Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Buys 21% Stake in Top UK Pensions Firm

Sovereign wealth fund aiming to hit 2-8% private equity target.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is buying a 21.4% stake in the Pension Insurance Corporation Group from investment firm J.C. Flowers & Co. The deal’s value was undisclosed.

The pension group is the parent company of UK insurer Pension Insurance Corp. ($32.9 billion assets under management) and provides bulk annuities to UK corporate pension plans. J.C. Flowers has approximately $6 billion of assets under management.

Flowers has owned the stake for 12 years and has spent 2018 searching for an buyer This is the latest move in Abu Dhabi’s plan to add private equity holdings. The Middle Eastern group seeks to build a PE portfolio that is 2% to 8% of its holdings it revealed in its 2017 financial review.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority does not publicly disclose its assets, but the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, which keeps tabs on all funds, estimates it at $828 billion. The institute ranks Abu Dhabi as the third-largest fund in the world.

Hamad Shahwan Aldhaheri, the executive director of Abu Dhabi’s private equities department, called the investment a “further demonstration” of the fund’s search for principal investments in “market-leading businesses.”

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