Kuwait City September 26 2022: Top officials who cleaned up and rebuilt Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security have resigned, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Director General Meshal Al-Othman and three of his deputies, including Raed Al-Nisf, were asked to resign from the fund, the people said, asking not to be identified before the official announcement. Finance ministry and fund officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The roughly $137 billion pension fund, which owns a quarter of U.S. private equity firm Stone Point Capital LLC, recorded 20.9% growth in assets in the last fiscal year.
Kuwait holds parliamentary elections on Thursday, after the term of the former National Assembly was cut short amid a political deadlock that paralyzed policymaking. Years of squabbling between elected lawmakers and a government appointed by the ruling Al-Sabah family has repeatedly set back fiscal reforms and development.
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The officials resigned from the fund under pressure from Kuwait’s political opposition, one of the people said. Opposition politicians have been calling for the government to remove any officials from state bodies deemed to be associated with the former leadership, regardless of performance or merit.
The fund performed so well that under the directives of Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, the former parliament approved a law to distribute a one-time special dividend of $10,000 to every Kuwaiti retiree earlier this year.
A new management team, which included the officials that resigned, was brought in in 2017 to overhaul the state-owned institution after its former head was found guilty of personally profiting from the organization over decades.
PIFSS, as the fund is known, also owns 25% of Oak Hill Advisors and 10% of TowerBrook Capital Partners LP.