Determinants of sovereign wealth fund investment in private equity vs public equity

Sofia Johan* (Corresponding Author), April Knill, Nathan Mauck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the investments of 19 sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) in 424 firms (both public and private) around the world from 1991 through 2010. The data indicate that SWFs, similar to other institutional investors, are less likely to invest in private equity than in public equity internationally. However, the economic significance of this impact is surprisingly low. Unlike other institutional investors, SWFs are more likely to invest in private equity compared with public equity in target nations where investor protection is low, and where
the bilateral political relations between the SWF and the target nation are weak. Surprisingly, cultural differences play a marginally positive role in the choice to invest in private equity investment outside an SWF's own sovereign nation. Comprehensively, we find that SWFs act distinctively from other traditional institutional investors when investing in private
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-172
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Early online date11 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • sovereign wealth fund
  • private equity and portfolio
  • financial mark
  • legality
  • government policy and regulation
  • political relations and regulation


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