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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Investcorp founder Nemir Kirdar steps down

Iraqi-born Mr Kirdar founded the Bahrain-based asset management company in 1982

Nemir Kirdar helped turn Investcorp into a conduit for Arabian Gulf investors interested in acquiring international assets. Matthias Schrader / AP
Nemir Kirdar helped turn Investcorp into a conduit for Arabian Gulf investors interested in acquiring international assets. Matthias Schrader / AP

Nemir Kirdar, the founder of Bahrain-based alternative asset manager Investcorp which has US$21.3 billion in assets under management, has stepped down from the company after 35 years.

Investcorp said that Mr Kirdar, who founded the company in 1982 as a conduit for Arabian Gulf investors interested in acquiring international assets, has left his post as chairman of the board of directors to enter full retirement. Mr Kirdar resigned as chief executive, a post he had held since founding the company, in July 2015.

“As Investcorp’s founding CEO and executive chairman, Nemir pioneered a new investment model, channelling capital from the Gulf into unique opportunities in the West,” said Mohammed Alardhi, Investcorp's executive chairman. “For over three decades, he generated exceptional and consistent returns for Investcorp’s clients and shareholders, establishing the firm as a titan of the Gulf investment community.”

Vice-chairman Yousef Al Ebraheem has been nominated as Mr Kirdar’s successor, and Khalid Al Zayani has been appointed vice-chairman of the board.

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Mr Al Ebraheem has served on Investcorp’s board of directors since May 2014 and is the advisor of economic affairs to the Emir of Kuwait. He oversaw a number of ministries in Kuwait as minister of finance, minister of planning, minister of state for administrative development affairs and minister of education and higher education.

Investcorp, whose $21.3bn in total assets under management includes assets managed by third parties, quickly made a series of waves internationally after it was formed with a string of American purchases including the jewellery firm Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Saks Fifth Ave and Circle K convenience stores.

The Bahrain-listed company has made over 170 corporate investments in the US, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa region, including Turkey, across a range of sectors and more than 450 commercial and residential real estate investments in the US, for a transaction value exceeding $55bn.

Mubadala Invest Company, Abu Dhabi’s strategic firm with Dh465.5bn in assets under management, owns 20 per cent of the asset manager.

Investcorp said in August Mohamed El Erian, the chief economic adviser for insurer Allianz, has joined its advisory board. Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC, the Indian financial services conglomerate, was also appointed to the firm's international advisory board.

The company reported in August a 34 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to $120.3 million from $90.1m in the financial year that ended in June.

In the second half, net profit more than doubled to $84.6m from $39.2m in a year-earlier period.

Investcorp announced last month that it has invested $350m in six multi-family properties in Florida and Arizona.