Istithmar CEO quits

David Jackson, chief executive officer of Dubai World’s private equity business Istithmar, has resigned just over one month after the embattled state-owned conglomerate underlined its support for the company.


The chief executive officer of Istithmar, the private equity business of troubled ports and real estate conglomerate Dubai World, has quit his position.

In a statement released today, Dubai World said Jackson left “to pursue other opportunities”. He will be replaced on a temporary basis by Andy Watson, currently Istithmar’s chief investment officer.

Watson, a former Barclays Capital director, has an extensive background within Dubai World, said Aidan Birkett, chief restructuring officer at Dubai World. “His experience will be vital in actively managing the portfolio of assets held by Istithmar World.”

In a nod to the near-term strategy of the business, which is well known for investments including New York department store Barneys, he added: “Today, Istithmar World is focussed on the steady-state management of existing assets to maximise value rather than on private equity investment.”

The news of Jackson’s departure comes a little more than one month after Dubai World, the state-owned ports and real estate conglomerate at the centre of a debt crisis, stated that Istithmar was not part of a comprehensive restructuring process including its real estate companies Nakheel and Limitless.

In a statement by Dubai World at the time, it said it considered Istithmar and certain other of its companies to be on a “stable financial footing”.