A tie-up between a London-based investment manager and Dubai's Al Mal Capital will see the former's managing partner, Khaled Abdel Majeed, move to Dubai and manage an enlarged team responsible for the investment strategy of a series of funds owned by both organisations.
MENA Capital said in a press release issued on Monday that Al Mal Capital had appointed Abdel Majeed as its lead portfolio manager for all of its MENA equities products including the Al Mal UAE Equity Fund launched in April 2006 and a new AZ Al Mal MENA Equities UCITS Fund, due to be launched early next year alongside Italian asset management firm Azimut.
In a telephone interview with Zawya on Wednesday, MENA Capital managing partner Roger Allen explained that Abdel Majeed, who founded MENA Capital in 2004, would be directly employed by Al Mal Capital, but would also continue to run MENA Capital's own MENA Admiral hedge fund - a long-short fund launched in March 2006 - and the long-only MENA Alchemy Fund launched in August 2010.
Allen said that MENA Capital would now market all four funds globally, but Al Mal Capital, which was bought by Dubai Investments in 2015, would market both firms' funds in the Middle East.
He argued that both funds firms benefited from the collaboration, with Al Mal Capital gaining a "manager with 24 years' experience, who speaks all of the languages, has local networks and is very experienced with a long track record".
In appointing Al Mal Capital to run its funds, meanwhile, MENA Capital can offer potential fund investors "improved sustainability with higher assets under management, which makes it easier to raise new assets," Allen said.
He cited the strength of Al Mal Capital's parent firm, Dubai Investments, as a reassuring factor for investors, and said the combined assets under management were now around $150 million.
"But that will be growing fairly soon," Allen said. "We have a huge pipeline of institutional investors that wanted to invest in the funds that Khaled was managing, but they couldn't because the assets under management were too small," he said, stating that many can only invest in firms with at least $100 million of assets under management.
The firm also said in its release that "substantial new institutional investor allocations to MENA are inevitable, as the region's weighting in the MSCI EM (emerging markets) index will triple" from around 1.5 percent currently to around 5 percent next year, following the potential inclusion of Saudi and Kuwait equities.
Last month, Dubai's Daman Investment announced that it was also planning to launch a new MENA fund, with head of asset management Ali El Adou telling Zawya that it was planning to launch a balanced strategies fund by the end of March next year.
(Reporting by Michael Fahy; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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