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Corporate America Now Desperately Seeking SWF

Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik | February 12, 2008

Wanted: SWF, with appetite for risk and lots of money to spend. Discretion a plus. Serious inquiries only.

No, Compliance Week has not become a sleazy supermarket tabloid replete with personal ads for questionable dating practices. As readers no doubt know, SWFs, or Sovereign Wealth Funds, are government-owned mega-pools of money, often fed by petrodollars. And lately, they’ve been the most popular girl at the institutional investor ball—deep-pocketed investors of choice for the major global banks, whose balance sheets were weakened by the sub-prime mortgage and subsequent credit crisis.

It’s easy to see why SWFs are today’s “it” girl of the institutional investor world: They can consummate billion-dollar deals quickly. UBS raised $12 billion from the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. and an unnamed Middle Eastern investor in just four days. Citicorp received $7.5 billion from the Abu Dhabi Investment... To get the full story, subscribe now.