Eman Mansour to open new investment banking firm

By Marc Castro

Nov 11, 2013 02:08 AM EST

Veteran Gulf Arab banker Emad Mansour had laid out plans to establish a new investment bank located in the tax free financial zone of Dubai. He confirmed the plans Sunday as he joins the increasing numbers of regional bankers seeking to revive deal making in the region as big investment banks retreat because of capital restrictions.

Mansour would rely on the over twenty years of experience in investment banking in the region. His last assignment was as CEO of Doha's Qatar First Bank, a Shariah compliant investment bank which he helped set up back in 2008. He had resigned as QFB's CEO last September.

He previously oversaw the investment banking operations of Samba Financial Group, a Saudi Arabian investment firm. He would be filing an application to the regulatory authorities of Dubai International Financial Center. In a telephone interview, he is scheduled to open the business by the second quarter of 2014.

He added, "I am currently talking to investor and expect to file an application in the next four to six weeks."

The firm would focus initially on private equity transactions and then slowly expand into mergers and acquisitions offers, equity and debt market capitalization advisory services before going into asset management operations. 

The executive said negotiations with possible investors and shareholders have been mostly positive. He said that the new bank would be 'well-capitalized' without stating the budget he was trying to raise for the investment firm. 

Overall, other investment bankers from the region have been establishing their own specialist boutique firms specifically riding on the increased financial activity in the region. Middle Eastern investment banking fees topped USD534.9 million in the first three quarters of 2013, which is 22% increase in the same period last year. According to Thomson Reuters data, this was the best three quarters in the region since 2009.

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