A FOREIGN national could become the first President and Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) of the Philippines’s sovereign wealth fund (SWF), the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan told the BusinessMirror there is nothing in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the MIF that prevents a foreigner from leading the country’s sovereign wealth fund.
As Neda Secretary, Balisacan is part of the MIF Advisory Body along with Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman and National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon, who was appointed by the President to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Monetary Board over the weekend.
“Yes, [there is] no nationality requirement for the President/CEO [of the MIF],” Balisacan recently told this newspaper.
Data from the Sovereign Wealth Institute, the largest SWF in the world in terms of assets is the Norway Government Pension Fund Global with $1.48 trillion, followed by the China Investment Corporation with $1.35 trillion.
The CEO of the Norway Government Pension Fund Global is Norwegian fund manager Nicolai Tangen while the Vice Chairman, President and Chief Investment Officer of CIC is Weimin Ju, a Chinese national who has been with the CIC since 2015.
The top SWF in the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, with assets of $853 billion, is also led by a citizen, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is part of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi.
Other top SWFs globally include Australia’s The Future Fund with assets worth $136.41 billion.
The fund’s CEO is Raphael Arndt who has also been the fund’s chief investment officer since 2014 prior to his appointment as CEO.
Last week, the BusinessMirror got hold of a copy of the approved IRR of the Republic Act 11954 or the MIF Act. (Related: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2023/08/30/search-is-on-for-1st-maharlika-investment-fund-chief/).
The approved IRR, which takes effect on September 12, has outlined the qualifications for the members of the MIC board from Regular Directors, Independent Directors, and President and CEO.
Under Section 39 of the IRR, the MIC PCEO must hold an “advanced degree” either an MBA, MA, MSc or even a PhD in finance, economics, business administration or a related field from a “reputable university.”
The PCEO shall also possess “exceptional” experience and expertise in various aspects: corporate management, financial planning strategy, strategic planning and vision, market and business development and budget development.
The IRR says the PCEO must have a “minimum” of 10 years’ experience in finance or investment that includes 10 years’ experience in a senior leadership role in a “reputable” financial institution or public/private sector organization.
The IRR added that it is “preferred” that the financial institution or organization has Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria and sustainable investment.