Founded in 2007 with $200 billion funded by the central bank’s foreign reserves, China Investment Corporation got off to a rocky start with investments in Morgan Stanley and Blackstone that initially lost money.

A fund of this size, which now has a portfolio of more than $300 billion and is going to be seeded by the government

with an additional $100 billion, was always going to catch the attention of investment managers. CIC has managed this process with skill and professionalism.

Early in 2009 it made clear its intention to focus its efforts on real assets, and followed through with important deals, such as taking direct stakes in Teck Resources, Noble Group, Noble Oil Group and Penn West Energy Trust. 2009 was the year that CIC regained the initiative and planted itself squarely as the region’s most important investment group.