Nice work... if you can get it
These are bleak times for corporate lawyers. But there is one ray of light in this storm - sovereign wealth funds. These funds, which are loosely defined as investment vehicles owned by foreign governments, have generated many headlines over the past 18 months. Their high-profile transactions range from the buyout of luxury retailer Barneys New York to multibillion-dollar investments in Wall Street banks. In 2007 alone, sovereign entities spent $92bn (£61.3bn) in publicly recorded equity transactions, according to Monitor Group.But the real moment for sovereign wealth funds is now. These powerhouse investors globally control about $2.3trn (£1.5trn), a pocketbook that exceeds both the private equity and hedge fund industries. And they could quadruple in size by the middle of the next decade, even with the global slowdown and the recent decline in oil prices, according to Morgan Stanley chief currency economist Stephen Jen. Funds in the Gulf region account for more than half of those sums.
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