Kuwait sovereign wealth fund’s London unit appoints new CEO -Global SWF

DUBAI (Reuters) – Kuwait Investment Office (KIO), the London branch of Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, has hired Abdulmohsin Al Mukhaizeem, investment chief at Kuwait’s Wafra International Investment, as its new CEO, according to sovereign wealth fund tracker Global SWF.

Wafra is a subsidiary of Kuwait’s public pension fund and Al Mukhaizeem was previously executive director of NBK Capital Partners, the alternative investments arm of Kuwait’s top bank.

Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), does not disclose information about its subsidiaries but Global SWF said Kuwait Investment Office had been without a permanent CEO since last July after removing the previous incumbent.

“The position was vacant since July 2022, when the SWF reportedly removed Saleh Al-Ateeqi, highlighting potential internal divisions within the Kuwait fund,” Global SWF said on Thursday, without giving more details on the divisions.

Al Ateeqi, a former McKinsey & Company partner, had been hired to modernize the KIO in 2018, Global SWF said. He was temporarily replaced by Hussain Al Halabi, an internal director who is on the board of St Martins Property and other KIO subsidiaries, Global SWF said.

KIO manages a portion of the Future Generations Fund, a nest egg for when Kuwait’s oil runs out. That includes a securities portfolio, real estate subsidiaries St Martins and Cale Street and infrastructure unit Wren House.

Wren House “has undertaken several changes and grown significantly in the past year as it hired key executives from OMERS (Philippe Busslinger, Michael Bloch-Hansen), Citi (Emmanuel Gionakis), and BlackRock (Martin Torres), and opened an office in New York,” Global SWF said.

KIO’s parent KIA was projected by the IMF last summer to have just over $800 billion in assets this year. That would make it the Gulf Arab countries’ second biggest wealth fund after the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

KIO is KIA’s main international office and also handles investments in the United States. KIA also has a branch office in Shanghai.

(Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Susan Fenton)