SINGAPORE, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Franklin Templeton Investments has appointed an executive to spearhead efforts to improve ties with sovereign wealth funds in a bid to manage more of the $2-3 trillion controlled by these state-owned entities.
David E. Smart, previously an executive vice president who headed Templeton's Europe, Middle East and Africa institutional sales, will become global head of sovereign funds and be responsible for managing and expanding the firm's client base.
"Sovereign funds are one of the fastest growing pools of assets in the world and could rival the total worldwide pool of pension funds in size within five years," Templeton said in a statement dated Monday.
The growth "has become a global phenomenon which has stimulated the need for a dedicated group focused on the specialized needs and requirements of these funds," it added.
Smart, who is based in London, will report to Templeton's Executive Vice President of Global Advisory Services Vijay Advani.
Templeton Franklin Resources, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as Franklin Resources (BEN.N), manages about $570 billion in assets.
For a factbox on the world's largest sovereign funds see [ID:nSIN38376]. (Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Louise Heavens)