: Finding Balance – Financial Sponsors

Episode 3: Data Journey Map for Virtual Communications (Singapore)

This episode outlines different steps that financial institutions must consider or take when using virtual communication platforms. Our experts from Singapore — Stephanie Magnus and Ken Chia — examine these steps, which should form part and parcel of financial institutions’ risk and compliance assessments, with a view to mitigating the potential risks of supervisory intervention and litigation.

FInsight · EP.3 Data Journey Map for Virtual Communications – Singapore

Special Edition: Finding Balance – The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions

In this special edition, Jonathan Peddie, global chair of Baker McKenzie’s Financial Institutions Industry Group, is interviewed by Ying Yi Liew, a local principal and expert on financial services from our Singapore office. We analyze the future of financial institutions, as the industry transitions into the business renewal phase. Basing on client, industry, and legal perspectives, we explore what the post-COVID environment looks like for four industry segments and five global trends. This episode elaborates on our introductory publication under Finding Balance: The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions.

FInsight · Special Edition: Finding Balance – The Post-COVID Landscape for Financial Institutions

Episode 1: Data Journey Map for Virtual Communications (US)

This episode outlines different steps that financial institutions must consider or take when using virtual communication platforms. Our experts from the US – A. Valerie Mirko and Harry Valetk – examine these steps, which should form part and parcel of financial institutions’ risk and compliance assessments, with a view to mitigating the potential risks of supervisory intervention and litigation.

Author

Patricia W. McDonald advises on tax issues for corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and other pass-through entities, with an emphasis on private equity and other investment fund transactions, energy credit transactions, partnership transactions, real estate/REIT transactions and M&A transactions. She lectures on international and partnership tax issues for various organizations, including Tax Executives Institute and Council for International Tax Education. Her native language is Cantonese and she is conversant in Mandarin.

Author

James Burdett has extensive experience acting on fund transactions in the private equity, real estate, environment markets and renewable energy sectors. He also acts as adviser to buyers and sellers in secondary transactions involving private equity and real estate fund interests. James heads the London Investment Funds Group and sits on the Firm's Global Funds Group Steering Committee. A partner in the Firm’s Corporate Group in London, he also serves on the Law Society Company Law Committee and its Investment Funds Working Group. James frequently speaks at external and internal conferences on funds and secondary market transactions.

Author

Matt is a partner in our London tax team, advising on all aspects of UK corporate taxation, with a particular focus on investment structuring and cross-border transactions. He advises a broad client base, including private equity and sovereign wealth funds, family offices and multinationals. Matt has a comprehensive range of high-value transactional experience, particularly cross-border M&A, real estate investment, group reorganisations, refinancings and fund raisings.

Author

Guillaume Le Camus is a partner in Baker McKenzie Paris’ Tax Group and chair of the Firm’s Europe Tax Planning & Transaction Group. Before joining the Firm, Mr. Le Camus practiced international tax law at the correspondent firm of a Big Four accounting firm in Paris and New York. Mr. Le Camus has published several articles on international tax planning and transactions, and spoken at tax seminars on the same topics.

Author

Diogo Duarte de Oliveira is a partner in charge of the Tax Department of Baker McKenzie's Luxembourg office. He has over 16 years of experience. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie in 2019, Diogo was tax partner and head of tax at the top-ranked practice of a Benelux leading law firm. He was also an international corporate tax manager with a Big Four audit firm in Luxembourg (and in Mexico City as a secondee).

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