As CEO of Emirates Investment Bank, Khaled Sifri serves the interests of high-net-worth clients and identifies investment banking opportunities. In the case of Middle East Investors, he often finds these two aspects of the business overlap. The new private wealth client, according to Sifri, is an entrepreneur well versed in company growth and attuned to investment banking deals. Sifri seems well-placed to make such an assessment, given his bank’s history of working with clients in the region and its increase in assets under management.
In a February article in The National, Sifri discussed the dramatic growth of investment activity in the Middle East. Emirates Investment Bank’s assets under management increased by 71% last year, attracting funds from regional and international investors — and this blog has previously examined the growth of startup activity in the region. Sifri explained that his bank had seen increased fund inflows from individual investors, but it had also engaged in more investment banking activity through a greater number of mergers and acquisitions.
Another factor contributing to Emirates Investment Bank’s growth may have been the increasing sophistication of investment strategies employed by Middle East investors. In a September interview with Gulf Business, Sifri noted that high-net-worth individuals had previously been served by private banking windows at larger commercial banks, but a greater number of them were looking to have their business conducted out of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries directly. Sifri’s bank now manages assets for clients with a broad range of risk tolerance, from private clients looking for higher risk investments to entrepreneurs looking for lower risk exposure after concentrating risk in their own businesses.
In addition to diversifying its clients’ portfolios, Emirates Investment Bank manages its own investments with similar strategies. Last June, the bank’s art collection was featured for its focus on artists in the region. In a story for The National, Sifri explained that Emirates Investment Bank considers art to be “an asset class which any person with an investment portfolio should consider.”
At the Fifth Annual CFA Institute Middle East Investment Conference, Sifri will share some of the regional expertise that Emirates Investment Bank has gathered in the course of its work, discussing 2014 trends and insights for the GCC Investor. If you aren’t able to attend the conference in person, you can follow this blog for updates from the event.
Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.