Huda Al Lawati is the Chief Investment Officer at Savola Group, The Savola Group is a Saudi Arabian industrial company. The group’s major holdings supply Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and North African countries with edible oils, sugar, fresh dairy products, and restaurants serving fast foods. The group also owns the largest grocery retailing chain in the Middle East, the Panda supermarket.
She previously, spent twelve years as a Partner and Chief Investment officer at the Abraaj group, she worked on several transactions developing strong experience in deal execution, structuring and execution, portfolio management and exits across several industries including F&B, retail, education, oil & gas, insurance, temporary power, hospitality and healthcare and also led the group’s investment across the GCC including investments in Kudu, Acibadem, Careem and Kuwait Energy.
She started her career in 2001 with Schlumberger in Muscat-Oman, where she managed the fiscal accounts and tax audits of its subsidiaries and branches in Oman, later joined ABQ Zawya in 2003.
Rami is the director of investments and M&A at Al Faisaliah Group, a diversified regional group with core presence in Agriculture & Food, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Consumer Electronics, where he manages the investments arm of the Group and is also responsible for M&A activities at the Group and its subsidiaries.
Prior to that, Rami was responsible for corporate development and inorganic growth at GE Capital’s joint venture with Mubadala through establishing presence in new markets across MEA and Turkey by acquiring platforms and setting up joint ventures with local partners.
Rami was a founding team member of Bank Audi’s operations in Saudi Arabia and the VP of its investment banking arm based in Riyadh, successfully closing multiple transactions in various sectors and jurisdictions.
Started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Lebanon in the Assurance and Consultancy practice prior to moving to Procter and Gamble to cover Competitive Intelligence in the Levant region for multiple P&G brands.
Rami is a graduate of Business Administration from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2000 and has been a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) since 2005.
Zahid Kamal is a Managing Director at Fajr Capital. He is actively involved in various aspects of Fajr Capital’s transactions (including origination, execution and portfolio management) and strategic initiatives. He is also a board and executive committee member of several Fajr Capital portfolio companies, including Cravia Group, and is a member of Emerging Markets Private Equity Association’s Middle East Council. Prior to Fajr Capital, Zahid was a senior lawyer at Ashurst LLP in London and Dubai, where he advised Fajr Capital and other corporate clients. He has over fifteen years’ experience in UK and MENA public and private company transactions, including private equity, M&A, public takeovers, IPOs, investment funds, secondary offerings, restructurings and joint ventures.
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.
Amin Nasser was appointed COO of Gulf Marketing Group in April 2015. He is responsible for the group growth and productivity objectives and initiatives across the Middle East region, working closely with the Group Deputy Chairman Mohammad Baker. Prior to his appointment, Nasser was heading PWC Family Business Forum in UAE and UK since 1980. He was responsible for developing the firm’s strategy in Family Business Advisory Services in the Middle East. Amin’s business advisory and corporate finance experience includes numerous of sectors such as Government body, Oil and gas, Airlines, Manufacturing, construction and trading. He is also member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in England & Wales and the Family Firm Institute in USA.
Imad Ghandour is the Co-founder & Managing Director of CedarBridge, an investment company focused on high growth opportunities in education, healthcare and retail in MENA.
Imad has more than 15 years experience in private equity and investments throughout the MENA, UK and China with particular focus on education, healthcare, wellness, and beauty. He is currently a director in the board of Kids First Group, the region’s largest chain of nurseries; SAE Arabia, a specialized college in UAE; AlShams Laboratories, one of the largest diagnostic chains in MENA; Sisters Beauty Lounge, a large chain of beauty salons in UAE, and The Grooming Company, another large chain of grooming brands in UAE. He had also served as a director in the board of CIRA, the largest chain of schools in Egypt; Maarif Education, the largest educational group in Saudi Arabia; TechnoScan, the largest chain of radiology centers in Middle East; Advanced Laboratory Services, the largest reference lab in Saudi Arabia; and Metito, the largest water engineering group in MENA.
Imad is also a co-founder of the MENA Private Equity Association, and was awarded by Private Equity World the prestigious Private Equity MENA Merit Award for 2011.
Chad joined in October 2014 as an Operating Partner with responsibility for corporate finance and advisory activities with portfolio companies.
Over a career of more than 27 years in investment banking, Chad built and led international teams of up to 80, focused on healthcare and cross border advisory. He has advised clients in more than 200 M&A, equity, and leveraged finance transactions in Europe, the US and the Middle East, while at HSBC, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Lehman Brothers, First Boston and originally at Morgan Bank.
An international American now based in Dubai, Chad has been based in London since 1989. Chad’s GCC connections are long-standing, having lived in Dubai in 2008 while running HSBC’s MENA Advisory business, and covered Saudi Arabia for Morgan Bank in the early 1980s.
Chad has successfully transitioned from an established investment banking career to a plural healthcare industrial career, recently serving as International Director at HCA International (London’s leading private hospital group), responsible for evaluating, structuring and negotiating opportunities in the international clinical services space, particularly in the GCC and India.
Chad has also served since 2006 as board member and senior advisor to Ottobock Group GmbH (a private German company and global leader in prostheses and mobility) and on the Executive Committee of the Board of HealthRight International (an international not-for-profit organization providing long-term healthcare solutions in the emerging markets).
Tushar Singhvi is the VP Corporate Development & Investments at Crescent Enterprises. In this role, Tushar is responsible for evaluating and executing new investment opportunities, and managing existing portfolio companies through strategy and corporate development. He has been instrumental in cultivating and stewarding corporate prospects, and contributing to the development and refinement of Crescent Enterprises’ strategic and operational plans within the ports and logistics, business aviation, healthcare, private equity and media and entertainment verticals.
Tushar has more than 12 years of experience in investment management, corporate finance, M&A, strategy and project management in sectors including power, logistics, oil and gas, healthcare and infrastructure development. He has worked on a range of transactions including M&A, capital raising, divestment advisory, debt advisory and restructuring.
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.
Ahmad Kilani has an overall experience of +14 years in finance. He is currently the CEO of Tabarak Investment responsible for setting the investment strategy, managing and negotiating deals in the education, real estate, shipping, insurance and food security sectors.
Ahmad started his career in Jordan in 2002 as a Financial Analyst at the Electricity Regulatory Commission involved in tariff pricing and the privatization project in conjunction with Rothschild. He later joined Jordinvest as an Assistant VP leading an acquisition deal involving Nuqul Group, IPO of Damac and buy-side advisory to Dubai Capital in CEGCO acquisition.
In 2008, Ahmad relocated to Dubai to head the Investment team and diversify the investment portfolio of Bonyan Group to include investments in the hospitality, industrial and aviation sectors.
Prior to joining Tabarak in 2011, Ahmad was the VP of Finance and Investments at Prime Investments leading the listing of the Company at the ISDX-London through reverse takeover.
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.
Diego is the Co-Founder & CEO of Quercus Investment Partners Limited. He has worked in investment banking and finance for more than 17 years and has been involved in the renewable energy sector since 2009. Diego has extensive experience in cross border financing having worked with corporates as well as municipal and government linked institutions across Europe. Prior to founding Quercus, Diego established a successful consultancy business and was, amongst other roles, Managing Director for Commerzbank and IMI bank in London, where he led due diligence on a variety of complex corporate finance transactions, mergers and acquisitions. He started his career at Caboto Securities, the British investment banking arm of Banca Intesa. At Quercus, Diego has driven the company’s real asset strategy overseeing the successful launch of two compartments, building a portfolio of some 22 utility scale plants with a strong pipeline and structuring debt facilities for circa EUR 300m.
Diego is the Co-Founder & CEO of Quercus Investment Partners Limited. He has worked in investment banking and finance for more than 17 years and has been involved in the renewable energy sector since 2009.
Diego has extensive experience in cross border financing having worked with corporates as well as municipal and government linked institutions across Europe.
Prior to founding Quercus, Diego established a successful consultancy business and was, amongst other roles, Managing Director for Commerzbank and IMI bank in London, where he led due diligence on a variety of complex corporate finance transactions, mergers and acquisitions. He started his career at Caboto Securities, the British investment banking arm of Banca Intesa.
At Quercus, Diego has driven the company’s real asset strategy overseeing the successful launch of two compartments, building a portfolio of some 22 utility scale plants with a strong pipeline and structuring debt facilities for circa EUR 300m.
Ahmad Alanani, CFA is a Founding Partner and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sancta Capital where he is responsible for deal origination, structuring and execution. In addition, Ahmad takes a leadership role in the firm’s management and business development.
Ahmad has over 13 years of experience on the buy and sell side. He was most recently a Managing Partner at Exotix Partners LLP, a frontier market investment banking boutique, and served as the firm’s Senior Executive Officer in Dubai. He joined Exotix in 2008 as a Director in the fixed income sales and trading team in London, before relocating to Dubai in 2010 to establish the firm’s regional office and expand its franchise. In Dubai, he led a team of 10 professionals focused on distressed debt and special situations and successfully executed more than US$2.0bn of secondary and primary transactions across the region. This included a landmark US$135M NPL liquidation for a Malaysian institution and over US$500M worth of structured debt buybacks.
Prior to Exotix, Ahmad was a director for a family office in London where he was tasked with liability management and term securitization within targeted portfolio companies. Ahmad also worked for MD Sass Investor Services, a New York based hedge fund with over US$7bn under management, as part of the distressed and leveraged buyouts strategy.
Brad Watson is a Partner and leads EY’s Infrastructure Advisory practice for the Middle East and North Africa. Having recently moved to Dubai from Toronto, Brad is an experienced project manager and advisor. He has been providing strategy and policy based advice to senior executives in the private sector and at all levels of government across North America for over 22 years.
Brad has worked on several significant infrastructure and complex procurement projects. Over the past five years alone, he has advised on multiple projects that have achieved financial close across North America totaling over $20 billion worth of capital assets and service delivery. Brad’s procurement experience ranges from pre-procurement planning, through transaction structuring, to financial close and beyond. His efforts have resulted in many successful procurements and have helped to deliver projects on-time and on-budget. Brad is also recognized as an industry leader in the public-private partnership (P3) market in North America. He has presented on various topics relating to P3s at conferences sponsored by organizations such as ARTBA, TRB, InfraNews and DBIA among others. He has also served as an expert peer reviewer for TRB publications.
Mazen advises on all aspects of banking and finance law including Islamic finance, structured finance, securitisation,private equity, financial structuring and restructuring, cross-border transactions and investment funds. He has extensive experience advising large UAE family businesses on structuring and family protocols.
Mark Storrie is a Senior Underwriter in the AIG M&A Insurance Group in London. Mark focuses on providing M&A insurance solutions for emerging markets transactions and has particular experience in private equity. Mark trained as a solicitor with Clifford Chance in London and Dubai and practised for six years, advising on M&A and private equity transactions globally, including a number in MENA. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from Durham University.
Mr Reddy is Co-Head of Middle East and Africa for HL and focuses on special situationswhich can include liability management, restructuring advice, and distressedM&A for creditors, corporate, and sponsor clients within Europe, the MiddleEast, and Africa, with a particular focus on the Middle East and Africa
Mr Reddy’s notable transactions include Arcapita, BorsodChem, En+Group (UCRusal),CMA CGM, AHAB, AfriSam,Peermont, TMD, VisioCorp, Dometic, Edcon, Adeem,The Investment Dar, Oasis Group, and FransBonhomme
Prior to joining HL, Mr Reddy worked within JPMorgan’s Acquisition and Leverage Finance Group. During his time at JPMorgan, he executed a broad range of leveragedtransactions throughout Europe, including Provimi, Cognis, Flint Inks, Klockner Pentaplast,NDS, and Techem
Prior to investment banking, Mr Reddy served as a James H. Dunn fellow, acting as an Assistant Economic Policy Advisor for the Governor of Illinois.
He also holds an MSc in Finance and Accounting fromthe London School of Economics
Prof Scott Moeller is the director and founder of the M&A Research Centre at Cass Business School where he also Professor in the Practice of Finance. Scott is widely published as an author, including Why Deals Fail & How to Rescue Them: M&A Lessons for Deal Success (published by The Economist in September 2016), Surviving M&A: Making the Most of Your Company Being Acquired (John Wiley, 2009), the award-winning Intelligent M&A: Navigating the Mergers and Acquisitions Minefield (second edition, John Wiley, 2014). Prior to his teaching and research, Scott was at Deutsche Bank in London for 6 years in several senior banking positions. He worked first at Booz Allen & Hamilton management consultants for over five years and then at Morgan Stanley for 12 years in New York, Japan, and then as co-manager of Morgan Stanley in Germany. He currently sits on the board of several companies in Europe and the UK as a non-executive director. Scott is a graduate of Yale College (BA with honours), the Yale Graduate School (MA) and the Yale Management School (MBA).
Jean-Paul Pigat is the Founder and Head of Research at Lighthouse Research, and is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Previously, he worked as a Senior Economist in the Global Markets & Treasury and Wholesale Banking divisions at Emirates NBD. Before this, he was based in London, U.K. as the Head of Middle East and North Africa Analysis at Business Monitor International (BMI Research, a Fitch Group Company) where he was responsible for overseeing the company's economic, financial market and political risk analysis on the region. He is a regular contributor to media outlets such as Bloomberg TV, CNBC Arabia and Dubai Eye, and regularly speaks at investment conferences across the Middle East. He holds an MSc. from the London School of Economics and a BA from the University of British Columbia.
Melissa has significant experience on a broad range of corporate, commercial and private equity transactions and has been based in Dubai for almost ten years. She is admitted as a solicitor in both England & Wales and in New South Wales.
Jayshree Gupta is a dual qualified solicitor (England and India) and has been practicing in the UAE since 1995. She has unrivalled experience in the Gulf of advising on corporate and commercial matters including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchising, agency and distribution, and hotel contractual work.
Amongst her clients are multi-national organisations, established Middle Eastern businesses and major Indian corporates from a wide range of sectors including hospitality and leisure, retail and fashion, media, technology, telecommunications and finance.
In September 2008, Jayshree was appointed to the Regulatory Appeals Committee ("RAC") of the Dubai Financial Services Authority and was reappointed in 2011 to serve on it for another three year term.
Jayshree is one of the most influential of female lawyers in the region, and was featured in the Top 100 Most Influential Indians in the Gulf Region , published by Arabian Business.
Samantha joined Instinctif Partners in June 2013 to launch its Middle East operation, which has its regional headquarters in the UAE. She has over 13 years of financial communications and Investor Relations experience, mostly in the Middle East, but also in Europe and Asia. Since 2007, Samantha has led teams handling Middle Eastern IPOs, Rights Issues, Sukuk and Bond issuance, high-profile M&A deals and numerous fund launches. Her sectors of expertise include financial services, healthcare, energy and telecoms. Samantha was previously the Managing Director of Buchanan Middle East, where she advised a wide range of local, regional and international companies on their corporate, financial and crisis communications strategies.
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.
Shibeer Ahmed focuses his practice on banking, Islamic finance, restructuring and project finance, regularly working on highly complex financings throughout the Middle East and internationally. He is recognized as a leading banking and finance practitioner by various industry publications, including Chambers Global, Legal 500, Best Lawyers and Who’s Who Legal.
Mr. Ahmed has advised major corporations and a range of financial institutions, including(Islamic and conventional) commercial banks, Export Credit Agencies, and development finance institutions, on financings in the EMEA region. He is the head of Winston & Strawn's Islamic finance practice and has wide experience advising on corporate and Sukuk issuances. Mr. Ahmed has experience across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, real estate, energy,petrochemicals, and oil & gas.
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.
Elias Lambrianos-Sabeh is Head of Middle East & North Africa at Debtwire, part of Acuris. He is based in Dubai.
Before joining Debtwire in May 2013, Elias worked in investment banking in London covering debt origination, loan syndication and advisory for Societe Generale, Natixis and Commerzbank. He is a graduate of the Cass Business School in London and holds a Masters from ESCP in Paris. Elias is fluent in Arabic, French and English.
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).