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Abu Dhabi wealth fund manager missing after plane crash

By the CNN Wire Staff
Image of Moulay Abdellah lake taken on March 17, 2010, where the sheikh's glider went down.
Image of Moulay Abdellah lake taken on March 17, 2010, where the sheikh's glider went down.
  • Search under way for Abu Dhabi executive Sheikh Ahmed after Morocco plane crash
  • Sheikh Ahmed is brother of ruler of Abu Dhabi, UAE president
  • Sheikh Ahmed ranked No. 27 on Forbes' "Most Powerful People" list

(CNN) -- The managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Fund is missing after his glider plane crashed into a lake in Morocco, the state news agency of the United Arab Emirates reported Friday.

Authorities were searching for Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is a brother of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Sheikh Ahmed is also chairman of the board of trustees of the Zayed Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works, said WAM, the news agency.

The plane went down in the northwestern city of Skhirat, according to Morocco's official news agency, MAP.

Forbes' 2009 rankings of "The World's Most Powerful People" rated the missing sheikh at No. 27.

The pilot was rescued in good condition, WAM said.

A spokesman for the fund did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The sovereign-wealth fund, which was established in 1976, is owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.

In an interview in January with Germany's business daily newspaper Handelsblatt, Sheikh Ahmed said he preferred not to use the sovereign-wealth fund label to describe the investment fund.

"We prefer to be seen simply as a globally diversified investment institution, with the difference being that our owner is the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi," he said. "ADIA's sole mission, which has not changed in over 30 years, is to secure and maintain the current and future welfare of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi."

Asked about news reports that ADIA's global assets range between $300 billion and $800 billion, Sheikh Ahmed hewed to the secretive style that has marked the fund.

"As a matter of policy, ADIA does not disclose its assets under management," he said. But he noted that his brother, the president, who is also ADIA's chairman, "has stated publicly that some of the highest estimates seen in the media have been exaggerated."