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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

SoftBank hires ex-Deutsche Bank executive to lead Middle East arm of $100bn tech fund

Faisal Rahman will be based out of Abu Dhabi and Riyadh

The fund will be managed by the Abu Dhabi fund’s venture capital arm, Mubadala Ventures, with SoftBank participating via its investment subsidiary SIMI US Holdings. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
The fund will be managed by the Abu Dhabi fund’s venture capital arm, Mubadala Ventures, with SoftBank participating via its investment subsidiary SIMI US Holdings. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

Softbank Group has hired former Deutsche Bank executive Faisal Rahman as the Middle East head of the business managing its $100 billion technology investment fund, as the firm looks at expanding interests across the region.

"The creation of the regional head role is an important first step in helping portfolio companies to expand their operations in the region and exploring collaboration opportunities with our strategic investors," Rajeev Misra, chief executive at Softbank Investment Advisers said in a statement.

“Faisal is a well-established industry veteran with a long track record in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. His transaction experience and track record in building a franchise across public and private sectors in the region will be hugely valuable," he added.

Softbank, founded by Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son manages the Vision Fund, the world's largest technology-focused investment vehicle, which counts both Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company and one of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund among its biggest investors. In April, the fund inked an agreement with Saudi to build a $200bn solar power project - the largest in the world.

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The partnership forms part of existing co-operation between SoftBank's $100bn Vision Fund and Saudi Arabia, whose Public Investment Fund has committed up to $45bn to it.

Mr Rahman who had a nearly 18-year career with Deutsche Bank is tasked with "building local relationships to identify, explore and launch on-the-ground expansion and partnership opportunities," the company said. In his new role, Mr Rahman will engage with regional business leaders and miniseries in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

He is the latest former Deutsche banker to join the company managing the Vision Fund after Mr Misra and Colin Fan.

Softbank has been snapping up technology-based companies since the launch of its fund in 2016, including US tech firm Nvidia and Indian e-commerce website Flipkart.

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