Abu Dhabi Investment Authority


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Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
TypeSovereign wealth fund
IndustryInstitutional investor
Founded1976; 46 years ago (1976)
Key people
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Managing Director
Total assets$649 Billion

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is a sovereign wealth fund owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (in the United Arab Emirates) founded for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It manages the Emirate's excess oil reserves, estimated to be $649 billion.[1]

ADIA's operations have been characterized as secretive and opaque.[1][2][3]


In 1967, Abu Dhabi emirate created the Financial Investments Board which operated within its Department of Finance and was responsible for managing the Emirate's excess oil revenues. However, in 1976, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding President of the United Arab Emirates and leader of Abu Dhabi made the decision to create the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority instead and separate it from the government as an arm's-length organization with its own management.[4] The goal was to invest the Abu Dhabi government's surpluses across various asset classes, with low risk.[5] At the time it was novel for a government to invest its reserves in anything other than gold or short-term credit. Even today, investment in short-term paper remains the strategy for the vast majority of countries.[5]

In the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal of the 1990s, ADIA reportedly lost hundreds of millions of dollars.[3]

The operations of ADIA have historically and to the present been secretive and opaque.[3][1]

The fund is a member of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds.[6]


ADIA manages a substantial amount of capital, and is one of the world's largest investment funds.[7] Due to its size, the fund has been influential in international finance. In 2008, ADIA co-chaired the International Working Group of 26 sovereign wealth funds that produced the "Generally Accepted Principles and Practices of sovereign wealth funds" (known as the Santiago Principles). These principles were created to demonstrate to home and recipient countries and the international financial markets that sovereign wealth funds had robust internal frameworks and governance practices and that their investments were made only on an economic and financial basis.[8]

20 year and 30 year annualized rates of return for the ADIA portfolio were 7.6% and 8.1%, respectively, as of 31 December 2010.[9] ADIA is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.[10]

Today ADIA invests in all the international markets – equities, fixed income and treasury, infrastructure, real estate, private equity and alternatives (hedge funds and commodity trading advisers – CTAs).[5] ADIA's global portfolio is broken down into sub-funds covering a specific asset class. Each asset class has its own fund managers and in-house analysts covering it. Almost every asset class is managed both internally and externally. Overall between 70% and 80% of the organization's assets are managed outside, and over the last few years the fund has become more indexed which given its unique asset liability structure is somewhat perplexing. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is a major purchaser of U.S. institutional real estate through various sub-entities. It often buys partial interest ownerships with leading real estate managers.[11] ADIA also invests in development projects including malls.[12]

Many of ADIA's investments have decreased substantially since investments were made at market peaks in 2007 and 2008. The $7 billion investment in Citigroup has lost approximately 90% of its value as of 26 November 2009, 2 years after it acquired a sizable stake in the bank. Its investments in global real-estate at the market top in 2008 have also decreased substantially in value. Though it talks of its long term success in generating returns, the fact that it has moved closer to the index and manages most of its funds through external third party fund managers shows that its tolerance for risk taking is greatly diminished over the years. However, ADIA's ratio of third-party fund managers is being actively managed. In 2006, between 70% and 80% of the organization's assets were managed outside with an aim to bring that down to between 60% and 70%. In the year 2005, Abu Dhabi Investment Company purchased 51 percent shares of Massar (Company) from Abu Dhabi Power Corporation, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority.[13][14]

On 27 May 2013, ADIA published its 2012 Review, with an overview of its activities during the past year as well as an explanation of its approach to investing – strategy, governance and risk management.[15]

Board of directors

The board members currently serve for a period of three years, and can be renewed. They are appointed by Emiri decree. The current board dates back to the April 2010 reshuffle (Emiri decree n°4/2010) and it was fully renewed April 2013. Its current constitution is as follows:

Former important board members include :


  1. ^ a b c "Gulf sovereign wealth funds among world's least transparent". Gulf sovereign wealth funds among world’s least transparent. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Biggest Gulf Wealth Funds Are Faulted for Lagging on Governance". Bloomberg.com. 2021. Retrieved 13 July 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c Jr, Landon Thomas (28 February 2008). "Cash-Rich, Publicity-Shy, Abu Dhabi Fund Draws Scrutiny". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  4. ^ "ADIA Review 2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Money and mystery: Adia unveils its secrets". April 2006.
  6. ^ International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds. "IFSWF Our members". Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  7. ^ Chen, Full Bio Follow Linkedin Follow Twitter James; CMT; Investing, Is the Former Director of; trader, trading content at Investopedia He is an expert; Adviser, Investment; Chen, global market strategist Learn about our editorial policies James. "Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)". Investopedia. Retrieved 31 August 2021. {{cite web}}: |first1= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ "Generally Accepted Principles and Practices (GAPP)—Santiago Principles". Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  9. ^ "ADIA Review 2010" (PDF).
  10. ^ https://www.swfinstitute.org/fund-rankings/sovereign-wealth-fund Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Retrieved 25 July 2014
  11. ^ "The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is a Buyer of Hotels Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute". SWFI. 21 August 2013.
  12. ^ "ADIA Invests in Macau Mall Development". SWFI. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  13. ^ Barbuscia, Davide (3 February 2020). "Abu Dhabi Power to take control of TAQA in asset swap". U.S. – via www.reuters.com.
  14. ^ "Data". www.abudhabipower.ae. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Publishes 2012 ADIA Review". Dubai Chronicle. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan: 1969-2010". Arabian Business. 4 April 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  17. ^ a b "H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan: ADIA 2013 Overview - WAM". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Director Jauan Al Dhaheri Dies". Bloomberg.com. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2016 – via www.bloomberg.com.
  19. ^ "Sheikh Khalifa honours Emiratis for their service to the UAE - The National". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  20. ^ Kassem, Mahmoud (21 March 2016). "ADIA at 40: UAE Central Bank Chairman says fund has preserved and grown Abu Dhabi's capital". The National. Archived from the original on 9 September 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  21. ^ "First American Corp. V. Al-Nahyan, 948 F. Supp. 1107 (D.D.C. 1996)".
  22. ^ Kirdar, Nemir (11 July 2013). Need, Respect, Trust: The Memoir of a Vision. ISBN 9780297868590.

External links

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