Renaissance Group launches Gulf operations

Published February 26th, 2008 - 10:20 GMT

Renaissance Group, the leading high-opportunity emerging markets financial group, today announced the launch of its Gulf operations. The firm also announced that it has gained regulatory approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to open an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).


The office will be headed by Ahmed Muallah, Managing Director and Head of Middle East, and CEO of Renaissance Group (Dubai) Limited. He will be responsible for the roll out and development of Renaissance's investment banking and asset gathering activities in the Middle East Region.


"Renaissance Capital, our investment banking arm, is the first firm specialising exclusively in frontier markets to establish a presence in the Gulf Cooperation Council market," said Muallah. "The Gulf region has a long track record in investing in emerging markets and the opportunity for a firm such as ours, with a strong track record in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa, is huge. The Dubai International Financial Centre is an ideal base from which to develop our regional operations."


Renaissance Capital, the leading independent investment banking firm for the CIS, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, holds top-three rankings in both research and equity capital markets in emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


In addition to developing Renaissance Capital in the Gulf region, Muallah will be responsible for marketing the Group's asset management products - including private equity, infrastructure and frontier market hedge funds - and access products to the markets in which the firm specialises.


Neil Harvey, CEO Renaissance Group Middle East and Africa, and Deputy CEO Renaissance Capital, said: "I am excited that Renaissance Group has received regulatory approval from the DFSA to operate from the DIFC. Our presence in the Gulf demonstrates our ambition to grow in frontier markets, where we have a competitive advantage.


"In Ahmed Muallah we have a vastly experienced banking executive ideally suited to head our regional operation, and I wish him and his team the very best success in this new venture for Renaissance Group."


Renaissance Group began operations in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2006. It has created Africa's leading financial services platform, establishing pan-regional investment banking, trading, research and asset management operations through its offices in Accra, Harare, Johannesburg, Lagos, Lusaka and Nairobi.


The Group has already invested US$800 million in Africa, including a stake in ETI, a leading West African banking franchise. It led the international US$300 million equity offering by Nigeria's United Bank for Africa in April 2007, the US$300 million equity offering by Nigeria's Access Bank in July 2007 and the US$60m AIM listing of LonZim, the Lonrho investment vehicle, in December 2007.


Renaissance Group is a leading investment bank and asset manager in the CIS and has been involved in many of the highest profile transactions in the region. It has offered strategic and financial advisory services to virtually all major Russian / CIS corporates and has raised more than US$50 billion for its clients to date. The firm is top-ranked for equity and research in Russia and was recently named No. 1 M&A Advisor for Russia in 2007 by the Financial Times and Mergermarket.

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