The Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the Gulf country’s sovereign wealth fund, has appointed Badr al-Ajeel as interim managing director pending a permanent appointment, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
The KIA last week appointed a new board of directors but hadn’t named a new managing director. The term of the previous board expired in April but sources said previously that a delay in appointing a new board was the result of political deadlock.
Ajeel is executive director of the General Reserve at the KIA.
The KIA’s newly appointed board will select a permanent managing director in coordination with the country’s finance minister, the source said.
The KIA was not available for comment.
The KIA is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the region with around $700 billion of assets under management, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. It manages two funds - one a “nest egg” for when oil run out, the other to cover Kuwait’s budget deficit.
Its role in providing liquidity to the government became increasingly important last year as a standoff between cabinet and parliament blocked a law that would allow the government to finance its deficit by borrowing on international markets.