Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ hires more bankers as it ramps up negotiations


(Remove erroneous quotes in paragraph 3)

By Saeed Azhar and Davide Barbuscia

DUBAI (Reuters) – ADQ, the $ 110 billion state-owned Abu Dhabi holding company, has hired dozens of investment bankers from Western banks over the past year as it is speeding up negotiations in the UAE and abroad, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The ADQ, the emirate’s third-largest sovereign wealth fund, has hired bankers mostly from foreign banks and investment management firms in recent months, the sources said, bolstering its staff which already numbered more than 20 former executives of Mubadala, another large state investment company.

“The ADQ is very active. They were 20 last year, they are now 120, ”according to a senior investment banker who requested anonymity due to business sensitivities.

Recent new hires include former Perella Weinberg Partners banker, Ayman Anwar, former HSBC banker Abhay Kumar, who also worked at ADNOC Distribution to oversee mergers and acquisitions, and former investment banker of HSBC Hassan Abdelhamid, the sources said. The bankers’ LinkedIn profiles also showed that they had switched to ADQ.

The ADQ also brought in ex-Standard Chartered private equity executive Alok Elias in June, and former Bank of America banker Merrill Lynch, Silvia Barbarino, in April.

The ADQ did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

The hiring wave comes as the fund’s appetite for domestic and overseas transactions has grown and it pursues its goal of monetizing some of the state’s assets through listings.

He recently partnered with Aldar Properties of the United Arab Emirates to acquire up to 90% of Egyptian real estate developer SODIC, which would value SODIC at $ 453 million.

ADQ was established in 2018 with a portfolio of key strategic assets such as the ports of Abu Dhabi. Over time, it consolidated state assets in the industrial and agricultural sectors.

Lately, ADQ has invested money in future listing candidates such as Indian e-commerce company Flipkart and acquired Swiss pharmaceutical company Acino, deals that Mubadala – a larger wealth fund from Abu Dhabi – is known to perform. He also acquired a stake in the commodities trading company Louis Dreyfus.

Mubadala in 2017 rebranded itself to become a focused global investment firm, removing the development role from its name, a year before ADQ was founded. ADQ director general Mohamed al-Suwaidi also joined from Mubadala.

“ADQ is indeed looking more like Mubadala every day,” said Diego Lopez, managing director of industry data specialist Global SWF.

“Not only is the ADQ hiring massively from its sister organization (at least 23 employees, including its CEO), but its investment strategy is also very aligned.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Davide Barbuscia; editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)


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