DUBAI Jan 15 Moelis & Co, an independent
investment bank, is set to hire Rami Touma, previously the
Qatari investment banking head for Credit Suisse, to
help boost its Middle Eastern operations, said four banking and
industry sources aware of the matter.
Touma left Credit Suisse last year after heading the Swiss
lender's Doha-based investment banking operations since 2007. In
that role, he handled relationships with major clients,
primarily the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the Gulf state's
sovereign wealth fund.
He will join Moelis' Dubai office as an executive director
in early 2014 with the appointment pending regulatory approvals,
one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
After years of sluggish growth, investment banking activity
in the Gulf Arab region is showing signs of revival aided by a
recovery in financial markets, but banks have been slow to fill
vacancies or add new staff in the region.
Middle Eastern investment banking fees reached $402.2
million in the first nine months of 2013, a 23 percent increase
from a year ago, helped by a rise in debt capital
New York-based Moelis was founded in March 2007 by Wall
Street dealmaker Kenneth Moelis who stepped down from Swiss bank
UBS to set up a firm to advise companies and
governments on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and
capital raising activities.
The firm's Middle Eastern investment banking operations is
headed by Yorick Van Slingelandt who joined the company from
J.P. Morgan Chase Inc in 2011.
Moelis was involved in the $25 billion debt restructuring of
Dubai World in 2010 and advised creditors on the restructuring
of a $1 billion Islamic bond by UAE-based Dana Gas in
The firm was also an adviser to Emirates Investment
Authority, Etisalat's main shareholder, in the UAE
telco's $5.7 billion acquisition of Vivendi's
controlling stake in Maroc Telecom last year.
(Reporting by Dinesh Nair; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)