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Abu Dhabi firms to create region’s largest asset manager

Towers, buildings, Abu Dhabi WAM
The investment manager will be based in Abu Dhabi, with plans to eventually add offices in the US, Europe and Asia

Abu Dhabi’s ADQ and International Holding Company plan to create the region’s largest multi-asset class investment manager. 

The new investment manager will manage a portfolio of assets from ADQ’s alternative investments platform, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund and International Holding Company (IHC). 

Through a series of new funds, it will invest in alternative assets including private equity, venture capital, private credit and public equities. It will invest via top-tier global funds, direct investments, credit and co-investments.

The funds will invest across the capital structure and asset life cycle, covering early-stage venture capital to growth and scale-up equity, through to mature and established businesses.

The investment manager’s primary hub will be in Abu Dhabi, and there are plans to add offices in the US, Europe and Asia.

Raghu Mandagolathur, CEO of Marmore Mena Intelligence, a subsidiary of Markaz, said: “With rapidly maturing capital markets, deep pools of liquidity, and a sophisticated investor ecosystem that combines diligence with sector expertise to determine optimal asset allocation strategies, Abu Dhabi’s financial services industry is at an inflection point.

“The launch of the new investment manager by ADQ and IHC is aimed to capitalise on these trends and drive value for its shareholders and partners.”

Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, managing director and CEO of ADQ, said the aim is to create the region’s largest independent alternative investment manager to serve global markets and maximise long-term returns.

IHC CEO Syed Basar Shueb said: “Research is showing the global market for alternative investments will continue to grow in the next five years. With these positive indicators, we believe there is a compelling opportunity to invest at scale.”

The investment manager will also manage fresh capital from founding shareholders and future investors to deploy globally. It will be able to raise and manage third-party capital, including from institutional investors, pension funds, family offices, and other private and public firms. 

Growth equity firm General Atlantic, which has been investing in the Mena region since 2015 across healthcare, climate, financial services, sciences, consumer and technology sectors, will join as a strategic investor and partner.

Lucy Chow, general partner, WBAF Angel Investment Fund, said the creation of the new investment management body is “fabulous news” for entrepreneurs.

“This new entity will have major firepower. The ability to become a major shareholder of ‘best in class’ global firms will only open up greater opportunities and possibilities for the UAE and Mena,” she said.