SIA: The Academy that trains Sovereign Fund Managers


A SDA Bocconi program dedicated to industry professionals will start on 10 July. 17 international participants, 5 days of classes, 2 guest lectures and a presentation of the latest SWF report from the Sovereign Investment Lab.

Five days to learn more about the universe of sovereign investment funds. This is the first edition of the Sovereign Investment Academy at the SDA Bocconi School of Management, which will launch with 17 students from institutions and sovereign funds from all over the world. Designed in collaboration with the Sovereign Investment Lab at Bocconi University and the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, the Academy will be held from 10 to 14 July. It will train participants from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Fundo Soberano de Angola, the Palestine Investment Fund, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Samruk-Kazyna (Kazakhstan), the National Development Fund of Iran and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

“The SIA will cover a wide range of topics,” explains the Director of the Academy, Bernardo Bortolotti, who is also Director of the Sovereign Investment Lab. “They include global economic and social megatrends, portfolio choices aimed at creating long-term value, organizational and management aspects and governance for sovereign institutions. Important issues for investments such as energy, infrastructure as well as climate change will also be tackled vertically.”

During the five days of the course, the Academy will welcome two guest lectures: Sir Alex Carlile, Director of SC Strategy Limited, and Paolo Scaroni, Deputy Chairman of Rothschild. Then, on 14 July, the course will be the setting for the presentation of a new annual report on the state of sovereign funds, published by the Sovereign Investment Lab at Bocconi. The faculty is international, with professors and industry professionals, including: Massimiliano Castelli (UBS Global Asset Management), James Kester (Aquitane Partners and former Director of the Private Equity Division at ADIA), Eugene O’Callaghan (Irish Strategic Investment Fund), Andrew Rozanov (Board Member of the Kazakh fund), Frédéric Hoogveld (Amundi Asset Management) and Fabio Scacciavillani (Oman Investment Fund).

“Sovereign funds have specific characteristics that make them unique and essential. They safeguard the wealth of nations and command enormous quantities of ‘patient’ capital, to invest with a long-term perspective and rationale. Working in concert with other similar investors, they can play a crucial role in returning the global economy to a path of sustainable and robust growth, focused on the wellbeing of future generations,” adds Bortolotti. “This special power and responsibility requires targeted, specialized and innovative training and education, which is currently not available in traditional executive programs. The Sovereign Investment Academy aims to bridge this gap.”

Adrian Orr, Chair IFSWF: “These are tricky times for sovereign wealth funds. For some funds, inflows are severely  hampered by the broad-based slump in commodity prices. Other funds contend with changing rules around financial regulation, cross-border trade and asset management, and their own governance. Then there are macro issues like the impact of our changing climate on portfolio investments and usual geopolitical uncertainty. The Forum is pleased to formally recognise SDA Bocconi’s Sovereign Investment Academy. I congratulate its director on an inaugural program that is both topical and thorough, and am confident that several of the next generation of SWF leaders will emerge from its classrooms."

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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