Meet the speakers
Ahmed Faiyaz is strategy professional with 15 years’ experience and over 10 years’ experience in health sector transformation, investments and strategy planning. He is currently the Advisor for Health Investments & PPP’s in Dubai Health Authority.
Mahmoud Atalla is a Managing Director within the Private Equity team at Gulf Capital.
He has over 16 years of alternative assets investment experience with a focus on investing in growth capital, leveraged buyout and special situations investments, as well as credit and real estate, globally.
He joined Gulf Capital in 2016 from HSBC where he was Managing Director, Head of UK Private Equity, focusing on leading management buyouts in the UK and Europe, and Global Co-Head of Special Situations, with responsibility for the firm’s distressed debt and loan trading business globally.
He started his private equity career as an Investment Manager at Montagu Private Equity, working across the firm’s Technology, Growth Capital and Mid-market buyout funds, and was also involved in launching the firm’s business in the GCC. He was a founding board member of the UK’s GBP3bn Business Growth Fund focused on investing in and lending to SMEs in the UK.
Mahmoud has a Masters’ Degree in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics and a Bachelors’ Degree in Economics and Politics from Bristol University. He was a founding member of HRH Prince of Wales’ Mosaic mentoring initiative and a member of the Young Arab Leaders.
Tony runs the M&A, ECM and Corporate Advisory practices at ADIB, where he is focused on building market-leading investment banking capabilities to complement the bank’s existing strengths and track record in product innovation, Islamic syndications & DCM, corporate, retail and private banking.
Tony has 19 years of Investment Banking and Asset Management experience with Wall Street firms including Lehman Brothers and the D. E. Shaw group in the MENA Region and London. Previous roles include Head of MENA at D.E. Shaw and Director of Investment Banking at Lehman Brothers. During his career, Tony led a number of cross-border M&A and advisory transactions for blue chip companies across the MENA region.
Abhishek Sharma, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) founded Foundation Holdings, a strategic, global investment firm focused on building sustainable, industry defining companies in the healthcare, education and consumer sectors across India and the GCC in November 2016.
Abhishek’s industry experience began as a Financial Analyst at Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers, he then moved on the work with Sun Capital Partners, a $10 billion middle-market private equity firm. During his 9 years is the U.S., Abhishek advised specifically on M&As and IPOs, his clients included American media conglomerate, Viacom and the Warner Music Group. He also held Senior Leadership Roles at UAE’s Ithmar Captial, where his focus was buyout and growth equity investments.
H. Richard Dallas is presently a Senior Managing Director of Private Equity, heading up the Investments activities. Mr. Dallas joined Gulf Capital in mid-2007. He heads Investments and is responsible for and manages investment sector identification and analysis, individual transaction evaluation and deal execution, portfolio company oversight and initiatives and disposition / exits at Gulf Capital. Mr. Dallas has been a member of the Boards of most of the portfolio companies of Gulf Capital during his tenure in a diverse set of industries. He has experience across traditional industries, such as energy, manufacturing, business services, and distribution, to healthcare and education through to technology focused and enabled companies. From 1999 to 2007, he was the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Oryx Capital International in Lake Forest, Illinois and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a firm specializing in the smaller end of mid-market private equity investing and growth capital primarily in industrial sectors. From 1985 to 1998, he was a Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms, where he helped establish offices of the firm, and was resident, in London and Riyadh. He managed the Gibson Dunn European and Middle Eastern offices from London from 1985 to 1989. Mr. Dallas was a member of the California and District of Columbia Bar Associations and was also resident in the firm’s Los Angeles, Washington, DC and New York offices while at Gibson Dunn. Mr. Dallas was active in commercial transactions and investments in the GCC from 1980 to 1998, representing governments, financial institutions and private regional companies in the GCC and abroad and foreign investors with operations in the GCC region, giving him in excess of 30 years’ experience in the business of the region. Mr. Dallas received an AB degree from Stanford University, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California, where he served as a senior editor of the University of Southern California Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif and graduated first in his class.
Phil heads Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa. A Chartered Accountant, Phil has worked globally with Ernst & Young for 27 years, and has been based in Saudi Arabia for more than 14 years.
The services his regional team provide include mergers and acquisitions, capital market advisory (including IPO’s), debt and equity raising, project finance, valuations, business modeling, due diligence and other strategic financial services.
Having worked on over 100 transactions across multiple jurisdictions, sectors and industries; Phil is one of Ernst & Young’s most experienced M&A advisors globally.
Mohammed Ali Khalaf Al-Tawil is the General Counsel of the Group providing legal, compliance and corporate governance guidance to Evolvence and all of its subsidiaries, divisions and portfolio entities. Prior to joining the Group in April 2012, Mr. Al-Tawil spent five years with Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd., a regional investment bank headquartered in Dubai, UAE, as the Head of Legal and Compliance. At Rasmala, Mr. Al-Tawil managed the group’s legal and compliance departments in various jurisdictions and served as Deputy Money-Laundering Officer before the Dubai Financial Services Authority. Prior to joining Rasmala, Mr. Al-Tawil spent two years with Jorden Burt LLP, a law firm located in Washington, D.C.. At Jorden Burt, Mr. Al-Tawil served as a contract associate handling large-scale insurance litigations in both trial and appellate courts.
Mr. Al-Tawil is licensed to practice law in the State of New York and is a member of the American Bar Association. Mr. Al-Tawil holds an MBA from the Kogod School of Business at American University and a JD from Michigan State University College of Law.
Walid has more than 15 years of experience in Venture Capital, strategy, corporate finance and engineering within the digital, telecom, software and new media industries. Prior to joining MEVP in 2010, Walid was a lead associate at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and before that he worked as a strategy manager at the UAE’s Prime Ministry Executive Office focusing on public policy initiatives. During his stay in Dubai, he worked on setting-up entrepreneurship related programs and developing incubation in the Arab World through several Dubai based initiatives such as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Foundation.
Prior to that, Walid worked at Booz & Company as a consultant covering telecom & media. Prior to Booz & Company, Walid worked as an industrial engineer in France. In 2009, he completed Morgan Stanley's summer associate program within their investment banking M&A division in London. Walid holds an industrial and urban planning engineering degree from Institut National des Science Appliquées de Lyon (INSA de Lyon) and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Arijit Nandi is a Director within the Merchant Banking team at The National Investor.
Arijit has over 15 years of investment banking and private equity experience with a focus on real estate, SMEs, consumer retail, services and financials. Arijit started his investment banking career at Vedanta, a metals and mining conglomerate and subsequently joined EY in the M&A desk.
Arijit has advised on a number of equity transactions in Middle East including Transguard and MAF Orix.
Arijit is a CFA charter holder and a Chartered Accountant.
Taimoor Labib is Managing Director, Head of Africa & Middle East for Standard Chartered Private Equity, investing and overseeing a direct investment portfolio which at peak reached approximately $1.5 billion in leading companies across sectors in Africa and the Middle East.
He joined SCPE in March 2010 to launch the Middle East Private Equity business and now actively manages companies headquartered in Botswana, Jordan, Kenya,Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE, UK and Zambia and currently sits on the board of Al Jazeera Poultry, CEC, CPC, Eaton Towers, FINE, GZI, Topaz Energy & Marine, and Union Bank of Nigeria.
Previously he was also Head of Global Private Equity Portfolio Management (2013-2016) overseeing the overall global portfolio. Taimoor has over 20 years of direct private equity and investment banking experience with leading international and regional institutions, including deep relationships with leading family groups,regulators, sovereign wealth funds and limited partners.
Taimoor began his career with Bear Stearns investment banking in New York, and The Carlyle Group in Washington D.C. and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Kumar Verma is the Chief Operating Officer of Scholars International Group, an educational group based in Dubai. He oversees the day to day operations as well as future project developments.
Prior to joining SIG, Mr. Verma was the President of Digital Root, Inc. a pioneering online advertising and technology company based in New York City. He was also a founding member of the New York Angels, a globally recognized angel investment group.
Mr. Verma has acted as a mentor, judge, moderator, host and speaker. He holds a BSBA from Georgetown University.
Abdelaziz Abdel Nabi: Co-founded Catalyst Partners, a SMEs private equity firm based in Egypt. Mr. Abdel Nabi launched the 1st Mezzanine Agri-business fund in Egypt ‘Mozarمزارع’ and currently manage AUM c.EGP300 Mn. Mr. Abdel Nabi advised on ECM transactions totaling EGP2.5 Bn. Mr. Abdel Nabi advised on DCM transaction totaling EGP500 Mn. Prior, Mr. Abdel Nabi co-founded Delta Financial Investments (DFI), which was acquired by a private equity firm in 2012. Prior DFI, Mr. Abdel Nabi worked in Beltone Financial Holding (BFH) were he lead a team overlooking BFH’s investments in US, UK and MENA region. Mr. Abdel Nabi advised on a potential EGP3.5 billion merger in the FIG industry with presence in Europe, US and MENA region. Prior joining BFH, Mr. Abdel Nabi was an equity analyst at HC Securities. Currently on the board of finance and banking committee in the Egyptian Junior Business Association (EJB), Green Valley Holding and Entrepreneurship Investment Committee (EIC)- AmCham. Mr. Abdel Nabi received a B.A. from the American University in Cairo, Egypt majoring in finance; he also completed several advanced valuation, financial modeling courses and investment courses.
Tom Hodgson has been with Fajr Capital since 2011.
Tom covers principal investments at Fajr Capital, primarily focused on consumer related sectors across MENA, Turkey and South East Asia. Tom has led a number of private equity transactions at Fajr Capital, both minority and majority deals, including leading large-ticket transactions where co-investors were identified to participate on a consortium basis. He is responsible for portfolio management on a number of investee companies including investee companies in the education sector, the waste management sector and the consumer food and retail sectors. Tom sits on the board and committees of a number of portfolio companies and has also led portfolio level transactions in respect of debt financing / refinancing and M&A.
Prior to joining the firm, he worked as Director, Corporate Finance Advisory at Deloitte and successfully completed a number of buy-side and sell-side transactions in the education, hospitality, consumer entertainment and food & beverage sectors. Prior to Deloitte he worked in M&A advisory in London in different capacities.
He has more than sixteen years of advisory experience in sell-side and buy–side M&A, IPO advisory, business and asset valuations and capital restructuring. He has worked on transactions in Europe, US, Asia and the Middle East and he has been based in the Middle East since 2007. Tom is a certified chartered accountant (ACA), has an Executive MBA from CASS Business School and an Islamic Finance Qualification from the Securities & Investment Institute (SII).
Mark Storrie is Manger of Emerging Markets M&A at AIG, focussing on providing transactional liability insurance products for emerging markets and CEE transactions. Before joining AIG, Mark practised as a solicitor in London at Clifford Chance and Travers Smith for seven years, advising on M&A and private equity transactions globally.
Sandeep is a partner and head of the UAE Banking & Finance practice at Baker McKenzie. Sandeep has extensive experience advising on all aspects of conventional and Islamic banking, finance and capital market matters across the Middle East and has been based in the UAE since 2003.
Natasha is a Director at Integrated Alternative Finance Ltd (“IAF”), a wholly owned subsidiary and the principal debt investment platform of Abu Dhabi Financial Group. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi listed property developer Eshraq Properties Co. and Septech Holdings, a specialist water provider headquartered in Dubai.
At IAF, Natasha leads the investment team and is responsible for the origination, structuring and execution of ADFG’s debt investments in the Middle East including last mile financing for property developers, acquisition financing for financial sponsors, mezzanine financing and subordinated debt. Natasha has structured over USD 7bn in real estate financing, including last mile financing for Balqis Residences on the Palm Jumeirah and a GBP 100m listed Eurobond for the Broadway development in London.
Sikander Ahmed is an Executive director at NBK Capital Partners. Sikander has been involved in executing several transactions across various geographies and serves on the board of a portfolio company in Turkey. Prior to joining the firm in 2010, Sikander worked in the investment banking divisions of CIBC World Markets and RBC Capital Markets in the U.S.
Dr. Ahmed Emara is the Founder, Group CEO & Managing Director of ReAya Holding, a company he founded in 2012, that has grown from a small investment company to a group of portfolio companies across different geographies.
He is Medical Doctor/Surgeon by profession, a Healthcare and Life Science Entrepreneur, a Healthcare Operator and an Investor with over 25 years of strong international exposure and operational background in managing a spectrum of multi-disciplinary companies. Dr. Emara holds a solid track record of strategizing in Private Equity Deals where he assumes the responsibility of Identifying and implementing best practices, business process assessments, mapping and process re-engineering.
Dr. Emara steps in personally and takes over full responsibility of most of ReAya’s portfolio companies as the CEO/Managing Director. This very hands-on-approach differentiates ReAya from all other investment companies across the region. His endeavors also include developing viable investment opportunities in healthcare markets across MENA and escalating investee companies through restructuring, M&A activities, and operational reengineering.
He is also the Founder and Managing Partner of several entrepreneurial ventures including Muse (A healthcare M&A and advisory firm), and Tech. Developers (An intellectual property commercialization venture). As a recognized Healthcare Thought Leader, Dr. Emara is a regular panelist and speaker on healthcare private equity & operational excellence at international industry conferences.
Dr. Emara began his career in various senior management positions across Canada and the Middle East in affiliations with distinguished, intercontinental companies like Sanofi-Aventis, Bayer & Abbott.
Furthermore, he has held & still holds several positions of significant responsibilities including his current position at ReAya as the Founder, Group CEO & Managing Director:
- CEO of Jeddah BioCity (Pioneer life science venture-capital firm)
- Board Member, Exec & Finance Committee of Arabio (First JV Biological plant in MENA)
- Managing Director of ESD (A hazardous-medical-waste-management corporation)
- Managing Director of BioScan (A unique cyclotron cancer-diagnostic center)
- Board Director at SABA Medical (Ambulatory Healthcare group- 30 yrs. in business)
- Managing Director & CEO of Metrek (Chain of retail pharmacies and polyclinics.)
- Chairman & CEO of Avrupagoz, (Leading Turkish chain of ophthalmology centers)
- Managing Director & CEO of Zahrawi (Dubai-based distributor of Medical Devices)
- Managing Director & CEO of Dar Al Zahrawi (Saudi-based distributor of Medical Devices)
- Executive Chairman of Orzax, (Turkish production & marketing co. of nutritional supplements)
Samer Khalidi is a Managing Director at NBK Capital Partners and a member of its Investment Committee. Samer was part of the senior management at NBK Capital Partners from 2006 until 2015 before rejoining the team in 2017. Samer’s career spans over twenty one years of experience in private equity, management consulting, and investment management. Samer holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a Bachelor in Economics and Political Science from Brown University.
Philip is responsible for the product, sales and marketing strategy of Intralinks’ Strategic Financials business. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the M&A Research Centre at Cass Business School, City, University of London. Prior to joining Intralinks in 2010, he worked for 17 years as an M&A investment banker and in management consulting. He began his career at Deloitte in London in the financial services practice and then worked at NatWest Markets Corporate Finance, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and in corporate development for The Rank Group Plc, as well as founding an M&A consulting firm. Philip holds postgraduate degrees in Finance and Computer Science and a BA in Linguistics, from the University of London.
Omar Rifai is an Executive Director and founding member of Standard Chartered Private Equity MENA, based in Dubai. SCPE MENA has invested over $650 million since 2010 in private equity and mezzanine across 6 transaction in the GCC and Jordan. Omar has played a leading role in SCPE’s investment across the consumer and tech space such as Jawad Business Group (pan GCC retailer with over 550 stores), FINE Hygienic (leading branded hygienic paper manufacturer) and souq.com (MENA’s leading ecommerce player). Omar sits on the board of FINE Hygienic and observes on the board of Construction Products Holding Company and Souq.com.
Taher is an Associate Partner with EY responsible for the MENA Energy M&A business. He joined EY in 2017 and and brings more than 13 years of investment banking and private equity experience within the Oil & Gas and Power & Utilities sector.
Taher graduated from the London School of Economics with a Master of Science degree in Management (Managerial Economics and Strategy) and an MBA exchange program at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business where he concentrated on quantitative and analytical finance.
Prior to joining EY, Taher worked with Simmons and Company International (“Simmons”) the Energy focused investment bank and was responsible for their activities in the MENA region. Before that he was a founding team member of Qatar First Investment Bank (“QFIB”) where he focused on investments across the Oil & Gas value chain with a primary focus on E&P and energy related services in the MENAT region. Taher started his career at Deutsche Bank AG (“DB”) as part of the Principal Investments team concentrating on direct investments in the Oil & Gas and Power & Utilities sector in the EMEA region.
Chris has been with Standard Bank Group out of the Middle East office for the past six years. As Execution Management within Client Coverage, Chris covers a multitude of clients including Sovereign Wealth Funds, family offices, regional and multinational corporates that have interests in Sub Sahara Africa. His interests include Power & Infrastructure projects, Consumer & Retail sectors as well as cross border mergers and acquisitions.
Chris has over ten years of corporate finance and investment banking experience having previously worked for KPMG and ABN AMRO Bank in Europe.
He is a qualified Certified Public Accountant and holds an MSc in Finance from Cranfield School of Management in the UK and an MBA from London Business School.
Matthew is based in EY’s Dubai office and leads EY’s Transaction Support team, including Financial Due Diligence, Commercial Due Diligence, and Corporate Finance Strategy across Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa (EMEIA), with a specific focus on in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the last three years. Prior to that Matthew worked for EY’s Transaction Advisory Services team in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, for fourteen years, after starting in EY’s audit practice in London.
As well as leading buy-side and sell-side transaction support engagements for both corporate and private equity clients, key developments that Matthew is involved in digital due diligence, data analytics, and advice in relation to purchase price mechanics and addressing due diligence findings into sale and purchase agreements for domestic and inbound clients.
Ahmed Munifi is the Founder and CEO of Merger & Acquisition House (MandA). He is an Investment Banking Professional with a proven record of accomplishing milestone transactions across various industries worth SAR 25 billion. Consistently delivers significant value by offering an independent and high standards financial advise to support clients to meet their strategic business objectives. 16 years of solid investment banking experience, having worked with major Saudi investment banking firms like Sambacapital, Swicorp, MEFIC Capital and Alpen Capital. Enjoys wealth of market knowledge in terms of direct investment opportunities in the region and a wide network of investors.
Will is a partner in the UAE Corporate/M&A practice advising on private equity and venture capital transactions, corporate restructurings, public takeovers, joint ventures, as well as all other general corporate transactions. He has practiced in the UAE for over eight years and also has significant experience of corporate transactions in many of the world's leading financial services markets including New York, London and Hong Kong.
Campbell Steedman is the Managing Partner, Middle East for Winston & Strawn. He has over 25 years of experience representing major clients from a wide range of business sectors with international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures,privatisation, and ECM transactions in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. His international experience, coupled with local knowledge of these markets, has made him a valued asset for clients around the world, who look to him for his noted deal-making skill, and his ability to navigate the complexities of intricately structured, multijurisdictional transactions.
He has been recognized by an array of legal publications, including The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. He was included in The Best Lawyers United Arab Emirates 2017 in the field of Mergers and Acquisitions Law. Mr. Steedman was also named External Counsel of the Year in 2009 by Asian-Counsel Magazine and M&A lawyer of the Year, UAE at the 2010 ILO Client Choice Awards.
Omar is a partner and head of the UAE Corporate/M&A practice. He has over 15 years’ experience in the Middle East and focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, corporate governance, joint ventures, commercial matters and corporate/shareholders' disputes throughout the region.
Elaine Green is Editor - EMEA Bureaus at Mergermarket and is responsible for managing the Bureaus in Europe and Middle East and African (EMEA) as well as being Global Head of Shipping. She has been with the company since its inception in 2000 and is an experienced reporter, editor and manager having worked both within the group and at wide range of other European publications. Her qualifications include a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).
Catherine Ford is the Editor-at-Large for the events division of Acuris. She is a consultant editor to event programmes, and engaged in the development of timely editorial content for global corporate finance, M&A and capital markets related conferences and events. She routinely moderates discussion panels at conferences across the region. She has worked for Acuris since early 2002, holding a number of senior editorial roles in the company’s European, US and Asia-Pacific head offices.
Ruth is Head Middle East and North Africa for Mergermarket. Based in Dubai for eleven years she is an experienced financial journalist with an extensive network of contacts in the region.
She holds a BA (Hons) Media Performance from the University of Bedfordshire and is a qualified journalist from the Belfast Metropolitan College.