The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has added over 100 employees across its equities, infrastructure and private equity teams during the past year and is planning to expand throughout 2014 in both the front and back office.
The world’s (second) largest sovereign wealth fund has just revealed its annual report and points to a year of expansion, where it added employees at a senior level and throughout across its various divisions.
ADIA says that it will be hiring for mid-level recruits in private equity, will be “selectively” growing its infrastructure team, plans to add more people across its Asia ex-Japan portfolio and will also build its operations and risk team within its alternative investments arm.
The SWF says that its recruitment strategy is to “attract and retain the best international and homegrown talent”, but continues to scour international financial centres for senior front office positions. UAE nationals comprise 33% of its 1,500 employees (up from 1,400 in 2012), but the focus has been on recruiting at locals a junior level – having just completed its first year of a formal graduate scheme.
In the past 12 months ADIA has named Christof Rühl as its first ever head of global research and Suresh Sadasivan as head of Asia Ex-Japan, based out of Abu Dhabi, and has been building teams around these individuals, according to local headhunters.
ADIA is keen to highlight its credentials as a multi-national employer and has over 60 nationalities on its books. Interviews with current employees in the annual report speak glowingly about how diverse the organisation is, although less polished reports have pointed to a lack of autonomy for even senior employees and something of a public sector feel.
This is evident when ADIA talks about its ‘Strategy Unit’, which oversees and occasionally reviews the firm’s mix of asset classes and makes its recommendations to the ‘Strategy Committee’, which then submits recommendations to the ‘Investment Committee’ and finally the managing director gives the go-ahead. Then, and only then, are the funds allocated to the various investment departments.