Bahrain asset managers on list of Forbes’ top 30

Saudi Arabia dominates the list with 16 entries

  

MANAMA: Investcorp leads Bahrain’s three-strong presence in Forbes’ first-ever list of the region’s top 30 asset managers, coming in just behind the chart-topper, NCB capital of Saudi Arabia.

Companies have been ranked on the basis of the value of their total assets under management (AUM) as of December 2020.

Saudi Arabia dominates the list with 16 entries, followed by the UAE with five, and Bahrain and Egypt with three each.

NCB capital has AUM worth more than $50 billion, while second-ranked Investcorp recorded $35bn in total AUM in 2020.

The Bahraini investment firm’s real estate AUM increased by five per cent last year to $6.4bn as of June 2020.

Led by Rishi Kapoor and Hazem Ben-Gacem as co-chief executives, Investcorp recorded net profits of $29m in Q3 of the 2021 financial year ending March 2021, compared to losses of $2m in the same period the previous year.

Ranked ninth in the Forbes list, GFH Financial Group is the 2nd biggest Bahrain asset manager with AUM of $12bn.

Led by Hisham Alrayes as group chief executive, the firm recorded profits of $19.3m in Q1-2021, an increase of 185pc compared to the same period in 2020.

Rounding up Bahrain’s presence on the Forbes list is 21st ranked SICO, one of the leading regional fully-fledged asset managers, brokers, market makers, and investment banks.

It recorded more than $4bn in assets under management in April 2021.

Najla Al Shirawi has been with SICO for more than 24 years and became chief executive in 2014.

Talking about the rationale behind the list, Forbes said asset management companies are the gateway for most individual investors to their savings.

“Asset managers invest customers’ capital in companies listed on stock exchanges, bonds, as well as real estate and private equity. They use their expertise to maximise returns for their customers. Most of them also act as brokers for their clients to invest directly and offer investment banking and other advisory services,” the publication said.

For compiling the list, Forbes collected information on the companies from questionnaires, publicly disclosed data from websites and financial statements, and capital market authorities.

Only companies that are based in the Middle East were considered, with regional offices of international companies being excluded.

Also excluded were sovereign wealth funds, venture capital funds, and family-owned investment companies.

The ranking considered all fiduciary assets that the asset manager invested on behalf of its clients – including equity and debt mutual funds, discretionary portfolios, real estate funds, and private equity – as assets under management.

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