SWF Growth: Confirmation

Ashby Monk

There have been a few reports now showing the rapid growth of SWFs as an asset class over the past few years. Most recently, the 2009 Preqin Sovereign Wealth Fund Review shows that assets in SWFs have increased by over 50% since 2006. According to the report, this increase stemmed from the creation of new SWFs and the re-classification of other funds (i.e. SAFE). Given that we continue to see new SWFs being created–such as Saudi’s Hassana Investment Company–there is scope to see another up year in 2009.

One interesting point: while SWF assets under management continue to climb, other large investors’ assets have been decimated. So, the relative importance of SWFs in global financial markets has grown considerably over the past few years. For example, SWFs now own something in the order of 10% of global private equity assets.  

So, while the financial crisis has redirected the media’s attention away from these funds, the crisis may have actually strengthened SWFs’ global importance relative to other investors.

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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