admin | May 13, 2009
Majid Al Futtaim’s asset management arm got off to a running start today, announcing the launch of an open-ended MENA equity fund to be seeded with $150m. It’ll be domiciled in Luxembourg and report a weekly NAV. It’ll have two share classes with differing fee structures: one with a minimum investment of $500,000 and another with a minimum of $25m. No word yet on exactly what those fees will be – I can’t seem to find them in the prospectus, weirdly enough.
The fund, to be called the Elite MENA Equity Fund, will have a broad focus, its managers said today. While it’ll be benchmarked against regional indexes, it won’t be prohibited from going outside the region, when suitable opportunities present themselves. The fund also can invest in fixed income, which would seem to belie its name.
Officials at the fund said it’ll be one of the largest in the region when it starts with $150m, although that’s just a pittance in the context of the global asset management industry. It’s also actually not near the top of the rankings in terms of size among funds in the region: according to Zawya, it would rank 34th out of 366. To be fair, though, the fund hasn’t yet started raising money, so it’s hard to tell how popular it will be.
The fund is basically a spinoff of Majid Al Futtaim’s family offices. In the absence of a track record, the company released performance numbers for its regional stock portfolio since 2002. The numbers look good, generally: it’s up by well over 200 per cent since inception, and made money in every year except 2008, when it lost 40.77%. Ouch. But hardly unexpected, given the massive declines in stock markets across the region.
The management team includes:
Iyad Malas, the chief executive officer. Malas joined Majid Al Futtaim Group in 2007, havin worked before that at the International Finance Corporation as regional director for south Asia. Before that, he’d worked in Egypt, including as COO of EFG-Hermes. (Pictured above)
Ian Galvin, the chief operating officer. Galvin was COO of Majid Al Futtaim Trust since 2007, and has worked in the past for Sovereign Global Investment, ING Barings, Ernst & Young and the KIA.
Faris Abdulrazzaq, senior portfolio manager. Like Galvin, Abdulrazzaq came from Majid Al Futtaim’s family office, where he’d been since 2003. He’s been working on the family’s MENA portfolio since 2006. Before that, he was at EFG-Hermes in Cairo and at Arthur Andersen Egypt.
Habib Oueijan, portfolio manager. Another alum of the family office, Oueijan joined MAF in 2002. Before that, he worked for five years at Shuaa Capital in Dubai, helping set up their successful Arab Gateway funds. Like Malas, he had previously worked at the IFC; also like Malas, he’s a George Washington University grad.
Mahmoud El Safty, associate portfolio manager. Yet another family-office guy, he joined MAF in 2005. He’d come from Commercial International Bank in Egypt before that.
Souheil Hajjar, head of international investments. Worked since 2008 for the family office. Before that, he’d spent time in various asset-management, investment banking and treasury-department positions at banks in the US and Europe. Like Ouijan and Malas, he’s a George Washington University alum.
Shakir Mahmood, managing director. Worked in the family office since 2002. Before that, he worked in private banking in Europe, managing money for clients from the Middle East.
Charles Stauffer, head of marketing and business development. He came to the family office in 2008 as a fixed-income portfolio manager. Previously, he’d worked as a banker and trader in Europe. He’s one of four people on the MAF team with a degree from George Washington University.