Indonesian President Joko Widodo has officially announced the appointment of Ridha Dm Wirakusumah as the CEO of the country’s sovereign wealth fund that is slated to have a corpus of $20 billion.
The news was first broken by DealStreetAsia last week.
With the appointment, Wirakusumah will be stepping down as president director of Bank Permata, after a stint of five years.
Prior to that, Wirakusumah served as managing partner at DNB Consulting and Investment Hong Kong for two years. The Ohio University graduate has also worked for General Electric Company wherein he served as the CEO for the Asia-Pacific region, and AIG Hong Kong as its president and CEO. Besides, he has also served as the director of private equity behemoth KKR Hong Kong.
In an official speech at the State Palace that was broadcast live on Youtube earlier today, Widodo also unveiled the names of the board of directors of the fund called Lembaga Pengelola Investasi (LPI).
Arief Budiman, who was also understood to be a strong candidate for the CEO role, has been appointed as deputy CEO, while Citibank Indonesia country risk manager Maria Alisjahbana has come in as director of risk. Meanwhile, former Garuda Indonesia finance director Eddy Porwanto has been appointed as director of finance and Creador managing director Stefanus Ade Hadiwidjaja as director of investment.
While the President did not mention the size of the fund, his coordinating economic minister Airlangga Hartanto earlier said that the SWF received letters of interest worth $9.5 billion from potential investors, including United States International Development Finance Corporation (US DFC), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Caisse de depot et placement du Québec (CDBQ), and APG-Netherland.
Previously, the President has said that the government is expecting to close $20 billion for the SWF over the next two months.
“SWF or INA [Indonesia Investment Authority] has a strategic position in accelerating sustainable development, increasing and optimizing the value of state assets in the long term in providing alternative financing for sustainable development,” said Widodo. “INA will be a strategic partner for domestic and foreign countries so that sustainable financing is available.”
The fund will look at pooling in money from foreign firms to finance domestic development projects, predominantly related to infrastructure. In a hearing with the House of Representatives, Sri Mulyani explained that the goal of the SWF is to “obtain financial returns and also to attract more FDI, collaborate with co-investment partners and develop long-term infrastructure sector”.
In an interaction with DealStreetAsia late last month, LPI deputy CEO Budiman, who was part of the SWF review team, said that the assets that have been under initial evaluation for potential investments include toll roads, as well as airports and ports.