| DUBAI, April 23
DUBAI, April 23 Michael Helou, a Barclays
banker who headed the British lender's financial
institutions group in the Middle East and North Africa, has
resigned from the bank, three sources aware of the matter told
Helou was brought in by Barclays' investment banking arm,
Barclays Capital, from Rothschild in 2010 to lead the
division which advises banks and other financial institutions in
the region on mergers and acquisitions, fixed income and equity
capital markets transactions.
Dubai-based Helou left the bank few weeks ago, the sources
said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not
public. Both Barclays and Helou were not immediately available
to comment on why he left and his plans for the future.
Helou originally moved to Dubai in 2006 to set up
Rothschild's regional office. At Barclays, he worked on several
prominent deals including Qatar Holding's 2010 purchase of a
stake in Santander's Brazilian unit, and Kuwaiti lender
Burgan Bank's purchase of EFG Eurobank's
Turkish unit, the sources said.
He was also involved in the planned merger of Qatar's Al
Khaliji Commercial Bank and International Bank of Qatar, a deal
which stalled in 2011 after the parties failed to agree terms.
Middle Eastern deal activity has been picking up after a
subdued period. Cash-rich Gulf Arab sheikhs and governments are
buying European assets, lured in part by attractive valuations
due to weak markets.
Barclays topped the Middle Eastern M&A fee rankings for
completed deals in 2012, according to Thomson Reuters data,
raking in 9 percent of the overall fee pool in the segment.
The Middle East, home to some of the world's largest
sovereign wealth funds, will be a key area for investment banks
including Barclays in coming years, Barclays' global
vice-chairman for investment banking, Makram Azar, told Reuters
in an interview last year.