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Reflections on Sovereign Wealth Funds in 2021

SWFs: Pandemic Responses, Asset Allocations, and Other Considerations

In our annual review of sovereign wealth fund activity, we've included papers on a wide variety of topics relevant to the management of sovereign assets. Several papers cover SWF responses during the pandemic, the impact of these events on SWF allocations, and longer-term expectations for these entities.

Other papers look at the ways that SWFs are managing governance issues and environmental concerns. According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, combined assets under management in the top 10 global SWFs now total over $6 trillion.

Norway SWF Reflections


Sovereign Investment Outlook 2021 (UBS AM, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

UBS Asset Management discusses some of the key considerations for sovereign wealth funds in 2021, and also provides 5-year projections for SWF expected returns.

Global Sovereign Asset Management Study 2021 (Invesco)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

This year's iteration of Invesco's Global Sovereign Asset Management Study includes some of the ongoing effects from the pandemic, a review of SWF responses during 2020, and other ways that long-term trends have been impacted over the past year.

Top 100 Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Rankings by Total Assets (SWFI, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute provides a quick update on the largest 100 sovereign wealth funds by total assets under management.

Sovereign Wealth Funds’ Progress on Climate Change (IFSWF, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

This collaborative report from the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds and the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund coalition presents findings from a comprehensive survey on climate change and the steps that SWFs are taking to address it.

The UK as a Leading Centre for International SWFs (TheCityUK, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

Primarily written to encourage international sovereign wealth funds to have a UK presence, this report contains a plethora of up-to-date information about SWFs and their holdings.

SWFs in Alternatives: Higher Returns? (CAIA, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

This article discusses sovereign wealth funds' commitments to alternative asset classes. Although many of these commitments are still below their target allocations, SWFs have increasingly exercised a preference towards high-risk/high-reward strategies.

Sovereign Wealth Funds: Governance issues remain (PIIE, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

The Peterson Institute for International Economics brings to light several governance issues for sovereign wealth funds through the use of a scoreboard that rates 64 SWFs on 33 equal-weighted elements.

Portfolio Delegation and the Effect of Benchmarks (Norges Bank, 2020)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

This study from Norges Bank delves into portfolio delegation, discussing the ways that manager incentives, asset prices, and portfolio choice are impacted by benchmarked compensation.

Pandemic SWF Activity: Reasons for optimism? (State Street Corporation, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

State Street discusses how sovereign wealth funds were positioned during the pandemic, as well as other capital flows over the past year.

Africa Sovereign Wealth Funds: Focus on G, S and E (IFSWF, 2021)

For compliance reasons, this paper is only accessible in certain geographies

This paper focuses on environmental, social and governance impact issues in Africa, and how 11 African sovereign wealth funds are addressing them.

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