Exploring New Frontiers: IFSWF Annual Meeting 2017

In 2017, the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) will be Exploring New Frontiers in Astana, Kazakhstan. At our first annual meeting in Central Asia, hosted by Samruk-Kazyna, we will be looking at new opportunities in an uncertain, low-growth investment environment.

The public sessions will be held on 6 and 7 September at the St Regis Hotel, Qabanbay Batyr Avenue No:1, Central Park, Astana 010000

Registration for the public sessions starts from 15:00 on 6 September, with the event starting at 16:30.

We will start proceedings with an official welcome from our Chair, Adrian Orr, followed a panel on developing a digital economy. The gala dinner, open for all, will be held that evening. Featuring senior executives from several IFSWF members, other experts and seasoned practitioners, the panel discussions on 7 September will address the different models and roles of sovereign wealth funds with mandates to develop their home economies, the challenges of the privatisations process for sovereign wealth funds and the investment opportunities privatisations provide. We will also pool our members' expertise on the investment opportunities provided by China's “One Belt, One Road” initiative. In the afternoon, our networking session will be a tour of the Astana Expo.

Delegate List

Please see the link at the bottom of the page for the delegate list.

Draft Agenda

Public Sessions


Registration for external participants


Signing of Memoranda of Understanding

Samruk-Kazyna will be signing memoranda of understanding with Italy's sovereign wealth fund CDP Equity, GE Digital and the World Bank.


Panel: Developing a Digital Economy

By disrupting familiar systems such as communications and transportation, new technologies are radically changing the way that economies and businesses work. But how can sovereign wealth funds best facilitate the growth of these technologies at home and abroad? What and where is the next investment opportunity?

  • Moderator: John Defterios, CNNMoney Emerging Markets Editor
  • Yerzhan Tutkushev, Co-Managing Director of New Industries Development, Samruk-Kazyna
  • Akylzhan Baimagambetov, CEO, National Investment Corporation, National Bank of Kazakhstan
  • Hans Paul Buerkner, Chairman, Boston Consulting Group
  • ‎Deborah Sherry, General Manager and Chief Commercial Officer, GE Digital Europe
1800 – 1805

Closing Remarks

  • Duncan Bonfield, CEO, IFSWF Secretariat


Gala Dinner

7 September: Public sessions


Opening Remarks: The Many Roles of Sovereign Wealth Funds

Adrian Orr, IFSWF Chair; CEO, New Zealand Superannuation Fund


Panel: Dynamic Development – Harnessing the Power of Sovereign Wealth Funds

The number of state-owned strategic funds, with mandates to attract investment, manage state-owned assets and foster economic development, has grown rapidly since the financial crisis. This new generation of SWFs has reinvented and expanded their remit, adapting it to their specific local challenges. This panel will discuss these funds’ macroeconomic role as well as the strategies and metrics they adopt to help them deliver on their mandate.

  • Moderator: Duncan Bonfield, Chief Executive, IFSWF
  • Baljeet Kaur Grewal, Managing Director for Strategy and Portfolio Investment, Samruk-Kazyna
  • Eugene O’Callaghan, CEO, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund
  • Guido Rivolta, CEO, CDP Equity
  • Tarik Senhaji, CEO, Ithmar Capital
  • Mehmet Bostan, Chairman & CEO, Turkiye Wealth Fund




Panel: Effective Privatisations – the Role of Sovereign Wealth Funds

A growing number of sovereign wealth funds have the responsibility of transforming state-owned enterprises from struggling monopolies to vibrant commercial entities. This panel will discuss the challenges of this process and the technicalities of the privatisation process, whether through IPO or bringing in a strategic investor.

  • Moderator: Roberto Marsella, Director of Investments, CDP Equity
  • Janet Heckman, Managing Director for Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
  • Dato' Mohd Izani Ghani, Executive Director, Investments, Khazanah Nasional Berhad
  • Dauren Tasmagambetov, Head of Asset Restructuring and Privatisation, Samruk-Kazyna
  • Riaz Rizvi, Chief Commercial Officer, Kazatomprom
  • Hung Tran, Executive Managing Director, Institute of International Finance
  • Shaun Reader, Partner, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP




Panel: A new globalisation – China’s “Belt and Road” initiative

China’s One Belt, One Road project seeks to build infrastructure to enhance economic, political & financial ties between China, Asia, Africa and Western Europe across land & sea. But how will it be accomplished? What is its significance and the implications for investors?

  • Moderator: Hassan El Khatib, Managing Director Equity, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
  • Li Keping, Senior Advisor, China Investment Corporation
  • Yuri Babin, Director, Investor Relations, Russian Direct Investment Fund
  • Yee Ean Pang, Director General of Investment Operations,  Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
  • Yang Luo, Managing Director, Silk Road Fund
  • Niels Vestergaard Knudsen, Team leader South-South and Global Development Cooperation, United Nations Development Programme
  • Kanat Alpysbayev, President, KTZ (Kazakhstan Railways)
  • Saken Sarsenov, Chief Executive Officer, Kazpost


Closing Remarks


Buses leave for Expo


Expo Tour


Kazakhstan has visa-free travel to citizens from 45 major countries shown in the graphic below. Citizens of other countries will need to apply for a visa. If you require assistance with accommodation or travel, please contact Carissa Henry who will be able to arrange for an invitation letter.

Visa procedure

Upon arriving at Astana or Almaty airport please proceed to a border control. If you require a visa you will be directed to a special Consul at the airport. The Consul will guide you through the process.

Please have following documents in order to acquire a visa upon arrival to the airport:

  1. Passport
  2. 3.5cm x 4.5cm colour ID photograph
  3. Printed invitation letter (to be sent by the beginning of August)
  4. Completed visa application form (download below). Note: Visa applications forms also will be available by request from Consul.
  5. US$60 visa fee (payment is CASH ONLY)

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Email: secretariat@ifswf.org  |  Phone: +44 203 906 7320