LSE launches private equity initiative with support from Abraaj Capital

Published September 27th, 2010 - 01:47 GMT

A new initiative on the research and teaching of private equity will be announced by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) tomorrow (Monday 27 September 2010).

The initiative is supported by Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity group in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA).

Abraaj Capital, which operates eight offices in the MENASA region, donated £4 million ($6.2 million) to fund a research programme, an endowed post for a senior academic researcher in private equity and a MSc in Finance and Private Equity – which will be taught from October.

Dr Ulf Axelson(1), the inaugural Abraaj Capital Reader in Finance and Private Equity, will head the research initiative, direct the MSc programme and teach its core course.

Dr Axelson said: 'Over the last decade or so, private equity groups have bought stakes in more than 15,000 large firms worldwide and venture capitalists have become an increasingly important source of funding for entrepreneurs seeking start-up capital. Research on private equity and venture capital is one of the most exciting and important areas of corporate finance, and the career opportunities for our graduating students in this industry make it a key teaching subject.

'Abraaj Capital's donation will help researchers at LSE be at the forefront of contributing to the development of this field. The degree programme will help our students develop a deeper understanding of active investing.'

Globally, buyout deal-activity soared from $28 billion in 1995 to more than $500 billion in 2007, its peak. Since then, it has fallen to $81 billion in 2009 because of the global economic crisis, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The private equity research programme at LSE will focus on the economic role of private equity and venture capital organisations in the global market. It will be based in LSE's Financial Markets Group – one of the leading centres in Europe for academic research into financial markets.

The MSc in Finance and Private Equity(2) will give students a comprehensive foundation in all areas of finance, with a particular emphasis on private equity. How private equity funds are raised, how they can be used in scaling-up cash flow businesses, and in providing growth capital and institutional support will all be covered.

Founder and Group CEO of Abraaj Capital Arif Naqvi, who graduated from LSE's Department of Economics, said: 'The teaching of and research into private equity as a discipline at LSE will greatly add to the intellectual capital available to the industry.'

Abraaj Capital, whose network of offices stretches from Istanbul through Cairo to Riyadh and Dubai, also supports LSE students from the MENASA region undertaking postgraduate studies in several disciplines through the PJD Wiles Scholarships. 

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