Demystifying ADIA

Ashby Monk

The rumors are true; the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority – one of the most secretive SWFs in the world – has released its first “annual review” for 2009. Given that Abu Dhabi was a co-chair of the International Working Group of SWFs (i.e. those responsible for the Santiago Principles), I’ve been expecting a report along these lines to appear at some point.

In my view, this report is specifically designed to demystify what is one of the world’s largest SWFs. This is all part of the process of securing legitimacy for ADIA in western markets. For example, the report has a section showing how asset managers are selected. It has a section on ADIA’s relationship to the government. It has a section on governance. You get the picture.

However, there really isn’t much in the way of hard data. In fact, there is nothing on the size and scope of its assets under management. That said, there are some more details on the fund’s asset allocations. For example, we learn that ADIA, like  its cousin up in Norway, seems to have completely bypassed investing in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Anyway, for a more detailed summary of the annual review, go read Rachel Ziemba’s article. Once again, she beat me to the punch on this.

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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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