Watch Out Banks: BAML Steps Up Game on Sovereign Wealth Funds


Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) is seeking to expand ties into the Middle East and Asia, while some European banks struggle to get their houses in order. The bank was recently the global coordinator for Jimmy Choo’s initial public offering in which an Asian sovereign wealth fund became the second largest shareholder in the shoe company. Sovereign wealth funds permeate throughout the investment banking world, as sovereign wealth funds are engaging more in direct transactions. According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Transaction Database, over US$ 186 billion was spent in direct transactions by sovereign wealth funds in 2013. For BAML, they have to make lease payments for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Financial Centre in London. These payments ultimately trickle into the hands of a sovereign wealth fund (in this case Norges Bank Investment Management, as it acquired the property from GIC Private Limited.)

There is a global trend of investment bankers transforming themselves into “sovereign wealth fund” relationship managers.

Staffing Up

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