Kuwait Names New Wealth Fund Board After Three-Month Delay
(Bloomberg) -- Kuwait appointed a new board to its $700 billion sovereign wealth fund after a delay of more than three months due to disagreement over the make up the nine-member body.
The formation of a new management team ends a period of limbo at the world’s third-largest sovereign wealth fund following the completion of the former board’s tenure on April 20. The conflict had complicated the Kuwait Investment Authority’s ability to make major decisions, even though the finance minister -- as its chairman -- can decide on important issues.
The new board, named by ruling decree, will appoint a new managing director on the finance minister’s recommendation to replace Farouk Bastaki. The new MD will most likely have already been chosen.
Bastaki served a four-year term and helped propel the KIA to rank among the world’s biggest wealth funds. It manages the Future Generations Fund, which has risen to about $700 billion after gaining a record 33% during the last fiscal year ended March 31. That fund was initially designed to reduce the KIA’s dependence on oil-related investments.
The newly appointed board members are:
- Faisal Al-Hamad, CEO of Global Wealth Management at National Bank of Kuwait
- Khaled Al-Fadhel, the country’s former oil minister
- Sheikh Meshaal Jaber Al-Sabah, director general of Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority
- Fahad Al-Rashed, who was the first KIA managing director from 1985
- Ghanim Al-Ghunaiman, an official with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development
The board always includes the finance and oil ministers, as well as the central bank governor and finance ministry undersecretary. The remaining non-government members are representative of the private sector.
The KIA is the world’s oldest sovereign fund with stakes in ports, airports and power distribution systems around the world. It also manages the OPEC member’s General Reserve Fund -- the government’s main source of budget financing.
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