Back in 2007, Ted Truman wrote a paper calling for greater transparency and accountability of sovereign funds. He then published, in 2008, a paper outlining a “blueprint” for SWF “best practices” that detailed in explicit terms what he meant by transparency and accountability. Subsequently, this blueprint — which he also used to generate a scoreboard of SWFs’ behaviors — was partly responsible for the eventual creation and adoption of the Santiago Principles.
I think it’s fair to say that Ted’s early work on the subject of SWFs was both groundbreaking and influential. But how big an impact has his work had? Well, it’s interesting you should ask, because Truman has just published a new paper (this one on Asian SWFs) that updates his scoreboard and offers a sort of “most improved” category for the community of SWFs.
Obviously, the improvements by SWFs aren’t owed to Ted’s work alone, but it is quite interesting to see the dramatic changes that have come about over the past four years. Indeed, many SWFs have made a sincere effort to alter their behavior in order to keep markets free and open for their investments. For details, see the chart below.