GMG has signed an exclusive regional investment banking partnership agreement with Cantor Fitzgerald to offer merger and acquisition, equity and debt issue, cross-border transactions and capital-raising services. ‘Groups come to the GCC and see opportunities and enormous pools of finance,’ says Cantor Fitzgerald’s managing director of investment banking Roger Kennedy. ‘But it’s a relationship-driven business. If you don’t have a relationship with senior members of senior families, you don’t have the business. That is how we are competing.’ GMG will start regional operations once its application to Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to join Dubai International Financial Centre has been approved. It is negotiating other international partnerships and plans to have about $200 million under management. ‘Our brain is in London, leveraged by the strength of other financial institutions tying up with us,’ says Maaloul. The company also has plans to dual list on a regional and international stock exchange.