VENTURE CAPITAL BANK ANNOUNCES KEY NEW HIRES

Published January 17th, 2006 - 11:22 GMT

Venture Capital Bank (VCBank), the first dedicated Islamic venture capital investment bank, today announced the appointment of four key new hires, further enhancing the Bank’s operational infrastructure and ability to effectively fulfil its mission to lead the development of the Venture Capital industry in the GCC and MENA regions.

Joining the Bank in senior positions are Dr. Ken Baldwin, who joins as a Director and Head of Risk Management and Faisal Al-Abbasi, who assumes the role of Director in the Private Equity & Financial Advisory department.

Dr. Baldwin adds significant depth and expertise to the Bank with more than 13 years of industry experience in investment banking, having worked at a number of top-tier investment houses including UBS and Credit Suisse in Treasury and Risk Management positions. He holds a first class honours degree in Physics from Oxford University, a Ph.D. in Game Theory and is also a Chartered Accountant.

Mr. Al-Abbasi brings extensive experience in private equity focusing on investments in Middle Eastern and European companies. Prior to joining VCBank, he held a number of key investment roles at several institutions including Unicorn Investment Bank (UIB), Kuwait Finance House, and Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait. Mr. Al-Abbasi has a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of Bahrain.

Dr. Baldwin and Mr. Al-Abbasi are joined by Jehad Hassan Qamber, who is now Head of Human Resources & Administration at the Bank and Elham Al Koohiji, who will further strengthen the Investment team.

Bringing more than 15 years of experience in the areas of Human Resource Management and Administration, Mr. Qamber will play an important role in strengthening the Bank’s infrastructure and operating platform. Prior to joining VCBank, he held two executive positions in the General Organization for Youth & Sport (GOYS), including Director of HR & Finance, and was previously head of quality systems development in the Civil Service Bureau (CSB). Mr. Qamber holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from University of Glamorgan.

Ms. Al Koohiji comes to VCBank with strong business development and investment banking credentials. Most recently she was at the Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait, where she worked as a project manager in the Business Development Division, before which she was an investment officer at Taib Bank. Ms. Al Koohiji holds a B.Sc. in Accounting from the University of Bahrain.

Commenting on the appointments, Dr. Khalid Abdulla Ateeq, Deputy CEO Operation & Support, said "We are delighted to announce these appointments. With these hires we continue to add significant expertise and depth to our capabilities and further enhance our ability to deliver compelling and value additive investment products for our clients, our shareholders and the companies in which we invest. In only a relatively short period of time, we have assembled a seasoned team of professionals across each of our four key business lines – Private Equity, Venture Capital, Real Estate and Financial Advisory – and are now well positioned to deliver unique investment opportunities, comprehensive financial solutions and exceptional results."

Established in October 2005, VCBank has quickly moved to build a top-tier management team and staff across the Bank and has already announced the creation of its first venture capital fund in conjunction with the Bank’s strategic partner Global Emerging Markets (GEM) Group, a leading international private investment group with offices in New York, London and Paris.

The Fund, which is a first of its kind, seeks to raise some US$250 million for investment in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the GCC and MENA regions. The Fund will be launched and marketed during the first quarter of 2006 to high net worth individuals and institutions from across the GCC region as well as Europe and North America.

About VC Bank

Venture Capital Bank (VCBank) – the first dedicated Islamic venture capital investment bank –is licensed and regulated by the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA), the region’s leading regulator. The Bank has paid in capital of $66 million (authorised capital of $500 million) and its shareholders are comprised of 80 prominent high net worth individuals and institutions from across the GCC region and internationally.

It is the mission of VCBank to assume a leadership role in the development of the regional venture capital and private equity industry in conjunction with its strategic partner Global Emerging Markets (GEM) Group, a leading international private investment group with offices in New York, London and Paris.

The primary focus of the Bank is on investment in the GCC and MENA regions alongside selected investments internationally. Specially, VCBank targets fundamentally sound and well managed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across multiple industry sectors with strong growth potential in addition to select themed real estate projects. Through such investments, it is the aim of the Bank to offer investors superior risk-adjusted returns and co-investment opportunities that are in full compliance with Islamic Shari’ah principles.

 


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