Sovereign wealth funds have emerged in recent months as the world's power brokers. They have used their tremendous wealth to make big cross-border investments and prop up some of Wall Street's best-known firms.The increased activity comes as other kinds of acquirers have been sidelined by the credit crisis. These funds are state-sponsored investment vehicles and have combined assets of $2 trillion. With that much dry powder, sovereign funds dwarf the formerly booming private equity industry and in some cases, compete directly with it.
The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation has been the most active among the world's sovereign funds, making its deputy chairman, Tony Tan, a major center of gravity. Wall Street veterans always follow the money, so many of the big-name advisers in New York and London have found themselves traveling the globe playing international matchmaker to these funds.
This diagram displays the 20 biggest cross-border sovereign wealth fund deals since 2005. Each line represents a deal, with thickness scaled by value of deal and color the nationality of the primary buyer. The diagram also highlights the financial advisers and lawyers who worked on more than one of the top 20 deals.