DUBAI Jan 16 A key mergers and acquisitions
executive at Qatar Holding, instrumental in some of the fund's
most high-profile deals in recent years, has left the firm for a
government-related role, banking and industry sources said.
Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, a Qatari national and a director at
the fund's mergers and acquisitions team, left late last year as
part of changes at one of the world's most active sovereign
wealth funds, the sources said, speaking on condition of
The sources did not reveal which entity Fakhroo had joined
but said he would remain based in Doha and would work for a
government-related entity. Qatar Holding declined to comment.
Qatar Holding is the direct investment arm of Qatar
Investment Authority (QIA). With assets estimated by analysts at
about $100-200 billion, and over a dozen potential deals on its
radar every week, QIA is courted by bankers and politicians
around the world.
Under newly appointed Chief Executive Ahmed Al-Sayed, QIA
has embarked on an expansion drive, hiring bankers and senior
executives with experience ranging from M&A in Asia to retail
and luxury investments in Europe.
Fakhroo, said to be in his early 30s, sits on the board of
companies such as state-owned telecommunications firm Ooredoo
and China's sovereign wealth fund arm CITIC Capital,
according to his LinkedIn profile. Qatar Holding owns a stake in
"Aziz is undoubtedly one of the brightest financial minds in
the country and they must be grooming him for bigger things. He
has been the go-to person for us on deals but they have several
new people now, and maybe they feel he can be better utilised
elsewhere," a senior banker familiar with Fakhroo's move said.
As part of the changes, another senior executive at the
fund, Kamel Maamria, an executive director at Qatar Holding who
has managed its global portfolio of investments, is set to leave
the firm following the appointments of new executives, the
Qatar Holding declined to comment on Maamria, saying it did
not want to comment on individuals at the firm. Attempts to
contact Maamria and Fakhroo were unsuccessful.
In recent months, Qatar Holding has hired a veteran Merrill
Lynch banker as the new head of its M&A team, an ex-Morgan
Stanley Inc executive to run its newly created
infrastructure division, a new head for consumer and retail
investments, and an Asia head for real estate. The fund also
appointed Stefan Frank, previously with Deutsche Bank
, as head of strategy.
Qatar Holding has in recent years deployed the tiny
country's natural gas wealth to buy a string of high-profile
stakes, from German sports car maker Porsche to
British bank Barclays and Swiss lender Credit Suisse
Al-Sayed, known as an effective negotiator and deal maker,
took the helm at QIA in July when the newly crowned emir, Sheikh
Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, shook up the investment vehicle as
part of adjustments to the Qatari state on his father's