Saudi Arabia project finance bankers

18 October 2011

Six influential bankers involved in financing key projects in the kingdom: David Smith, Ulrich Vukovich, Mario Salameh, Ivan Hopkins, Saad Ur-Rehman and Mansoor Durrani

David Smith

Position Deputy general manager for project finance, Alinma Bank

Biography David Smith has been in Saudi Arabia since 1994, when he joined the government’s financing body, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF). He remained there until 2008, taking responsibility for developing SIDF’s core sector lending policies and working on due diligence for some of the fund’s investments in the kingdom’s key industrial projects. Smith then joined the newly created Islamic lender Alinma. At the bank, he has worked on some of the kingdom’s largest financings, including the $14bn local/French Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company refinery (Satorp). Smith is also involved in financing most of the kingdom’s ongoing real-estate schemes. He started his career at the UK’s PricewaterhouseCoopers and has a master’s degree in business administration from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+966) 9 200 28000

Ulrich Vukovich

Position Director of structured finance, Al-Rajhi Bank

Biography Ulrich Vukovich joined Al-Rajhi Bank, the largest Islamic bank in the region, in 2007. Since then, he has been involved in the financing of many of the kingdom’s key projects and particularly Islamic structuring. These projects include the local/US Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and Alcoa aluminium joint venture and the Satorp refinery. Vukovich is also advising the local Jabal Omar on the financing of its Mecca real-estate scheme. He was previously with the US’ Citigroup from 2002, where he covered capital markets. Vukovich has experience in various emerging markets, including the wider GCC region, Eastern Europe and Africa. He has a master’s degree in law from the University of Vienna and a master’s degree in business administration from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, both located in Austria.

Contact Tel: (+966) 1 460 0423

Mario Salameh

Position Head of project and export finance, HSBC Saudi Arabia

Biography Mario Salameh is head of project and export finance at HSBC Saudi Arabia, the Saudi unit of the UK’s HSBC and the local Sabb, which is also an affiliate of HSBC. In 2005, Salameh joined HSBC in London after leaving the project finance energy team of Japan’s Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. He worked on oil and gas, petrochemical, and power projects in the Middle East. In 2009, Salameh relocated to Riyadh where he and the HSBC team are currently acting as financial advisers on several of the kingdom’s upcoming petrochemicals projects, and cogeneration projects for Saudi Aramco. He has also been involved in lending on the kingdom’s Rabigh independent power project, the local/US Maaden-Alcoa aluminium scheme, and the Satorp refinery at Jubail. Salameh has a master’s degree in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+966) 1 299 2313

Ivan Hopkins

Position Head of project and structured finance, Arab National Bank

Biography Ivan Hopkins has been with the local Arab National Bank (ANB) since May 2010 and has 13 years’ experience in the Middle East. At ANB, he has rebuilt and enlarged the project finance team, which now plays an important part in funding new projects in the kingdom including the Maaden-Alcoa aluminium scheme. He led a bank group earlier this year that funded a $600m loan facility for the local telecoms firm Zain KSA. Previously, Hopkins worked for both Japan’s Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and the UK’s HSBC in Canada, where he was involved in energy and commodities deals including the Syncrude oil sands project, and several mining projects. He has a degree in mineral engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Contact Tel: (+966) 1 402 9000

Saad Ur-Rehman

Position Head of structured finance, Banque Saudi Fransi

Biography Saad Ur-Rehman is head of the structured finance division at the local Banque Saudi Fransi, where he has worked for the past 14 years. In 2007, he set up the bank’s investment banking platform as a separate legal entity to comply with new rules set by the kingdom’s Capital Market Authority. Ur-Rehman has been involved in financing more than $150bn-worth of projects, including most of the kingdom’s key petrochemical, power and water, and infrastructure projects. He acted as a financial adviser on some of the first independent power projects in Saudi Arabia and is still a key financier in the sector today. Recently, Ur-Rehman acted as an adviser to Saudi Aramco and France’s Total on the $14bn Satorp refinery project at Jubail. He has a master’s degree in business administration from the Lahore University of Management Services in Pakistan.

Contact Tel: (+966) 1 404 2222

Mansoor Durrani

Position Vice-president and head of project finance, National Commercial Bank (NCB)

Biography Mansoor Durrani joined NCB in 2004 and in 2007 became the head of project finance at the bank. Recently, he has been leading a drive by the bank to build up its asset book, a move aimed at making NCB an important lender in the kingdom from the perspective of project sponsors. In total, Durrani has been involved in financing projects worth over $50bn. Some of his previous deals include the Saudi Kayan petrochemicals project, the two deals to develop the Maaden and Alcoa aluminium joint venture in the kingdom and many power and water projects. Prior to joining NCB, Durrani has worked at or advised organisations including the US’ Lazard, the local Islamic Development Bank and the Moscow-headquartered International Investment Bank. He has a doctorate in private equity from Loughborough University in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+ 966) 2 646 4009

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications