Top 10 Sovereign Wealth Fund Game-Changers of 2015
For sovereign funds regarding the falling price of oil, it is worth recalling Friedrich Nietzsche’s aphorism: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Sovereign funds in the Gulf have increased exercising discipline from the sizable allocations of 2009 and 2010. SWFI research staff have composed the top ten game-changers for sovereign wealth funds in 2015.
10.) Smart Beta Lives
Many active investment managers despise the term “smart beta.” According to Investopedia.com, smart beta was the most searched for term in its dictionary in 2015. Google searches for smart beta continue to grow. Wealth funds continue to tinker with smart beta strategies. Some sovereign funds and pensions even partner with providers to back new product launches. State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) was able to secure the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) as a cornerstone client for their three new smart beta exchange-traded funds (ETF).
9.) Sovereign Wealth Funds Venture in Familiar Territory
To the surprise of many private equity funds, sovereign funds have been expanding their toolkit to invest directly in companies and assets. Wealth funds have typically been the large limited partners in funds (they continue to do so,) but are migrating outward in doing direct transactions and co-investments. Conference platforms have sprung up to facilitate the trend. SWFI recently launched a new initiative to service corporations and asset owners to meet this demand called SWFI Co-Investor Roundtable Program. The program is aimed at providing high-level roundtables between corporations and asset owners.
8.) Outrunning the Bear: A Potential Long Haul in Energy Investments
According to the SWFI’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, as of January 3, 2016, in calendar year 2015, wealth funds invested directly US$ 14.8 billion in the energy sector. This is compared to US$ 6.27 billion the calendar year 2014. Energy private equity funds and wealth funds continue to see value in depressed energy companies and assets. With prolonged low oil prices, these investments have plummeted in value since the end of 2014.
7.) Burnt Fingers in Brazil
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