Abu Dhabi’s $230B sovereign wealth fund has gone all in during the pandemic

As other sovereign wealth funds pulled back, Khaldoon al-Mubarak put $11B to work during the pandemic.


December 9, 2020

Among the world’s largest asset holdings are sovereign wealth funds (SWF); some — like Norway’s Government Pension Fund — crack a $1T.

Often flush from natural resource riches, these pots of money are basically the “Scrooge McDuck swimming in coins” meme come to life.

Tasked with building wealth for its citizens, most of the SWFs took a defensive stance when the pandemic hit.

But Khaldoon al-Mubarak — the 44-year old chief executive of Abu Dhabi’s $230B Mubadala Investment Co. — has had a different approach…

Mubarak has already deployed $11B+ in 2020

That spending is up 46% over the entirety of last year, compared to an average decline across all SWFs of 36% per the Wall Street Journal.

At the start of the pandemic, Mubarak talked to leading investment minds including SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son and BlackRock’s Larry Fink, and medical professionals. The sentiment was that COVID-19 would wreak havoc on assets but present opportunities.

The money was largely invested along with PE partners

Some notable deals include:

  • A $2.25B investment (with Silver Lake) in Alphabet’s self-driving unit, Waymo
  • A $1.2B investment in India’s tech giant, Jio
  • A large stake in Apollo Group’s new $12B lending business
  • A $1B investment (with Oaktree Capital) in Reef Technology, which transforms underutilized urban space

In addition to directing these billions, he also oversees the country’s nuclear program + relationship with China, and chairs Manchester City Football Club.

Dude’s so busy, he probably can’t get the daily swim in.

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