Sovereign Investment Academy: learning to make a global difference


After decades when the rolling back of economic activities of the state has been the predominant trend, we are now observing a dramatic shift in policies. The looming financial and economic crisis has severely hit Western economies, forcing governments of all stripes to rescue firms and financial institutions. Meanwhile, in emerging economies the structural trade surplus turned into vast sovereign wealth seeking investment opportunities worldwide, defining a new economic geography with the enhanced power of Asian and Middle East countries in the global political arena. The new players of this resurging “state capitalism” (i.e. sovereign investors, broadly defined) are playing an increasing role as providers of long-term finance. In this bucket, Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), thanks to the rapid accumulation of assets worth over $5 trillion, have emerged as key actors in the global financial landscape and key supporters of sustainable investment for present and future generations. This special power and responsibility calls for targeted, untagged, innovative research and executive education.

For this reason, in 2011, Bocconi University launched the Sovereign Investment Lab (SIL), directed by Bernardo Bortolotti: a research group focusing on the state as shareholder and on the causes, methods, and consequences of sovereign investment for firms and for the economic and financial system as a whole. SIL’s brand quickly gained international recognition thanks to its high quality data, reports, ambitious scientific research agenda, and remarkable impact outside academia. The annual Sovereign Investment Workshop – the highlight of SIL’s outreach activities - has become a focal point for the international community of SWFs, experts, and policy makers, and a successful platform for discussion and networking. The relevance of SIL’s activity for the industry reached a turning point in 2016, when the International Forum of SWFs (IFWSF), the most prestigious association of sovereign investors, officially recognized SIL as “IFSWF research and educational partner.”

In continuity with these efforts, SDA Bocconi School of Management is proud to announce the first edition of the Sovereign Investment Academy (SIA): the new international executive program focused on sovereign wealth management and investment that will take place in July 2017. Endorsed by IFSWF, the Academy will be led by Bernardo Bortolotti, exploiting educational synergies with SIL’s specialized research activities. SIA’s faculty will gather renowned international academics and top-tier practitioners providing state-of-the-art knowledge and practice in the sector together with a view of the main trends and challenges in long-term investment.
 “Sovereign investors, and particularly SWFs, have special characteristics that make them unique, and immensely relevant in present times. They are the guardians of their countries’ wealth and owners of patient capital to deploy with a long-term investment horizon,” says B. Bortolotti. “The Sovereign Investment Academy is a unique one-stop-shop for an executive education program tailored to their needs.”

Source: SDA Bocconi School of Management

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