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October 14 The 7th Sovereign Wealth Funds Conference

The 21st Century Pandemic: How Resilient Are Sovereign Wealth Funds?
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About The Conference

Since the 6th Sovereign Wealth Funds (“SWFs”) Conference at American University in October 2019, the world has experienced an unprecedented situation with the emergence and spread of the COVID-19 virus. The world’s largest economies have felt the heaviest economic. While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic in February 2020, major economies started to take steps to address the pandemic in mid-March, including major steps on the health side and to a certain degree on the economic/financial side. The US and European Union introduced stimulus packages to sustain markets and to provide citizens with the means to cope with the high rise in unemployment and other economic stresses.

Concurrently, the oil sector experienced plummeting demand and excess supply as the friction between Saudi Arabia and Russia about reducing production led to a severe deterioration in oil prices. The refusal of so-called “OPEC Plus” countries to follow Saudi Arabia’s suggested production plan exacerbated the oil price decline. In the final analysis, countries with Sovereign Wealth Funds consequently dipped into the Funds to supplement government budgets and to provide funds needed to keep economies running relatively smoothly.

These events highlight the challenges faced by long-term investors in Sovereign Wealth Funds. Liquidity demands such as those stemming from Covid-19 threaten to undermine solid asset allocation strategies and destroy value within SWFs. In this light, some countries (especially in the GCC) have approached the international bond market to borrow funds rather than liquidating current positions. The current question is how resilient might SWFs be in managing their investment objectives going forward? The proposed 7th International Conference plans to address these issues to assess how global pandemic has impacted SWFs worldwide.

The day will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST virtually online. The Seventh Annual Sovereign Wealth Funds Conference is free to attend. All attendees, including speakers and panelists, are required to register.


*The information provided for this registration is private and will not be shared or distributed.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 (10 a.m. to 1 p.m EST)

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.  Welcome

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Opening Remarks

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Keynote Remarks    

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.  Panel A: Assessment of Recent Changes (SWFs in Crisis)

12:30 – 12:45 p.m.    Panel A: Q&A

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.       Panel B: Assessment of the Proposed Going Forward (SWFs Post Crisis)

1:15 – 1:30 p.m.         Panel B: Q&A

1:30 – 1:45 p.m.         Closing Remarks

1:45 – 2:00 p.m.        Conference Adjournment

2020 Partial List of Invited Speakers

  • H.E. Ahmed Al Sayed [INVITED]
    Minister of State, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Free Zones Authority

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony [INVITED]
    Founder and President, National Council of US-Arab Relations

  • Mr. Farouk A Bastaki [INVITED]
    Managing Director, Kuwait Investment Authority

  • Mr. Charles Cohen [INVITED]
    Deputy Division Chief, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund

  • Mr. Abdiel Santiago
    CEO, Fondo Ahorro Panama

  • Professor Michael Spence [INVITED]
    Nobel Prize Laureate, William R. Berkley Professor in Economics and Business, Stern School of Business, New York University

2020 Panels

Panel A

Assessment of Recent Changes (SWFs in Crisis):

  1. A brief review of COVID-19, When it started, and what is the current position of the coronavirus.
  2. A brief review of various international stimulus packages that were introduced with a focus on countries with sovereign wealth funds.
  3. What was the immediate reaction of sovereign wealth fund managers at the outset of the pandemic?
  4. Are there any indications of fire sales or other extraordinary actions by sovereign wealth funds?
  5. What were some of the challenges faced by sovereign wealth funds in terms of government intervention?
  6. To what extent were there changes in the investment guidelines and policies as a result of the pandemic?

Panel B

Assessment of The Proposed Going Forward (SWFs Post Crisis)

  1. Is there an urgent need for consultation among sovereign wealth funds on how to deal with any future crisis?
  2. What are current conditions across countries and how are they related to country-specific reactions to the pandemic? In short, what were the lessons learned?
  3. How and to what extent did the pandemic crisis impact The Santiago Principles?
  4. Is it necessary for SWFs to draw an unusual plan to deal with would have been highly unexpected conditions or circumstances?
  5. What should SWFs do to sustain their importance within the world financial system?
  6. Should SWFs be managed by the Central Bank of the country to help address major financial crises?


  • Mr. Nazem Alkudsi [INVITED]
    Former CEO, Invest AD
  • Dr. Saif Al-Sowaidi [INVITED]
    Professor, Qatar University
  • Mr. Amer Altameemi
    Senior Consultant, Kuwait Investment Projects Company
  • Mr. Geoffrey Davis
    Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
  • Mr. Babak Hafezi
    Founder and Partner, Hafezi Capital International Consulting; Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, Department of International Business, American University
  • Dr. Archana Hingorani
    Co-Founder, Siana Capital; Adjunct Faculty, Kogod School of Business, American University
  • Mr. Diego Lopez
    Managing Director, Global SWF
  • Mr. Michael Maduell
    President, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute
  • Dr. Monde Muyangwa [INVITED]
    Africa Program Director, Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Mr. Kareem Nakshbendi
    Founder and CEO, All Compliance Services
  • Mr. Michel Noel
    Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Sovereign Fund Advisory LLC; Senior Consultant, the World Bank
  • Dr. Michael Papaioannou
    Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Sovereign Fund Advisory LLC; Visiting Scholar and Professor at the LeBow School of Business, Department of Economics, Drexel University
  • Dr. Timothy Timura
    Professorial Lecturer, Department of Finance and Real Estate, Kogod School of Business, American University
  • Dr. John Willoughby [INVITED]
    Professor, American University


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