Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Managing Public Investment Funds: Best Practices and New Challenges

Olivia S. Mitchell, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
John Piggott, University of New South Wales
Cagri Kumru, University of New South Wales


Large publicly-held pools of assets are playing an increasingly prominent role in the global investment arena. We compare three distinct forms of such public funds, namely foreign exchange reserve funds, sovereign wealth funds, and public pension funds, to highlight their differences and similarities. We review previous studies on ways to better secure prudent and economically sound public fund management practices in these funds, as well as how to evaluate their governance and investment policies and how to better protect the assets from political interference. Drawing from the pension and corporate finance literature, we also link their management to governance practices and country-specific characteristics, and contrast those with empirical findings on linkages with corporate governance.


Date Posted: 09 August 2019