The Abu Dhabi Investment Company (ADIC), the investment firm jointly owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, is to start providing independent advice on mergers and acquisitions and capital raising. It has hired Rothschild’s Alex Carré de Malberg to build its advisory arm.
The hire comes as ADIC, which was established in 1977 to invest on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, is also building up a third party fund management business and moving away from its original model with the Abu Dhabi government as sole financial sponsor.
Opportunities are emerging when families and corporates reposition their portfolios.
Alex Carré de Malberg
Carré de Malberg was formerly a managing director at investment bank Rothschild, where he set up the firm’s operations in the United Arab Emirates. In his new role as head of investment banking at ADIC, he will build a team with the remit of providing unconflicted advice primarily to families and government-controlled institutions on mergers, acquisitions, private placements, restructurings, financial valuations and fairness opinions.
“There are certain pockets of liquidity, particularly in Saudi Arabia and in the UAE, that are likely to perform an important role,” said Carré de Malberg, “For example, they are well placed to take advantage of distressed situations in the MENA region, other emerging markets and even in Europe.
“Opportunities are emerging when families and corporates reposition their portfolios. In times of crisis, you only keep parts of your business that fit your long term objectives, and you sell anything that is not synergistic,” he added.
The expansion from direct investment to advisory services has very few precedents in the industry. The Blackstone Group, the listed financial services giant primarily known for its buyout business, has been building an advisory arm, which last year generated revenues of $411 million globally.
In related news, ADIC recently appointed Samir Assaad, formerly of Kuwait-based NBK Capital, as its head of private equity.