Mumtalakat Unveils New Communications Strategy

Ashby Monk

As I noted in my post yesterday, SWFs have a pressing need to improve their global communications strategy. Indeed, many “elites” in the West still have no clue what SWFS are or what they do. Significantly, this has led to high unfavorability ratings, in particular in the US and the UK.

As if on cue, Bahrain’s SWF — the Mumtalakat Holding Company — just launched a new communications campaign to improve its global reputation. The SWF, which was set up in 2006 by Royal Decree, has a new brand and a refined corporate identity. Here is what the CEO of of Mumtalakat, Talal Al Zain, had to say:

“We are building an institution that will serve the long term financial needs of Bahrain. Mumtalakat has changed a lot since its inception and our new brand and corporate identity reflect the development we’ve made in terms of establishing the institution. The new brand communicates to all of our stakeholders our vision and our core values. These elements are important because they help to create the right culture. Transparency is one of our core principles: our new web site will offer our external stakeholders a greater level of detail into the business and our operations, creating a greater understanding of our strategy, objectives and achievements.”

By the looks of it, I’d say that Mumtalakat has given quite a bit of thought to — or at least paid someone quit a bit to think about — this communications strategy. For example, the new website is top notch. The fund has a clearly articulated mission, vision and strategy. It lists its consolidated financial accounts. And it highlights its social commitments and illustrates its accountability structure and corporate governance.

Moreover, what I find particularly interesting about this new website and strategy are the well-defined “core values” that (apparently) drive the fund’s day-to-day operations. These values seem specifically designed to counter all of the major, Western concerns about SWFs. For example, the fund lists its core values as: integrity, transparency, teamwork, accountability, shareholder value and corporate responsibility. In other words, Mumtalakat is telling the West, ‘There is nothing to be afraid of…like you, we just want to make some money. And we’re going to do it in a transparent, accountable and well-governed manner.’

Now. The real question is whether anyone in the West is paying attention. Let’s hope so. Mumtalakat deserves some credit for this.

1 Response to “Mumtalakat Unveils New Communications Strategy”

  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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