Exclusive: SOFAZ CIO Israfil Mammadov Talks About Alternative Investments

October 14, 2015 by Loch Adamson

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The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) was launched in 1999 to manage the country’s burgeoning oil and gas revenues; today, the fund manages some $35.7 billion in assets. SOFAZ is an extra-budgetary institution as well as a stabilization fund — it has responsibilities to the government and national development projects. This dual mandate means that it needs ready access to liquid assets and consequently keeps most of its portfolio in government bonds. In recent years, however, SOFAZ has started to implement a more ambitious strategy, diversifying its portfolio by adding alternative assets such as private equity, infrastructure and real estate. Last month, for example, the fund teamed up with Japanese financial services firm Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp. to buy a trophy retail property in Tokyo for 52.3 billion yen ($435.7 million). Israfil Mammadov, SOFAZ’s CIO and deputy CEO, recently spoke to Sovereign…

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