Indonesian President Joko Widodo appointed Ridha Wirakusumah to head the country’s first sovereign wealth fund, and voiced optimism that it would draw as much as US$15 billion from global investors looking to invest in roads and other infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
Joko also tapped four other individuals from the banking, private equity, energy and mining industries to round out the senior ranks of the Indonesia Investment Authority, the official name of the newly-minted fund. All five appointees also make up the fund’s inaugural board of directors.
According to the Indonesian leader, the wealth fund was set up to “increase and optimise the long-term value of state assets to support sustainable development”.
“The Indonesia Investment Authority is a professional institution, protected by the law and will use professional judgement in its work,” Joko said in a televised national address on February 16.
The fund is seeded with $5 billion from the government. Citing “strong interest” from the investment community, Joko said he expects up to $15 billion more from local and foreign investors. The money will be invested in infrastructure projects, including toll roads.
Ridha, the fund’s first chief executive officer, was the CEO of Jakarta-based Bank Permata. Arif Budiman, who was appointed deputy CEO, was the head commissioner of national oil company PT Pertamina.
The other appointees are Stafanus Ade Hadiwidjaja as chief investment officer, Marita Alisjahbana as chief risk officer, and Eddy Porwanto as chief financial officer.
Stafanus was a managing director at Malaysia-based private equity firm Creador and Marita was the country risk manager at Citibank Indonesia. Eddy was a director of Jakarta-based mining firm Delta Dunia Makmur.