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Capital Markets

Ireland’s sovereign fund takes a galvanizing approach to Covid

Different sovereign funds have approached Covid in different ways – drawdowns, contrarian investments, flights to safety and backstopping local raisings – but Ireland’s has perhaps been the most clearly defined.

Eugene O'Callaghan, ISIF_960.jpg
Eugene O’Callaghan, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund

In May, the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) created a sub-portfolio worth €2 billion – the Pandemic Stabilization and Recovery Fund. While not legally a separate fund, it was established within the ISIF under existing legislation, it is still the only instance of a sovereign wealth vehicle creating a separate pool mandated with Covid recovery.

One reason for this was because of an evolution ISIF has already gone through since its foundation in 2014 and, in fact, before that. The predecessor to the fund was the National Pensions Reserve Fund, which was a classic globally invested, diversified asset sovereign wealth fund attempting to generate long-term returns to meet the future pension obligations of the Irish state, much like Australia’s Future Fund.

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