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Sovereign Wealth Funds - March 23, 2009

Sovereign Wealth Funds are the “new kid on the block.” An interview with Yassine Bouhara.

Yassine Bouhara

Why has Deutsche Bank decided to interest itself in the Sovereign Wealth Fund segment of the market?

Sovereign Wealth Funds are the “new kid on the block”. Their development is inextricably linked to the globalisation of the world, the development of the BRIC countries, and the revenue created by the rise in commodity prices.

Sovereign Wealth Funds are here to stay. Even though they have had some setbacks recently, it is expected that the process will be very much like the advent of pension funds several decades ago and they will become a sort of pension fund at a country level. Deutsche Bank prides itself on fostering a culture of innovation and we are keen to invest in this new client base.

What is the extent of Sovereign Wealth Funds’ representation in Deutsche Bank’s client base today?

Sovereign Wealth Funds are an emerging client base and they are becoming more important both in the M&A space and for asset management in general. Not only is Deutsche Bank interested in Sovereign Wealth Funds as potential clients, but they are also interested in Deutsche Bank because of our representation in the emerging markets space. We can cater for their domestic and international assets and have a unique understanding of this type of client base.

What were the reasons for Deutsche Bank deciding to fund a research chair on Asset-Liability Management and Risk Management for Sovereign Wealth Funds?

Deutsche Bank is keen to build intelligence about Sovereign Wealth Funds; including finding out what channels they go through, what trends are emerging and what different types of strategies they are pursuing. A Norwegian fund can have a very different strategy to a Qatari fund and the industry can be very diverse.

Deutsche Bank has decided to invest in this project to bring an independent view to this space and EDHEC’s academic work around providing an ALM model will enable us to serve and advise our clients better, in addition to helping SWFs define their own strategy.

As it becomes more and more important, we are keen to foster greater understanding in the community at large as to what these funds are about and to encourage independent work around their objectives.

What interested Deutsche Bank in EDHEC’s research approach?

The research approach of EDHEC is a well-balanced mix between an academic and a commercial/business approach. As an organisation they usually team up with world class entities and combine the right balance between the long-term academic requirements for a project with the short-term business approach to the issues. We look forward to working with EDHEC.

About Yassine Bouhara

Yassine Bouhara is Head of Deutsche Bank’s Global Markets division for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In addition, he is Global Head of Structuring – spearheading the Bank’s newly created multi-asset class structuring platform.

Yassine joined the Bank in early 1996 to set up the European equity derivatives business at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and for the last 4 years has been Global Head of Equities.

Yassine came from Merrill Lynch where he was an equity derivatives trader in London, Zurich and Frankfurt. He started his career in Zug and in Frankfurt as an option market maker for QT Optec AG after graduating from HEC Geneva.

Yassine grew up in Switzerland, Algeria, Madagascar, Ethiopia and France and has been working in the area of sales and trading for 19 years.