Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)

What Is the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority?

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is a government-owned investment organization that manages the sovereign wealth fund for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute's rankings, the ADIA sovereign wealth fund ranked as the fourth-largest in the world in 2021 with $649.2 billion in assets. It is one of the world's largest institutional investors. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is the largest in the world and with over $1.34 trillion in assets, and the China Investment Corporation is second with $1.22 trillion.

Key Takeaways

  • The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is a government-owned investment organization that manages the sovereign wealth fund for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 
  • The ADIA ranked as the fourth-largest sovereign wealth fund in the world in 2021 with just under $650 billion in assets.
  • The ADIA prefers not to disclose its specific holdings, so little is known about its investment methodology or portfolio.

Understanding the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

The huge amount of wealth managed by the ADIA is sourced primarily from Abu Dhabi's large oil reserves. The ADIA prefers to remain secretive, so not a great deal is known about its investment methodology or portfolio of holdings. 

In U.S. dollars, the annualized rates of return for the ADIA portfolio win 2019 and 2020 were -2% and +21%, respectively, with performance measured based on underlying audited financial data and calculated on a time-weighted basis.

ADIA’s mission is to "sustain the long-term prosperity of Abu Dhabi by prudently growing capital through a disciplined investment process and committed people who reflect ADIA’s cultural values." ADIA manages a global investment portfolio that is diversified across more than two dozen asset classes and sub-categories.

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What Are Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs)?

About the ADIA Fund

The fund has 1,700 employees representing more than 65 nationalities. "As a long-term investor, ADIA places great emphasis on analyzing market trends and generating insights to make considered, deliberate, and forward-looking decisions," the fund stated.

The ADIA doesn't make its specific investments known to the public. As for investment strategy, it has this to say: "Investment strategy at ADIA begins with a clearly defined appetite for risk. This has been calibrated through a blend of publicly traded securities, known as the Reference Portfolio, developed to define the desired amount of market risk that should be accepted over the long term...maintaining and periodically reviewing ADIA’s Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) across more than two dozen asset classes and sub-categories."

The broad asset categories it invests in include: indexed funds, internal equities, external equities, fixed Income and treasury, alternative investments, real estate and infrastructure, and private equities.

The fund manages some 45% of its assets, with around 55% "managed externally in areas including equities, fixed income, money markets, alternative investment, real estate, and infrastructure, and private equities. We engage managers across the risk spectrum, from index-replicating to actively managed mandates, and typically tailor each investment to our specific needs and internal guidelines."

Article Sources
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  1. SWFI. "Top 100 Largest Sovereign Wealth Fund Rankings by Total Assets." Accessed Nov. 23, 2021.

  2. SWF.com "ADIA Secures 20.9% Annual Return as it Shifts Towards Private Markets." Accessed Nov. 23, 2021.

  3. Int'l Forum on Sovereign Wealth Funds. "Abu Dhabi Investment Authority." Accessed Nov. 23, 2021.

  4. World Economic Forum. "Abu Dhabi Investment Authority." Accessed Nov. 23, 2021.

  5. AIDA. "People." Accessed Nov. 23, 2021.

  6. ADIA. "Investments." Accessed Nov. 23, 2021.

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