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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 July 2018

Waha Capital plans to hire for new fund targeting US and Europe

The investment firm said it is reorganising its fund-marketing division to support its investment drive

Salem Al Noaimi was named as chairman of Abu Dhabi-listed Waha Capital in May. Courtesy Waha Capital. 
Salem Al Noaimi was named as chairman of Abu Dhabi-listed Waha Capital in May. Courtesy Waha Capital. 

Abu Dhabi investment firm Waha Capital plans to hire more people as it seeks to start new funds, one of which will target undervalued US and European equities.

“Our strategy is to increase fee income by raising third-party assets under management,” chief executive Michael Raynes told Bloomberg in an emailed response to questions. “The focus is to take opportunities to investors, in this region and in Europe, the United States and Asia.”

The company, which has Dh2.4 billion ($653 million) in assets under management, is reorganising its fund-marketing division to support its investment drive, which may also include a fund that caters to regional demand for sharia-compliant investments, he said.

Waha Capital, 14 per cent owned by Mubadala Investment Company, also has direct long-term holdings spanning aviation, energy and financial services, and a private-equity division focused on the Middle East and North Africa.

Mr Raynes denied a report published last month that the company abandoned plans to raise a $300m private-equity fund. “We have never set any targets for fund raising,” he said, adding that Waha has taken a co-investment route rather than raising pools of capitals.

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Troubles at Dubai-based Abraaj Group has had no “noticeable direct impact on our business, which is diversified between our principal investments and our asset management business,” the chief executive said.

In May, shareholders of the investment company named Salem Al Noaimi as chairman and Ahmed Al Dhaheri as vice chairman at its annual general meeting

Mr Raynes, who previously held senior positions at Waha for more than a decade, was appointed chief executive of the company. Mr Al Noaimi, who had served as chief executive since 2009, succeeded Hussain Al Nowais as chairman.

The company's net profit attributable to shareholders rose 4.6 per cent to Dh425.9 million in 2017, the company said in May, adding that it expected further growth this year and will pursue investment opportunities.