ADIA expands alternative investment teams

Abu-DhabiThe Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has expanded its investment teams for illiquid asset classes such as real estate, infrastructure and private equity.

The sovereign wealth fund also restructured its accounts department and recruited for its IT team, and says overall staff numbers rose to more than 1,500 at the end of last year, an increase of 100 compared with 2012.

“We have built out our investment teams in the illiquid space, such as real estate, infrastructure and, more recently, private equity, adding considerable expertise across geographies and asset specialisation,” says Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, managing director, in the fund's 2013 review.

The 38-year-old fund, which invests the wealth of the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi in foreign markets, does not reveal precise performance figures or give its assets under management. However, the fund did say its annualised return for the past 20 years was 7.2%, a slight decline compared with 7.6% in 2012.

The Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, an independent research firm, has estimated the fund's assets to be $773 billion (€536 billion), though a senior figure at the fund disputed this figure in a background briefing.

The 2013 review reveals that several key metrics haven't changed since the previous year. The fund still invests about 75% of its portfolio with external managers and has about 55% of its portfolio in index-replicating strategies.

Guidelines for ADIA's long-term asset allocation likewise haven't changed. These are limits that say the fund may invest, for instance, between 32% and 42% of its portfolio in developed market equities and between 10% and 20% in government bonds.

Neither has the fund changed its geographical investment guidelines, which say it must invest between 35% and 50% of its portfolio in North America, between 20% and 35% in Europe and so on.

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