Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) are state-owned investment funds with combined asset holdings that are fast approaching four trillion dollars. Recently emerging as a major force in global financial markets, SWFs have other distinctive features besides their state-owned status: they are mainly located in developing countries and are intimately tied to energy and commodities exports, and they carry virtually no liabilities and have little redemption risk, which allows them to take a longer term investment outlook than most other institutional investors.
Edited by a Nobel Laureate, a respected academic at the Columbia Business School, and a longtime international banker and asset manager, this volume explores the specificities of SWFs in greater detail and discusses the implications of their growing presence for the world economy. Based on debates held at a major conference on SWFs held at Columbia University in October 2010, this volume discusses the objectives and performance of SWFs as well as their benchmarks and governance. What are the opportunities for SWFs as long-term investors? How can they maximize their social and environmental impact, while also maximizing profits? And what role can SWFs play in fostering sustainable development and greater global financial stability?