Saudi sovereign fund PIF hires senior officer

Greg Bankhurst has been appointed chief development officer

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has appointed new senior staff as it expands its role in efforts by the kingdom to diversify its economy.

Greg Bankhurst has been appointed chief development officer, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was formerly chief executive of Qatari Diar, the property arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

One of the PIF’s roles is leading urban development and industrial projects to help reduce in Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil exports.

The fund, believed to have about $180bn of assets, has been hiring financial professionals from around the world since last year as it invests in domestic projects, while managing stakes in top Saudi firms and making foreign investments such as last year’s purchase of a $3.5bn stake in Uber.

Other appointments in recent months include Jayson Miragliotta, formerly of Emaar Properties, as executive director of master planning, and Owen Leigh as head of operational risk, according to LinkedIn.

PIF did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the appointments.