Iceland’s new wealth fund is up for grabs for outside managers

An Icelandic wealth fund would have been unthinkable just a decade ago. But as the nation dismantles the last vestiges of its capital controls, the coalition that steers Iceland has now proposed amassing a fund of as much as ISK 300bn (EUR 2.2bn), equal to about EUR 6,200 per Icelander.

Iceland's central bank govenor Mar Gudmundsson (left) and the country's finance minister Bjarni Benediktssom (middle) | Photo: Scanpix

A new Icelandic wealth fund is a testament to volanic countriy’s success -- and hard work -- in steering its way out of the financial ruin that hit in 2008. Largely out of necessity, politicians unveiled a string of policies that were as controversial as they were successful, including trapping foreign investors, nationalizing banks and writing off consumer debt.

The nation was also blessed with a boom in tourism, bringing a rare surplus in its accounts with the rest of the world.

"The upswing of the past years is unique in the history of the country," says Gylfi Zoega, a professor at the University of Iceland and a member of the Icelandic central bank’s monetary policy committee.

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