ADIC’s Mark Burton to retire

Mark Burton is to retire as the chief investment officer of sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Council after three years in the role. Burton is expected to conclude his tenure at the fund before June.

Mark Burton is set to bring the curtain down on his three-year tenure as chief investment officer of the real estate department at the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC).

PERE has learned that Burton, who joined ADIC from Abu Dhabi’s largest sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in 2007, is to retire before June. It is understood that he will not be seeking to join another organisation.

Burton has worked in real estate for more than 40 years, 25 years of which was in the US, 17 years in Europe and 12 years in Japan and wider Asia. He has worked in a number of real estate fields including agency and lending as well as investment and fund management, according to the programme notes of a recent real estate conference.

A chartered surveyor and banker during his career, he started working at London-based Cluttons in 1967. In 1982 he joined the United Bank of Kuwait, where he worked until 1999 when he joined AXA Investment Managers. After less than a year with AXA, Burton joined AIG Global Real Estate Investment (Europe) before joining Abu Dhabi Investment Authority as chief investment officer in its Real Estate Department in 2001. Following a very brief spell with Hermes, he joined ADIC in 2007 as it was being set up.

ADIC is an investment arm of the government of Abu Dhabi formed in 2007 to invest part of the government’s surplus financial resources through a “globally diversified investment strategy”. The fund invests both domestically and internationally.

Since Burton’s departure from ADIA, the sovereign wealth fund’s strategy has evolved from a mixture of direct and indirect investments towards a more direct investment programme where it assumes much more control over its investments (read more about ADIA’s investment strategy in this month’s issue of PERE). While not directly replaced, parts of Burton’s role at ADIA were inherited by current global head of real estate, Bill Schwab, who joined ADIA’s in January 2009.

Burton was unavailable for comment.