A fledgling trade association says it wants to represent sovereign wealth funds in Washington, which have drawn increasing scrutiny for their buying power and political ties.
Thomas Karol, the president and chief operating officer of the new Sovereign Investment Council, says it started about a month ago, when he and other lawyers, and bankers working with the funds "found there were no advocates for the funds. We thought this would be an opportunity to provide that clearinghouse of information for the funds about why they are not as suspicious and fearful as everyone thinks."
Karol says no funds have officially joined as members of the new group yet, and the money for the SIC has been put up by "service companies" that work with the funds, and would probably join the council as affiliated members. He declined to name the companies involved.
Karol, a former consultant and former chief operating officer of the global financial services industry at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, says he's the council's only full-time employee. Jeffery Walter, president of the Walter Group, a lobbying firm, is listed on the council's web site, along with Palmer Hamilton of Miller, Hamilton, Snider & Odom and Jim McCray, a managing partner in Highwood Capital.