Fadi Arbid, CEO of Amwal AlKhaleej

Five minutes with… Fadi Arbid, CEO of Amwal AlKhaleej



Name: Fadi Arbid

Job title: CEO
Company: Amwal AlKhaleej
Years in company: 6.5 years

What will your company be focusing on this year?
Amwal AlKhaleej will be focusing on portfolio management and exits for some of our assets as well as selective deal sourcing. In addition, we may also potentially launch a new fund provided the political situation in the region stabilises and we see a lower volatility for global markets.

Are you concerned that the current volatile global economic climate will affect your strategy?
Yes, it may affect our strategy, as the climate affects pricing for assets, depending on whether one is at exit or acquisition mode. For assets we are tagging for sales, the economic climate can affect exit routes, timing and prices negatively. For assets funds we are considering buying, it can improve our positioning vis-à-vis sellers and help obtain the best price.

What are the growth areas currently for your industry?
In our industry, current growth areas are getting into more opportunistic asset classes and broadening from private equity (PE) to a larger scope within alternative Investments. From a sector standpoint, we are focusing on demographic plays (healthcare, education, consumer retail, consumer and finance), which have been rewarding to us in Saudi and Egypt, despite the economic turmoil.

What new products will your company launch this year?
We might look at a new structure for PE Funds and could consider a broader approach to ME alternative investment.

Will you be expanding into new territory?
We have no plans to expand into new territories at this stage.

What will be the biggest challenges for UAE businesses in your sector in 2012?
Exits in the UAE are very challenging for PE. In such environments, the liquidity in the exchanges needs to be improved and so does their framework (a mix of NasdaqDubai / DFM or ADFM. One of the key challenges for UAE businesses remains the ability to get funding to expand.

Will you be hiring this year?
Depending on whether we launch a new fund or not, and market sentiment, we could see some additions of professionals with some very specific skill sets.

What’s your leadership style?
Fair and demanding, but rewarding. Trust is given when earned and deserved; I tend to lead by example in terms of hard work and commitment, and typically try to fight for my team.

What makes the perfect employee?
The perfect employee is dedicated, smart, passionate, and positive.

Define success in five words…
Success is when opportunity meets luck.

Three tips for becoming the boss…
Hard work, opportunity, and a mentor

When I’m not at work I like to…
Watch my daughter grow up by the second and participate in my favorite sports, including Thai boxing.