Abu Dhabi: 8 SWFs and counting…

Ashby Monk

Andrew England and Roula Khalaf have a superb article this morning in the FT. They basically take us through Abu Dhabi’s growing list of public investment vehicles and try to give some context as to why it needs eight (!) SWFs:

“Some financial analysts see the burgeoning stable of investment vehicles – there are at least eight of them – not only as a reflection of different strategies but also an illustration of the influence of the various members of the ruling al-Nahyan family and their lieutenants.”

What I found interesting was the assertion that while ADIA is the exclusive domain of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s ruler, the other funds are the domain of other members of the ruling elite (most report to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed). As such, the investment strategies of these funds are reflected in the personalities of the elite to whom the SWF reports:

“The conservative ADIA takes small stakes in largely listed companies and rarely creates noise about its deals – the exception was its ill-fated $7.5bn investment in Citigroup in November 2007….Some of the newcomers are bolder.”

To be sure, Mubadala (which reports to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed) has been bold in its investment strategy, taking a big stake in Ferrari and even teaming up with General Electric.

In addition, Mubadala has been more willing to embrace Western notions of transparency and accountability than ADIA; this too perhaps represents the differing beliefs of the elites that ultimately run these funds.

1 Response to “Abu Dhabi: 8 SWFs and counting…”



  1. 1 Is Aabar Going Long? « Oxford SWF Project Trackback on June 22, 2010 at 11:16 am

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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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