TNI Opens Private Equity Office in Dubai

The National Investor opens private equity office in Dubai

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 24 April 2007The National Investor (TNI) today announced the opening of its private equity office in Dubai to expand its investment activities in the GCC region. Based at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the new office is part of TNI’s expansion drive.

“We’ve selected this location because it focuses on several sectors of financial activity, such as banking services, capital markets, asset management and fund registration and Islamic finance,” said Orhan Osmansoy, TNI’s Chief Executive Officer. The move is part of the firm’s mid-term strategy to boost its presence in GCC markets, such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and other regional markets within the MENA region.

“We’re very excited about being in Dubai because it places us at the heart of private equity deal flow in the region,” pointed out Yahya Jalil, TNI’s Senior Vice President of Private Equity. Jalil will head the expanded Dubai office along with a team of senior private equity managers.

“At TNI, we have an established private equity track record and we are recognized as one of the leaders in private equity investing in the GCC. Until recently, private equity investing was undertaken purely by the firm’s principal investment group. Over the last decade this group has generated an impressive blended IRR of over 60% on its private equity portfolio. In recognition of these achievements the firm was awarded “Best Institution for Private Equity” from Banker Middle East in May 2005,” highlighted Jalil.

“Being part of a full-service financial services firm, it is important to create some clear Chinese walls between investment banking and private equity – the Limited Partners in our fund would expect no less. Situating ourselves in Dubai, while the parent business continues to operate out of Abu Dhabi achieves a clear physical / spatial separation of the private equity advisory team from the investment baking business. Dubai will also provide us with the opportunity to benefit from its booming business environment and take advantage of its rapid progress and significant economic development to expand our activities in the UAE and the wider region,” he explained.

Yahya has no reservations on whether private equity will catch up in the region: “As the private equity business booms, there is definitely a favorable tailwind blowing in this direction today. The private equity asset class in the GCC and MENA region has burgeoned over the past few months, with a plethora of new funds being announced, launched or closed by both established players and new upstarts in the industry. We believe this is a healthy development in raising the awareness of private equity as an alternative asset class to investors in the region, as well as creating a value-adding source of capital to potential investees”.

While the primary focus of the expanded Dubai office will be structuring and advising on new private equity transactions, the office will also assist existing portfolio companies in entering or expanding in the region and providing support for TNI’s other businesses.

Jalil says: “I am tremendously excited about the challenge and opportunity of building our business in Dubai. It is one of the most dynamic cities in the GCC region and one that will have the most impact on the regional economy in our lifetime.” TNI will build its Dubai presence by drawing upon a combination of experienced staff from its operations in Abu Dhabi as well as hiring established, successful professionals. The firm may open additional offices in the region as its business grows.

With over 10 years of experience in private equity and mergers & acquisitions, at leading financial services firms such as Jefferies & Company, GE Capital and Credit Suisse First Boston, Jalil achieved significant investment success and high double digit IRRs over his career. Previously Jalil was a senior investment professional at GE Capital’s $6 billion private equity division in Stamford, Connecticut (USA) where he focused on leveraged buyouts and growth capital investments in telecommunications, media, entertainment and technology sectors. He has an MBA with Honors from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

About The National Investor:The National Investor (TNI) is a privately owned regional investment and merchant banking group. The firm comprises seven strategic business units covering investment and merchant banking, private equity, asset management, real estate, investment research, principal investments and client advisory. In addition, the firm has an associate company, GNSC, which provides brokerage services as a registered member of the Abu Dhabi Securities Market (ADSM) and the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).The National Investor (Dubai) Limited is a 100% owned subsidiary registered with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).