Saudi State Fund Names Liveris as Adviser

05.09.2018 -

Long-term Dow Chemical chief executive Andrew Liveris has been appointed as a special adviser to Saudi Arabia's sovereign fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is responsible for deciding how to invest the Kingdom’s considerable wealth.

Said to be the fund’s highest-profile appointment of any global manufacturing executive, the choice of Liveris undoubtedly reflects the executive’s long engagement in the Middle East country as Dow chief and his generally good relations with Saudi industry.

Dow has been present in Saudi Arabia for four decades and in the past several years has worked closely with joint venture partner Saudi Aramco to develop the Sadara petrochemicals complex at Jubail, on the Persian Gulf coast.

On Jul. 1, following his retirement as executive chairman of DowDuPont, Liveris joined the board of Saudi Aramco as its first Western member.

In 2016, Dow became the first company to be awarded a Saudi trading license, which allows it to own 100% of any company it founds, rather than requiring it to have a joint venture with a local partner. Dow is also Saudi Arabia’s biggest foreign investor.

At the time, the license was seen as underpinning the Saudi government’s plans to develop the country’s chemical industry as part of a strategy to diversify away from oil.

The appointment of Liveris as special adviser comes as the PIF, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is negotiating the sale of the Kingdom’s majority stake in the country’s petrochemicals giant SABIC to Aramco.

The former Dow chief is expected to work closely with the fund on strategic matters and support efforts to boost the value of its portfolio, in line with the crown prince’s economic program Vision 2030.