Faisal al-Kudsi, the former general manager of London-based investment company Capital Trust, is planning to set up a new vehicle to invest in the Middle East.
'It will be a transparent vehicle, which emerging market funds and pension funds can use to invest in the Middle East,' Kudsi says. The idea is for the new firm to get a stock exchange listing in a Gulf Arab state.
Kudsi left Capital Trust after it was bought out recently by a group of senior managers (MEED 31:5:96).
At the moment, Kudsi is running a small London-based company called International Investment Trust (IIT). The company, which is owned by Kudsi and his family, provides investment advice on properties in the UK owned by former Capital Trust clients who have taken their business to him.
'We've taken part of the portfolio from Capital Trust which is funded by clients.
At the moment, we have £35 million ($54 million) of properties under management and soon we hope to have £80 million ($124 million),' Kudsi says. IIT has three staff, due to rise to six later, and it is to become the UK subsidiary of the new company.
Last week, Capital Trust announced several corporate deals in the US. Kudsi says the buyout was not prompted by differences within the management over investment strategy, as suggested to MEED by one source close to the company, but because the senior managers involved were able to secure the financial backing of a large Middle Eastern institution. Kudsi says he resigned on principle because he felt the company's shareholders, who included Western and Arab investors, should remain on board.
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