Drivers of Change: Sovereign Wealth

Over the past two decades, the boundaries between the public sector and institutional investing have been blurring with the growth of sovereign investors. Sovereign wealth investors (including public pension funds, sovereign funds, and state-owned enterprises) are strong and discreet representatives of the heterogeneous matrix of institutional investors which support capitalism as we know it today. With assets amounting to $8 trillion, sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) own on average 5% of all listed equities globally, yet, little is known about them. SWFs became more prevalent in the global finance during the Great Crisis of 2008, when they saved multiple Western core financial institutions.

Since then, SWFs from the Middle East, China, Singapore or Africa, have sophisticated their investment strategies. This research program will help to better understand this critical long-term investor group and the transformative role SWFs might play on central areas such as technology disruption, sustainable finance, economic development and corporate governance.

The Project

Presentations, conferences, closed-door focused and open seminars will enhance outreach with sovereign investors and facilitate spaces of open conversation to promote change between sovereign investors and governments, global regulators, traditional and disrupting companies, advisors, and multilateral institutions.

The program will produce an Annual Report on Sovereign Wealth Funds, peer-reviewed papers in top academic journals and academic book chapters. Activities include an Annual Conference Agents of Change: Sovereign Wealth Funds, closed-door Seminars with regional and industry, open conversation spaces with sovereign wealth stakeholders and training programs on sovereign wealth strategies.

Research Team

Javier Capapé

IE University

Patrick J. Schena

Tufts University

Ignacio de la Torre

Arcano Partners

Sovereign Wealth Funds Report 2019

Drafted with the participation of internationally renowned experts, the 2019 Sovereign Wealth Funds Report analyzes the most recent trends in the SWFs industry, the largest deals and top sectors targeted, such as technology, life sciences, real estate, services, and infrastructure. The period 2018-2019 marked an all-time record of SWFs assets under management, reaching $8.3 trillion globally. The Report covers in-depth the difficult task of SWFs of reconciling short-term results with long-run investment horizons. Also, the Report uncovers the key role of SWFs in the venture capital space and the focus on bio and health technologies as a means to foster and anticipate change. The Report details the investments of SWFs aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals; and describes the particular case of Mubadala, an Emirati SWF which has deployed a comprehensive strategy around innovation, sustainability and partnerships.

In partnership with:

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