Pinebridge Investments, a global asset management company with $83bn under its control, is looking to grow its share of assets in the region.
“We believe the investment opportunities in this region are increasing significantly,” says Win Neuger, chief executive of Pinebridge, which manages assets for both institutional and individual investors.
“The Gulf economies are making a real effort today to diversify away from oil. That’s creating opportunities for people like us who are growth capital providers. We are also seeing the emergence of a meaningful middle class in the region.”
Furthermore, the company is looking to capitalise on its existing relationships with the region’s sovereign wealth funds. It currently has an office in Dubai and will be opening one in Abu Dhabi’s new financial district on Sowwah Island.
Pinebridge’s Middle East and African assets currently stand at around $1.5bn. It plans to grow this value through a particular focus on listed equities, fixed-income products and private equity.
“We’re looking to buy regional assets for Western investors and vice versa,” says Neuger.
“The region’s equity markets aren’t well developed, but they’re becoming more investable. Frontier markets have always been a key focus for us – we already have a significant presence in Africa and Russia.”
A former subsidiary of the US insurer American International Group (AIG), Pinebridge was sold to Asian private equity firm Pacific Century Group for $277m in March 2010.