Speaker's Profile

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Dag Detter

Managing Director of Detter & Co.

  • Topics: Cities, Future, Society, Business, Finance, Innovation, Change, Smart Cities

Dag Detter offers us a unique policy idea which is no exaggeration to say will revolutionize public policy. He has unrivalled hands-on experience, backed up by academic data and research, to prove that this will be both a well-needed boost to economic growth and an invaluable tool to fight corruption. He is a Fellow at Legatum Institute and the Managing Director of Detter & Co. In his previous role as President of Stattum, the Swedish government holding company he led the first transformation of state commercial assets.

Detter & Co specializes in advising on the restructuring of public sector balance sheets and the management of under-performing public assets. It assists governments and public institutions in designing and implementing strategies for restoring balance sheet strength. Dag identifies underperforming high-potential assets and advising in the acquisition or disposal process for private and public institutions. He has been an advisor to the IMF, World Bank, IFC and the OECD on the development of state commercial assets.

Along with co-author with Stefan Fölster, he is the author of a recently published book entitled The Public Wealth of Nations – How Management of Public Assets Can Boost or Bust Economic Growth, published by Palgrave Macmillan (2015). The book made the Best Books in 2015 list with both The Economist’s book and the FT. He will soon be bringing out a new book The Public Wealth of Cities in 2017, published by Brookings Press. He has contributed articles to Foreign Affairs (2014), IMF – Public Financial Management (2015), Sovereign Wealth Centre (2015), Financial Times (2009, 2011, 2012), Foreign Policy (2011, 2015) and Caixin in China (2016).

Dag Detter shows by applying lessons from the private sector that management of public assets, can unlock new funding for future economic growth. He presents to investment conferences, financial client forums and internal briefings, both public sector and private institutions. Private sector clients include investment banks, asset managers, fund managers, private equity firms, investment conferences real estate investment firms, as well as tax, audit and legal firms. He also advises sovereign wealth funds.

  • The size and potential of public wealth and what it can put to achieve.
  • How poorly governed, state-run businesses can ruin an economy.
  • Strategies for creating value and lessons for future national wealth funds.

It is not every day that you come across a new idea in public policy… The idea of the public wealth of nations is just such a new idea. It identifies a problem that few people had realised exists. It shatters the tired categories of left and right. And it suggests a relatively pain-free way of boosting economic growth … improvements in public wealth management could yield returns greater than the world’s combined investment in infrastructure such as transport, power, water and communications. They also note that improvements in public wealth management could help to win the war against corruption.
Adrian Wooldridge, Schumpeter Editor, The Economist

The monetisation of these under-exploited real commercial public assets will likely require considerable innovation in capital markets and investment banking.
Willem Buiter, Chief Economist Citigroup


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■How to manage the people’s wealth | World Finance

■Public Wealth of Nations and Dag Detter on BBC Business Live