Portfolio Manager, Global Innovation Fund, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)
Innovation Fellow, Cambridge Enterprise
ADIA's mission is to invest funds on behalf of the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to make available the necessary financial resources to secure and maintain the future welfare of the Emirate. It is the oldest and one of the largest of the sovereign wealth funds in the world. In 2011, ADIA decided to fund a new mandate that focused on long term investment in area of science, technology and innovation. Called the Global Innovation Fund – and headed by Hitesh Thakrar, based in London – its objective is to invest in companies that are entering an S-Curve of adoption of either their product or service. The Fund focuses on three core sectors: healthcare, technology and industrials, but also has investments in advanced materials, alternative energy, telecommunications and emerging market services businesses. It is one of a handful in the world dedicated to public-equity science and technology investing.
Given the long-term nature of the process, the team uses consultants and universities to develop themes and ideas (rather than market analysts, who tend to be short-term focused). The Fund can invest in companies from £100m to multi-billion market cap; ADIA also has other internal funds that focus on private-sector innovation investing, to which the team can also make introductions.
Hitesh has more than 15 years’ experience in investment management, mostly in technology and innovation sectors (having previously spent over ten years in the IT industry as a programmer, system and business analyst). He was the Manager of New Star Technology/Innovation Fund, one of the largest post-bubble technology funds with a peak AUM of $2bn and average AUM $500m. He also managed the New Star long-short Innovation Fund and the New Star Global Equity Fund. He headed up the largest technology research team in London on the sell-side with over 40 analysts. He holds a BSc in Chemistry from Kings College London, an MBA from Cranfield, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (AIMR).