Bankers Flock to Sovereign Wealth Funds

December 06, 2013 by David Rothnie

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Sovereign wealth funds are hiring senior bankers as part of a drive to rely less on external advisers and gain more control over investment decisions. Bankers’ joining sovereign funds is nothing new, but the trend has accelerated over the past two years as funds have lured fresh talent amid cost-cutting in the financial services industry and a global slump in mergers and acquisitions. Major sovereign wealth funds, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, are hiring well-connected bankers as they adopt direct-investment strategies in areas such as real estate, private equity and infrastructure, bypassing investment firms. But veteran deal makers expecting to make an easy transition from a bank to a sovereign wealth fund are in for a shock. Most of these funds are conservative, long-term strategic investors that conduct exhaustive due diligence on…

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