Our people's local knowledge helps us better understand the markets in which we operate. The team comprises more than 140 investment professionals, all with strong transactional track records and good connections on the ground.
Arif Naqvi is the Founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group which he established in 2002. Under his leadership, The Abraaj Group has emerged as a leading investor in growth markets with US$ 7.5 billion in assets under management and returning c. US$ 4 billion to investors. Employing over 300 people, the Group has 33 country offices spread across six regional hubs in Bogotá, Dubai, Istanbul, Mumbai, Nairobi and Singapore.
With over 25 years’ experience of investing in public and private companies, Mr. Naqvi has led the Group’s involvement in some of the most notable private equity transactions in growth markets.
Mr. Naqvi is a Board Member of the United Nations Global Compact, Pakistan Human Development Fund and the Chairman of the British Asian Trust Advisory Committee - Pakistan. Mr. Naqvi also serves on the Board of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, IMD Foundation, Endeavor Global and the Advisory Board of Columbia University’s Middle East Research Center. He is associated with numerous think tanks and policy groups such as the WEF Arab Business Council and the Middle East Centre Advisory Board of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Mr. Naqvi has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Oslo Business for Peace Award, the highest form of recognition given to individual business leaders for fostering peace and stability through creating shared value between business and society, and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, a prominent civilian honor awarded by the Government of Pakistan. In 2011, he was named as one of the 50 most influential people in the global private equity industry by Private Equity International.
In 2008, Mr. Naqvi and his family established the Aman Foundation, a social sector enterprise in Pakistan, which supports sustainable development in healthcare, nutrition and education.
Mr. Naqvi is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He previously worked with Arthur Andersen & Co., American Express Group, Saudi Arabia’s Olayan Group and the Cupola Group, which he founded in 1994.
Abhinav Munshi has nine years of experience in private equity in the Asia, Middle East and Africa regions in sectors such as aviation, education, oil and gas, food and agri and real estate.
Mr Munshi has worked on some of The Abraaj Group’s landmark acquisitions including the US$ 500 million investment in EFG-Hermes, the buyout of GMMOS Group (SMG) and the acquisition of GEMS Education, a leading education group. Mr Munshi also worked on the development and launch of ASAS, the Group’s real estate fund and closed its inaugural investment. He is currently a senior member of the investment team in India and is responsible for sourcing and execution of investment opportunities across South Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) for The Abraaj Group.
Mr Munshi graduated from Stanford University with a Master’s degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Economics, awarded with Highest Honors, from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Based in Tunisia, Adel Goucha is a member of the team that manages The Abraaj Group’s investments in the Middle East and North Africa. He led the investments with Opalia Pharma, Unimed Pharma, PEC and Moulin d'Or in Tunisia.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, he led the MENA coverage team at Natexis Pramex International. He previously worked in sales for Prudential Bache Securities.
Mr Goucha graduated in Business Administration from the Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Tunisia and holds a Master’s in Economics and International Finance from the University of Paris Dauphine.
Adnan Siddiqui has more than 20 years of experience in criminal, corporate and M&A affairs. Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was the Chief Legal Counsel for Dubai Investments PJSC, where he was involved in regional and international joint ventures, project finance, venture capital and M&A transactions.
Previously, Mr Siddiqui was an In-House Legal Counsel for Majid Al Futtaim Investments LLC. He started his career as a Barrister-At-Law in London.
Mr Siddiqui was called to the Bar of England and Wales from the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. He also holds a Diploma from Sorbonne University, Paris, a Public International Law Certificate from The Hague Academy of International Law and a LL.B. (Law) degree from Buckingham University.
Ahmad Jalal has over 9 years of private equity, investment banking and 3 years of operational and financial management experience in Europe and the Middle East. He joined The Abraaj Group in 2011 as a member of the investment management team and has been involved in origination, evaluation, negotiation, structuring and execution of transactions. He is presently part of the CIO Office & Strategy team.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Jalal was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs where he was primarily involved in financial restructuring, capital raising and structuring investments for the Investment Banking and the Principal Investments Area. He started his career with Deloitte in London qualifying as a Chartered Accountant and later Manager in the Private Equity Transaction Services team.
Mr Jalal graduated in BSc (Hons) Economics from the London School of Economics and holds an MPA/International Development degree with a concentration in entrepreneurial finance from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a member of The International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Ahmed Badreldin is responsible for and oversees The Abraaj Group’s investments in the Middle East and North Africa.
He joined The Abraaj Group in 2008 after eight years at Barclays Capital in London. Previously, he was with the oilfield services company Baker Hughes.
Mr Badreldin graduated in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the American University in Cairo and holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management in the UK.
He serves as Director of Integrated Diagnostics Holdings, Spinneys, Stanford Marine Group, Viking and OMS, and is a Board member of Endeavor Egypt.
Ainadin Cader manages The Abraaj Group’s investments in Brunei. Mr Cader joined The Abraaj Group in South-East Asia in 2007 and set up the office in Brunei in early 2008 after spending five years in the regional head office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr Cader began his career in audit with Ernst & Young in Zimbabwe and, after four years, moved to KPMG in Mozambique, working in audit before moving to management consultancy.
He holds a degree in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa and served four years of articles with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ).
Alexandre Hamadouche is part of The Abraaj Group’s investment team in the Middle East and North Africa where he is responsible for sourcing and executing investments as well as for the Group’s partner companies. He led the investment in agribusiness Gallus Group.
He has 10 years’ experience in private equity. Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, he was at Swicorp and Banexi Capital Partners (BNP Paribas Private Equity).
Mr Hamadouche graduated in Engineering and has a Master’s in Telecommunications from the Paris High Institute of Electronics (ISEP) and a Master’s in Financial Engineering and Corporate Finance from the E.M. LYON Business School in France.
Aman Lakhaney is a member of the investment management team based in South-East Asia. At The Abraaj Group, he has been involved in a number of transactions including the acquisition of IHH Healthcare and EFG-Hermes as well as the post-acquisition management of Acibadem Healthcare, Spinneys and MS Forgings. Mr Lakhaney has also played a leading role in the Group’s international expansion.
He has more than 11 years of consulting and private equity experience across MENA and South-East Asia. Previously, he was a Financial Analyst at Start Consult, a GCC-focused consulting firm.
Mr Lakhaney graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York with a degree in Management and Finance.
Amit Kothari is the Group’s Chief Administrative Officer responsible for Group HR, IT and Administration. Mr Kothari joined The Abraaj Group in July 2009 within the Portfolio Management team where he worked across the portfolio on operational improvement programs, corporate governance and financial and risk management strategies.
He has more than 14 years of experience in areas including M&A, capital markets, business development and financial controlling. Previously, he was the Assistant to the Excom at the Holcim Group in Zurich.
Mr Kothari graduated in Economics/Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University and has a CPE Graduate Diploma in Law from the College of Law, London. He holds an MBA from the University of Cambridge.
Amr Helal is responsible for sourcing, structuring and negotiating transactions in Egypt and North Africa for The Abraaj Group.
He has more than 10 years of experience in investment banking. Before joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Helal was a Senior Executive in investment banking at EFG-Hermes, where he led the initial public offering of Talaat Mustafa Group, Etisalat’s purchase of a mobile-phone license in Saudi Arabia and the sale of Al-Ahram Beverages to Heineken International.
He graduated in Economics from the American University of Cairo.
Anas Guennoun is a member of The Abraaj Group’s investment team in North Africa and is responsible for the Group’s partner companies as well as for sourcing and executing investments in Morocco.
He has over 13 years of corporate finance and private equity experience. Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, he spent over 10 years within Société Générale in the M&A department in France and in private equity in Morocco.
Mr Guennoun holds a Master’s in Finance from Paris Dauphine University.
Andrew Chvatal oversees the evaluation, structuring, negotiation and execution of private equity investments, new investment funds and other strategic initiatives. Before joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Chvatal was a member of the mergers and acquisitions group of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York. He started his career at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.
Mr Chvatal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University.
Andrew Crompton joined The Abraaj Group in 2006 and oversees technical assistance support for the Kula Fund.
He is a Chartered Accountant and was formerly a partner with the Papua New Guinea office of Deloitte. He completed a Bachelor of Business at the Curtin University of Technology, Perth in 1989 and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
Arshad Zahidi joined The Abraaj Group in 2008. He has more than 16 years of industry experience, with particular expertise in the fertilizer and power sectors in areas such as process designing, project development, project management and plant operations management.
Mr Zahidi started his career with Engro Chemical Pakistan Limited in 1991, where he held several roles. Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was an Engineering & Operations Manager at Engro Energy (Pvt) Limited. He also worked at Qatar Fertilizer Company as a Process Design Engineer.
Mr Zahidi graduated in Chemical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology in Pakistan.
Ashish Dave has worked in private equity for more than 11 years and is responsible for The Abraaj Group's investments and activities in India. Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was Partner at KPMG in Dubai, leading its private equity advisory business for the Middle East and South Asia. Mr Dave spent six years with KPMG in London before relocating to Dubai.
Mr Dave is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and is the member responsible for the Middle East in its Governing Council.
Ashish Patel has more than 15 years of experience in strategy, operations and investment and is a member of the Abraaj Performance Acceleration Group.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was Head of Strategy, Emerging Markets and Corporate Development at AVG Technologies and served as a Board Member. Previously, he was Managing Director at Intel Capital, and has worked with Actis as an Investment Director.
Mr Patel qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand. He graduated in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Aziz Moolji is responsible for deal origination, structuring and execution, and portfolio management.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch in the Financial Sponsors Group in New York. Previously, he was a Senior Associate in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Goldman Sachs in New York.
Mr Moolji graduated in Business Administration from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and has dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Balaji Srinivas is a senior member of The Abraaj Group’s team in India and has more than 21 years of experience in the country’s financial industry.
Between 2000 and 2003, Mr Srinivas was Vice-President for the Carlyle Group’s investments in India, where he established the Indian arm of the Carlyle Asia Venture Fund. At the same company, he executed nine deals and invested US$ 38 million. Earlier in his career, Mr Srinivas started Intel Capital’s investment activities in India, where he executed 15 transactions.
He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Madras.
Bharat Dighe’s role at The Abraaj Group covers sourcing potential transactions for investments in India. This involves carrying out detailed due diligence processes on companies and their management, completing the investments, monitoring the companies and executing the exit strategy.
Previously, Mr Dighe spent 10 years in the private equity industry, investing growth capital in medium-sized enterprises across various sectors in India.
He began his career in 2000 with Indian Direct Equity Advisors and in 2002 moved on to BTS Private Equity, where he spent eight years and became Partner.
Mr Dighe qualified as a Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Chye Lin Loh
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Chye Lin Loh joined The Abraaj Group in 2008. He is responsible for the Group’s investments in Malaysia and for relationships with East Asia-based investors.
Mr Loh has more than 21 years of private equity experience gained from institutions such as Citicorp, Walden, CDC and Actis Capital. His corporate management experience was as the Managing Director of MP Evans in Malaysia. He has worked on investments in Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. He has served on the Boards of several companies in a range of sectors, including agri-processing, manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, plantations and property.
Mr Loh has an engineering degree and holds an MBA in Finance from Cass Business School.
Daniel Wasserman is a member of the team responsible for The Abraaj Group’s investments in Colombia. To date, he has made three investments in the country: Rentandes, PetroTiger and D1 (Koba International Group).
Before this, Mr Wasserman was an Engagement Manager with McKinsey and Company in the Bogota and New York offices. He also has experience as an Associate in a Colombian investment banking boutique and as an Analyst in Colombia’s National Planning Department, working on topics related to private sector investment in infrastructure.
He has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s of Science and Engineering (BSE) in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Danny Lizares is a member of The Abraaj Group’s investment team in South-East Asia. He was responsible for closing investments in partner companies including Pancake House, Cirtek Holdings Inc, DMMC Medical Center and HBC Inc.
He was the Director for corporate finance at BNP Paribas Peregrine in the Philippines. He was also the lead Philippine team member that closed the US$ 10 million Exchangeable Notes issued by Macondray Holdings Corporation, which was awarded AsiaMoney “Deal of the Year” for the Philippines in 1996.
Mr Lizares holds a Master’s in International Relations from Boston University, and a Master’s in Industrial Economics from the Center for Research & Communication in the Philippines.
Darius Jannat has nine years of experience in private equity and mergers & acquisitions in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
Mr. Jannat has worked on and led the execution of some of The Abraaj Group’s landmark transactions, including the acquisition of the Kantara Fund from Amundi Asset Management, a partnership between Crédit Agricole and Société Générale and the buyout of the Aureos Group from its founding members. Mr. Jannat has also worked on the development and launch of the Group’s real estate and small and medium enterprise platforms.
He is currently a senior member of the Chief Investment Office where he works on strategic growth and acquisition opportunities and the launch and implementation of new funds and products at the Group level. Mr. Jannat also provides transactional support to investment teams globally in the evaluation, structuring, negotiation and execution of key private equity and real estate deals across the Abraaj platform.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr. Jannat was an associate with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York, where he specialized in mergers & acquisitions with a primary focus on the representation of financial sponsors in leveraged buyout transactions across a variety of industries. He started his career at Shearman & Sterling LLP where he also specialized in mergers & acquisitions. Mr. Jannat graduated from the University of Toronto with a Juris Doctorate, and from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude with Dean’s List Honors.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Davinder Sikand is responsible for The Abraaj Group’s strategy and investments in Africa. He has more than 25 years of industry experience, spanning East Africa, Europe and the US.
Previously, he worked with Drexel Burnham Lambert, Financial Security Assurance and PwC.
Mr Sikand is a Board Member of the Kenya Investment Authority and a member of the Capital Markets Authority Demutualization Committee and was on the East African ICT Impact Investing Task Force.
Eram Hasan has more than 19 years of management experience.
Before joining The Abraaj Group in 2008, he was with The Coca-Cola Company, where he was Chief Operating Officer for the bottling business in Pakistan.
Previously, he worked at Unilever as the Head of Sales and Supply Chain and with Alcoa in various roles.
Mr Hasan has a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master’s of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds an MBA from Harvard University.
Erik Peterson oversees The Abraaj Group’s investments in Latin America. He has more than 20 years of experience in private equity and investment banking and was previously responsible for part of the Bank of America’s equity portfolio in the region.
He is a member of the Senior Advisory Board for the Center for Responsible Business at Haas Business School at the University of California at Berkeley.
Mr Peterson graduated in Economics from the University of California. He holds a Master’s in International Studies (Latin America) from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Mr Peterson is fluent in Spanish.
Fabrice Callet is a member of the Corporate Business Development team at The Abraaj Group.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, he worked at Société Générale, where his last position was Managing Partner for emerging markets funds for Société Générale Private Equity.
Mr Callet holds two Master’s degrees in Corporate Finance, Banking and Financial Markets.
Faisal Khan oversees and helped establish the real estate investment activities at The Abraaj Group.
He has more than 20 years of experience including in private equity, principal financing and real estate and strategy, in both growth and developed markets including the MENA region, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.
Mr Khan was previously with ABN AMRO London’s Structured Real Estate Capital division, where he was responsible for commercial real estate transactions including publicly rated transactions. These included assets in the office, retail, multifamily and industrial sectors. He also led the bank’s first public non-performing loans transaction.
Earlier, as a Director in Strategy and Change Management at ABN AMRO, he was responsible for the strategy and execution of key business initiatives and helped implement the global investment banking sector coverage model. He has significant origination, coverage and underwriting experience across a wide range of sectors and products including oil & gas, power, chemicals and pharmaceuticals through his prior role in corporate finance. He started his career with KPMG in the UK.
He is qualified as a Chartered Accountant (FCA – ICAEW) and is a member of the Professional Standards Committee of ANREV (Asian Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles).
Farhan Zaidi joined The Abraaj Group in 2006 as a member of the investment management team and has been involved in origination, evaluation, structuring and execution of deals and investment monitoring. He has worked on some of the Group’s landmark private equity transactions including the acquisition of Acibadem. He is presently part of the CIO Office & Strategy team.
Mr Zaidi has more than 12 years of experience in the fields of corporate finance advisory, capital markets and investments. Before joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Zaidi worked at The National Investor in the investment banking department focusing on capital market transactions. He also worked at MCB Bank, one of the largest banks in Pakistan, in its investment banking group. He started his professional career at Citibank Pakistan.
Mr Zaidi graduated from the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan and holds an MBA degree with a concentration in Finance. He is a CFA charter holder.
Felipe Ortiz-Monasterio is a member of The Abraaj Group’s team in Mexico. He has been involved in pipeline generation, the investment process and overseeing the Group’s investee companies.
Mr Ortiz-Monasterio has more than 30 years of experience in investment banking and corporate finance, gained both at his own firm, Carral, Olea, Ortiz-Monasterio y Pliego, and at Banque Paribas, Banco del Sureste, Operadora de Bolsa and Multibanco Comermex. He has extensive experience in issuance of securities.
Mr Ortiz-Monasterio holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University and a BA in Economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). He has taught International Finance and Investment Banking at ITAM’s MBA program. Mr Ortiz-Monasterio is a founding member and trustee of the Fundación México en Harvard, a foundation that has supported Mexican students at Harvard over the past 20 years.
Frederic Sicre has over 20 years of experience in engaging the private sector on global issues, regional development agendas and community building. He spearheads the Abraaj Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Track (ASSET) at The Abraaj Group that works with leaders from all fields, including governments, private sector, media and culture.
Prior to joining the Group, Mr Sicre spent 16 years as a Managing Director at the World Economic Forum where he established the Forum’s activities in Africa and the Middle East. Mr Sicre was responsible for the Center for Regional Strategies, with a particular focus on global growth markets, and acted as the Editor of South Africa at Ten, a book celebrating the first 10 years of democracy in the country.
Mr Sicre is the Chairman of the Mustaqbali Foundation and serves on a number of Advisory Boards, including Dubai Cares and Injaz Al Arab (Junior Achievement). He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
Mr Sicre holds an MBA from IMD, a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Villanova University, Philadelphia and is a fellow of Stanford University.
Gavin Neilan is a member of The Abraaj Group’s real estate team.
He has more than nine years of experience in private equity, real estate and finance.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Neilan was an Associate Director for the Principal Real Estate Finance team at the Royal Bank of Scotland. He started his career with Allen & Overy in London and Singapore, where he trained and practiced as a transactional lawyer.
He holds a Bachelor of Law degree from University College London and a postgraduate diploma in Law from Nottingham Law School. He also has an MBA from INSEAD.
Geetha Tharmaratnam is responsible for advising The Abraaj Group's partner companies on environment, social and governance (ESG) performance.
Prior to this role she worked at Alea Group in the US and Switzerland as Deputy Group Financial Controller.
Ms Tharmaratnam is part of the Investment Committee of the Small Enterprise Impact Investment Fund, a fund of funds investing in SME funds in growth markets.
Ms Tharmaratnam graduated in Finance from the University of Bridgeport. She holds a Master’s of Science in Management Research and an MBA from Oxford University.
Ghizlan Guenez works within the Abraaj Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Track (ASSET) at The Abraaj Group and is primarily responsible for Strategic Philanthropy and Strategic Platforms.
She oversees The Abraaj Group’s brand and community engagement programs, including Mustaqbali Foundation, Injaz Al Arab (Junior Achievement), Endeavor Global and Ruwwad, and oversees partnerships with organizations such as the World Economic Forum, EMPEA, Art Dubai and the Celebration of Entrepreneurship.
Ms Guenez graduated in Business Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science
Gustavo Eiben is a member of The Abraaj Group's Corporate Business Development team. He is also involved with the Fund Establishment/New Funds operations globally.
Mr Eiben has more than 10 years of experience in private equity. Before joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Eiben worked at J.P. Morgan, Schroder Ventures U.S. and UBS Investment Bank. He started his career in M&A at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Buenos Aires.
Mr Eiben received a Bachelor’s degree from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina and an MBA degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management.
GV Kumar joined The Abraaj Group in Bangalore in May 2005 and is responsible for all aspects of investment management including sourcing, negotiation, structuring and execution of transactions across industries.
Mr Kumar has led transactions in Hind High Vacuum (engineering), Continental Warehousing Corporation (logistics), and BSR Super Speciality Hospitals (healthcare services). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of BSR Super Speciality Hospitals Ltd.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Kumar had a nine-year stint as Vice President of Investments with ICICI Venture, one of India’s leading private equity fund managers.
Mr Kumar holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
Hala Hobeiche is a member of the investment management team for the Middle East and North Africa. She has completed transactions in SMG, GEMS, MSF and EFC and manages portfolio companies including JorAMCo and OCI.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, Ms Hobeiche was part of the investment team at the Middle East Capital Group. She started her career with Bank Audi in Lebanon.
She graduated in Economics from Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut and has a Master’s degree in Economics from the American University of Beirut.
Hanjaya Limanto joined The Abraaj Group in 2005 and is based in South-East Asia. During his time at the Group, he has been involved with investments in 26 companies and full or partial exits from 10 investments.
Mr Limanto has 24 years of investment and business operational experience, with a focus on consumer and retail sectors in South-East Asia.
Previously, he worked with CDC Group plc, JD Ventura Corporation and Roundhill, where he developed expertise in venture capital, project finance, acquisition of distressed assets and leveraged buyouts. He also gained experience in business operation and consumer sectors from his eight-year tenure with Procter & Gamble.
Mr Limanto holds an MBA from the University of Hawaii.
Hector Martínez has been responsible for the overall activities of The Abraaj Group in Peru since 2007. He brings more than 15 years of investment banking and project finance experience in Peruvian and international financial institutions.
Previously Mr Martínez was a Director of Project Finance at Latin Pacific Capital, where he led several advisory projects in the mining, infrastructure and agribusiness sectors. He also worked at Santander Investment, where he was a Vice President responsible for cross-border M&A and project finance, and at Interinvest, where he worked on several mergers and acquisitions in the SMC sector. Mr Martínez also worked at HSBC Securities in New York, where he was responsible for the origination and execution of equity underwriting mandates for Latin American corporations on the NYSE.
Mr Martínez holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina and a Law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
Hilton McCann, The Abraaj Group’s Chief Compliance Officer, has many years of experience in financial services, having worked in banking, financial regulation and compliance. He has served as Company Secretary and Financial Controller of a number of banks’ offshore subsidiaries. He has also been responsible for licensing and supervising banks, insurance companies, collective investment schemes and fiduciary businesses.
Mr McCann’s book—Offshore Finance—was published in 2006.
Hisham Moussa joined The Abraaj Group in 2007 and is a member of the Abraaj Performance Acceleration Group. Previously, he worked at HSBC Holdings Plc in Dubai, as part of the Global Investment Banking Advisory & Research teams, covering the Middle East and North Africa.
Prior to that role, Mr Moussa was at KPMG, where he helped set up its Corporate Finance business in Qatar. He started his career as an Equity Analyst in Cairo.
Mr Moussa is a Chartered Financial Analyst and graduated in Commerce from Cairo University.
Hossam Y. Radwan
Hossam Y. Radwan oversees The Abraaj Group's investments and activities in Saudi Arabia.
He joined The Abraaj Group from EFG-Hermes, where he was Chief Executive Officer for the business in Saudi Arabia.
Before moving to Riyadh, he worked with Goldman Sachs for 12 years in London and New York, serving in different roles, including Head of Middle East and North Africa for the asset management business. He began his career at JP Morgan in New York.
Mr Radwan graduated in Finance from Georgetown University.
Huda Al Lawati
Huda Al Lawati has more than 10 years of experience in private equity and finance. At The Abraaj Group, she is a member of the investment team responsible for structuring, execution and post-acquisition management and monitoring of transactions across the private equity family of funds.
She has completed several transactions at The Abraaj Group, developing strong experience in a number of industries including oil & gas, shipping and healthcare. She has been leading The Abraaj Group’s oil and gas initiatives, including the acquisition of Viking oilfield services, and the Group’s investment in Kuwait Energy; worked on the acquisition of Acibadem; and she has been responsible for Stanford Marine Group since 2008.
Ms Al Lawati started her career in 2001 with Schlumberger in Muscat, Oman, where she managed the fiscal accounts and tax audits of its subsidiaries and branches in Oman. She joined ABQ Zawya in 2003, where she developed and implemented the business plan and strategy for a regionally focused online financial portal.
Ms Al Lawati holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics (Honors) from Brown University.
Ijeoma Agboti leads The Abraaj Group’s Corporate Business Development activities in Africa. She also has responsibility for other global business development initiatives.
Ms. Agboti has over 11 years' experience in the global private equity business. Before joining The Abraaj Group, Ms. Agboti spent 13 years at JPMorgan Chase & Co. including 11 years with the JPMorgan Asset Management Private Equity Group in both New York and London. There she led the group’s business development activities in EMEA performing broad functions across portfolio management, investor relations and product development. Prior to this, she spent two years as an internal consultant at JPMorgan working on strategic business advisory projects within investment banking and asset management.
Ms. Agboti holds a BSc from the University of Lagos, a Certificate of Special Studies (with a concentration in Finance) from Harvard University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Isabelle Portebois-Benjelloun joined The Abraaj Group in October 2008 and is a member of the North Africa investment team.
Ms Portebois-Benjelloun has 14 years of private equity experience primarily investing in mid-cap companies and spinoffs. In 1999, she launched the first structured Private Equity Fund in Morocco (US$ 23 million) for the independent Moroccan Investment Bank, CFG Group, where she managed eight investments and three divestments.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Ms Portebois-Benjelloun was a Partner for six years in a French operational consulting firm dedicated to cost optimization, which is now part of Alma CG.
Ms Portebois-Benjelloun holds an MSc in Management from EM LYON, a French business school, with a major in Finance. She is an active member of several professional associations, including the Moroccan Association of Private Equity (AMIC), the Moroccan Association of Business Women (AFEM) and the Moroccan Employers Association (CGEM).
Jack Bao is a member of the South-East Asia team at The Abraaj Group and has many years of experience in investment, M&A corporate finance, and strategic planning. Before joining the Group, he worked at a leading pharmaceutical company as its China Investment (M&A) Director.
Mr Bao previously worked at Diageo China as the Global Business Support Partner (M&A and Strategy). From 2005-07, he worked as Strategic Planning Manager at The Coca-Cola Company in China. He started his investment career in 2000 with venture capital firm Onyx International in the US.
Mr Bao received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing and an MBA in Finance from American University.
Jacob Kholi is a member of the senior team responsible for The Abraaj Group’s investments and activities in Africa.
He has brought 17 years of venture capital and private equity experience to The Abraaj Group, which he gained in West Africa with CDC Group.
Before joining CDC, Mr Kholi worked for Shell in Ghana as a Financial Accountant and later as a Management Accountant.
He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana, having trained with KPMG in Ghana and holds an Executive MBA in international business from the Paris Graduate School of Management as well as an MSc in Finance and Financial Law from the University of London.
Jaime Sanchez joined The Abraaj Group in 2012 and is based in Mexico City. Previously, Mr Sanchez managed Mexico Ventures I, a venture capital fund of funds.
Between 2003 and 2010, he served as Managing Director of the management team of Discovery Americas I, a private equity fund. Before that, he was Country Manager at Raytheon International and Ixe Casa de Bolsa Inverlat.
Mr Sanchez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Universidad de las Américas and an MBA from IPADE, both in Mexico. He completed a mini MBA program at INSEAD and Project Finance Program at the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico. He is a board and executive committee member of Special Olympics Mexico, a sports and health non-profit organization.
José Pliego is a member of The Abraaj Group’s team in Mexico, where he has worked since 2007. Mr Pliego has been involved in pipeline generation, the investment process and overseeing the Group's partner companies.
His banking career of almost 30 years includes extensive exposure to credit, debt restructurings, private equity, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions and the negotiation and execution of credit projects with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Mr Pliego has also served as Deputy General Director of NAFIN, the Mexican government’s development finance institution. He was also responsible for the privatization of Mexico’s largest newsprint manufacturer, PIPSA, and the nation’s flagship airline, Aeroméxico. Previously, he worked with Banco Mexicano Somex, Bancomer, and Carral, Olea, Ortiz-Monasterio y Pliego, an investment banking boutique in Mexico City.
Mr Pliego received a Master’s in Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Economics from Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM).
José Ulate joined The Abraaj Group in 2003 and is the Fund Manager for the Emerge Central America Fund.
Mr Ulate has more than 15 years of banking and private equity experience in developing markets. From 2003 to 2006, he managed investments in Costa Rica and Dominican Republic for Aureos Central America Fund. Before working at CDC, he was Senior Account Executive for Cuscatlán Bank.
Junaid Zikar is a member of The Abraaj Group's Finance team and has more than 20 years of experience in corporate finance, treasury and audit, strategic business planning, risk management, information technology, team leadership/development and other corporate functions.
Before joining The Abraaj Group in 2006, he worked with various companies including MBC Group, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Central Depository Company and PwC.
Mr Zikar qualified as a Chartered Accountant and is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Pakistan.
Kodjo Aziagbe has more than 20 years' experience in private equity and is instrumental in developing The Abraaj Group’s portfolio in Senegal and in other Francophone countries in West Africa.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Aziagbe spent 15 years working with the Danish International Investment Fund (IFU), initially as an Investment Manager, and then as IFU’s Regional Adviser covering Anglophone and Francophone West Africa. He also represents IFU and the Group’s Funds on several Boards of Directors of portfolio companies.
Mr Aziagbe holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Kunle Ayodeji is a member of The Abraaj Group's Africa team and has been involved in the investment of more than US$ 45 million of the Group’s Funds as well as two partial divestments and one full exit of portfolio companies in Nigeria.
Mr Ayodeji has more than 10 years’ experience in banking, financial consulting and private equity. Prior to joining The Abraaj Group in 2007, he worked at KPMG Nigeria and before that he was with the Treasury Operations department of Triumph Bank Plc in Lagos.
Mr Ayodeji sits on the Board of a number of The Abraaj Group portfolio companies. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria and an MBA from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Lloyd West is a member of The Abraaj Group's Corporate Business Development team, focussing primarily on Europe and Sub Saharan Africa.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr West spent 5 years with MVision Private Equity Advisors in London, where he was responsible for investor relationships, deal co-ordination, fundraising and deal execution. During his time with MVision, he supported the fundraising and marketing activities of a number of private equity, infrastructure and real estate fund managers in both developed and growth markets, and was also responsible for maintaining relationships with investor communities in Europe, The Middle East as well as South Africa.
Mr West holds degrees in both Economics and Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Davis.
Mahyar Ghassemi joined The Abraaj Group in 2005 and has over 10 years of private equity, corporate finance and consulting experience. Mr. Ghassemi is a member of the MENA investment team and involved in a number of opportunities in various sectors including retail, healthcare, telecoms, oil and gas services, and aviation. Mr. Ghassemi was one of the founding members of the Abraaj Saudi Arabia office having assisted in establishing the Group’s presence in the Kingdom. Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr. Ghassemi had developed a career in the telecoms industry in North America and the Middle East and was in the corporate finance division of Thuraya Mobile Satellite where he was responsible for raising debt and equity as well as M&A activity.
Mr. Ghassemi obtained his MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, Canada. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA institute.
Matteo Stefanel is a senior member of The Abraaj Group, heading Managed Accounts and Real Estate PE globally and is responsible for a number of partner companies, including Saham Finance and Network International.
Mr Stefanel has over 16 years of experience in private equity and investment banking, having worked on approximately 80 M&A transactions in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Africa. He joined The Abraaj Group from MIG in Greece, where he was CIO. Before that, he was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and held roles at Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Wasserstein Perella.
He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.
Miguel Ángel Olea
Miguel Ángel Olea is a senior member of The Abraaj Group's team in Mexico.
His international experience includes posts as Director of International Finance at Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and as Chief of Staff for the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA). During his time with the MFA, Mr Olea reached the rank of Ambassador and was Deputy Chief Negotiator in the group that negotiated Mexico’s accession to the World Trade Organization. From 1991 to 2001, he was one of the two Managing Partners at OPCAP, a private equity fund for SMCs in Mexico City.
Mr Olea holds Master’s degrees in Engineering Management and in Operations Research, both from Stanford University.
Mounir Husseini leads Corporate Business Development at The Abraaj Group, including Global Investor Relations. He joined The Abraaj Group from Deutsche Bank AG, where he held several positions, the last of which was Managing Director and Chief Country Officer for the UAE and Qatar.
He was previously with Daimler AG for 11 years and was Managing Director of the Structured Finance arm in his last position.
Mr Husseini is a founding member of the Bader Young Entrepreneurship Program in Lebanon.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Fairfield University and completed Executive Education at IMD.
Mustafa Abdel-Wadood oversees The Abraaj Group’s investment activities across the various geographies. He is a Board Member of The Abraaj Group and Chairman of the Executive Committee.
He joined from EFG-Hermes, where he was Chief Executive Officer for the UAE. Before this, he co-founded Sigma Capital and served as its Managing Director. Prior to that he spent eight years at Orascom Group as Director of Development and Investments. Mr Abdel-Wadood has served on the Boards of several publicly listed and private companies.
In 2002, the World Economic Forum named Mr Abdel-Wadood a 'Global Leader for Tomorrow' and in 2007 named him a ‘Young Global Leader’. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
He graduated in Business Administration from American University and holds an MBA from Georgetown University.
Nadia Lemus is a member of The Abraaj Group's team in Latin America and works on a variety of areas including structuring and negotiation of transactions, due diligence processes, valuation modeling and partner company monitoring including active participation in Board of Directors and Executive Committees. She also oversees environmental, social and governance (ESG) management within the portfolio in Latin America.
Ms Lemus has nine years of experience in finance and private equity. Before joining The Abraaj Group, she worked in the corporate finance area of Seguros e Inversiones S.A., a leading insurance company based in El Salvador.
Ms Lemus holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business from the Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios in El Salvador and an MBA in Finance and Strategy from INCAE Business School-Costa Rica.
Narayanan Rajagopalan is the Group's Chief Financial Officer and leads the Abraaj Finance and Support Services team.
He joined The Abraaj Group in 2005, before which he worked for more than 15 years at international and regional companies, including Unilever, Inchcape, Cupola and Dubai Holding, where he held roles in financial management, taxation, governance and corporate planning.
Mr Rajagopalan graduated in Commerce from Calcutta University. He is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Nayyer Hussain has been with The Abraaj Group for four years working in partner company management, currently heading the Distribution business of a large electrical utility.
Prior to that he was at Mashreq Bank, where he managed Retail Risk Management. Earlier in his career, he was Head of Retail Risk Management at Citigroup, working with affiliates in Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia. He previously worked at Saudi American Bank and was part of the team that led its merger with United Saudi Commercial Bank.
Mr Hussain graduated in Business Administration from Boston University.
Nina Nemr is a member of the Corporate Business Development team and is responsible for investor coverage activities across the Levant.
She has more than 15 years of experience in client coverage, corporate banking, credit risk, risk management and industry.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, Ms Nemr was Head of Business Line in the Corporate Department at Banque Libano-Française in Lebanon. She previously worked at Carosserie Abillama and at PwC in the US.
Ms Nemr has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Industrial Management from the Saint Joseph University in Lebanon. She also holds an MBA from Ohio University.
Nissanka Weerasekera joined The Abraaj Group in 2003 and has 17 years of private equity experience in South Asia.
Between 1995 and 2003, Mr Weerasekera was the Chief Executive Officer of People’s Venture Investment Company (PVIC) before becoming the Managing Director of Nextventures, which was spun off from PVIC under his leadership.
During his time at PVIC and Nextventures, Mr Weerasekera led a number of pioneering transactions and exits. He has also been a Project Manager at the United States Agency for International Development on finance-related projects and has several years of experience in manufacturing and finance activities.
He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He also holds a Master’s in Economics from the University of Colombo and a BSc in Physics from the University of Peradeniya.
Omar Lodhi is responsible for The Abraaj Group’s activities in East Asia. Before this role, he managed investments in the Gulf states and Turkey. He also played a lead role on the launch of the Infrastructure and Growth Capital Fund and Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV.
He has 18 years of private equity and investment banking experience in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, having spent the majority of his career prior to The Abraaj Group with UBS in Hong Kong and London. He graduated in International Trade and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Omar Syed is focused on developing operations in Turkey, Iraq and Central Asia for The Abraaj Group, which he joined in 2007. Mr Syed was part of the acquisition team for Acibadem Healthcare. He has also worked with a number of The Abraaj Group’s partner companies and holds a Board position at Biolab.
He has more than 15 years of private equity and consulting experience. Before joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Syed was a Vice President at American Capital (ACAS) and spent six years at ACAS. He began his career with PwC.
Mr Syed graduated in Chemical Engineering with a Minor in Management from McGill University and holds a Master’s in Accounting from Concordia University. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant registered with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Ömer Meserretçioğlu is part of the team managing investments in Turkey for The Abraaj Group.
He has more than nine years of experience in private equity, investment banking and management consulting.
Before joining The Abraaj Group in 2008, Mr Meserretçioğlu was an Associate in Investment Banking with Lehman Brothers in New York. He was previously a Consultant with Bain & Company in Chicago.
He graduated in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and holds an MBA from Columbia University.
Ovais Naqvi works in the Abraaj Performance Acceleration Group, where he is responsible for enhancing the sales, marketing and pricing optimization capabilities of partner companies.
Additionally, he leads the "Arena" program to identify synergies and network potentials across the Group’s investee platform.
He serves on the Board of Wamda, The Abraaj Group's content, collaboration and funding platform for early stage businesses.
From 2008 to 2010, he was appointed by The Abraaj Group to serve as Chief Marketing Officer at Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC). He has also worked at the Cupola Group in Dubai and Ogilvy Group (part of WPP plc) in London, serving the EMEA region.
Mr Naqvi serves on the MENA Advisory Board of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council and is also a member of The Marketing Society in the UK, as well as British Design & Art Direction (D&AD).
He graduated in International Trade and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Peter Grant heads The Abraaj Group’s Corporate Affairs unit.
Mr Grant joined The Abraaj Group in 2003, initially on secondment from the City of London office of international law firm Taylor Wessing, where he had been employed since 2000. At Taylor Wessing, he worked as a corporate lawyer, practicing in private equity and venture capital investments, mergers and acquisitions and company floatations.
Mr Grant qualified in Law in New Zealand and before relocating to the United Kingdom he spent five years with Buddle Findlay, one of New Zealand’s largest corporate law firms. Mr Grant is qualified both as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.
Peter Gichuru Njoka has more than 17 years of private equity and corporate finance experience in East Africa.
Since joining The Abraaj Group, he has been responsible for recommending investments, monitoring through Board representation and managing exits for a number of companies.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Njoka was responsible for preparing corporate and industry research reports, as well as valuation and forecast models at Corporate Capital Advisors in Nairobi.
He holds a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Nairobi.
Pradeep Ramamurthy helps lead The Abraaj Group's engagement with stakeholders in North America as a part of the Corporate Business Development team.
Prior to joining the Group, Mr Ramamurthy had a distinguished career in the U.S. Government where he served at the White House under two Presidents, including as the first-ever Senior Director for Global Engagement. He also held senior positions at the US Agency for International Development and the Department of Justice.
Mr Ramamurthy has a BSc from Georgetown University and a MA from the University of Chicago.
Purshotam Ramchandani leads The Abraaj Group’s strategic initiatives and is a key member of the CIO office. During the past eight years, Mr Ramchandani has been involved in executing several investments and has worked on the launch of new Funds. In 2009, he helped set up the Group’s Saudi office.
He has more than 12 years of experience in private equity and investment banking. Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was an Investment Banking Associate at Lehman Brothers in New York.
Mr Ramchandani graduated in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin.
Rafique Lakhani has more than 24 years of experience in financial management and controllership.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Lakhani was Chief Financial Officer of the Cupola Group, where he was responsible for group financial planning and control, treasury and risk management, tax planning, banking relationships, accounting and financial reporting. He also participated in the due diligence and financing of various acquisitions and divestments.
Mr Lakhani was Financial Controller for the Dewan Group in Karachi, Pakistan and before that, the Finance Manager for the Group Treasury at Al Batha Group, Sharjah, UAE.
He is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.
Ragheb El Rami
Ragheb El Rami has 11 years of experience in private equity and corporate finance. At The Abraaj Group, he has been involved in originating, executing and portfolio managing several investments primarily focused on the Middle East and North Africa region with a focus on Saudi Arabia where he was based for three years. In addition to this role, his responsibilities include identifying, developing and maintaining relationships with a global investor base.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr El Rami was a Project Development Manager at DaimlerChrysler Financial Services. Before that, he was with Deloitte’s Corporate Finance division in Dubai.
Mr El Rami is a member of the Young Arab Leaders. He graduated in Civil Engineering and holds an MBA from the London Business School. He is a CFA charterholder.
Raj Morjaria has 17 years of private equity investment, funds and operational experience, and is currently with The Abraaj Group’s CIO Office.
Previously at Aureos, Mr Morjaria has overseen the group’s investment related activities, managed the implementation and capital raising of a number of new Funds, and has previously invested/managed Funds based in East Africa.
He has also led a number of key strategic projects for the Group over the past seven years, including the management buyout of Aureos in 2008, and more recently, co-led the sale process to The Abraaj Group.
Mr Morjaria graduated with a degree in Economics from Essex University and has also gained the professional designation of Chartered Financial Analyst.
Raman Anantharaman manages the Kula Fund portfolio and has more than 12 years of private equity experience in the Pacific islands.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Raman served as the Group Financial Controller for the City Pharmacy Group of companies in Papua New Guinea and as the Finance Manager for Chicago Pneumatic Tools Ltd in India.
Raman is a Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant from India, a qualified Management Accountant from CIMA, UK, and a qualified CPA from CPA, Australia. Raman graduated in Commerce from the University of Madras.
Ravi Jitani is responsible for aligning Group IT objectives and programs.
Before this role at The Abraaj Group, he advised portfolio companies on improving their IT systems, ERP programs and operational and management dashboards.
He previously worked with Fujitsu Consulting, providing technology expertise to clients.
Mr Jitani graduated in Commerce from the University of Delhi. He is a Project Management Professional of the Project Management Institute.
Ravi Sharma joined The Abraaj Group in 2001 and was a key member of the team that helped establish Funds in Africa.
Mr Sharma previously worked for Aureos Ghana Advisers, where he was involved in 11 exits from Ghana Venture Capital Funds portfolio companies.
He has been instrumental in the investment of more than US$ 100 million of The Abraaj Group Funds in Nigeria, spread across various sectors such as oil and gas services, telecommunications, FMCG, IT services, healthcare, leasing, insurance, paints and chemicals.
Mr Sharma holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Wales.
Raza Hasnani is involved in all aspects of the investment process at The Abraaj Group, which he joined in 2006.
He has more than 15 years of experience in private equity and corporate finance in the US, Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. He earlier led financing activities for upstream and downstream projects at Exxon Mobil in Dallas and Houston and worked in the investment banking division with Credit Suisse First Boston in Los Angeles. He started his career with Deloitte.
Mr Hasnani graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Certified Public Accountant.
Ron den Besten
Ron den Besten is a senior member of The Abraaj Group's Africa team. Based in Johannesburg, he leads a team that invests in Southern Africa Development Community countries.
Mr den Besten has more than 25 years of private equity and corporate finance experience gained from institutions such as Gensec Bank Ltd, where he was General Manager of Private Equity.
He has extensive knowledge of deal structuring and strategic development of regional companies. He serves on the Board of Directors as Chairman or Non-Executive Director of companies in a range of sectors, including financial services, communications, manufacturing and IT services.
Mr den Besten is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds an Honors Commerce degree in Accounting from the University of Johannesburg.
Sandeep Khanna is a senior member of The Abraaj Group's team in Africa.
Mr Khanna leads a number of the Group’s private investment activities including management-led buyouts, expansion, growth capital and the acquisition and building of companies in the region.
He has also evaluated and invested in opportunities across many industries, covering financial services, agribusiness, information technology, building materials, business services and manufacturing.
Prior to joining the Group, Mr Khanna worked with CDC Group plc for seven years seconded to the Zambia Venture Capital Fund and its agribusinesses in Central and Southern Africa.
Saqib Rashid is a member of The Abraaj Group's investment team in South-East Asia. He has worked on a number of transactions for the Group including EFG-Hermes, Air Arabia, the Entertainer and Mani Foods.
Mr Rashid has more than 10 years of corporate finance and private equity experience. Before joining The Abraaj Group, he worked at Spring Capital, a US small business administration-sponsored private equity fund. Mr Rashid started his career at General Electric in the financial management leadership development program.
Mr Rashid graduated from the George Washington University. He holds a Master’s degree from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA degree from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a US Fulbright Scholar.
Sarah Alexander drives the Group’s engagement with North American stakeholders, drawing on her extensive knowledge of private equity investing in growth economies to represent the market opportunity with institutional investors, educational institutions, not-for profit groups and the media.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Ms. Alexander was instrumental in creating the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), the leading provider of authoritative information and insight into the opportunities in the private equity industry in emerging and growth economies. As Founding President and CEO, she grew the organization to more than 300 member firms representing 60 countries and more than US$1 trillion in assets under management, while developing the industry’s leading research products and programs.
Previously, she was a private equity investor in Asia, and worked with the World Bank Group, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. House of Representatives. She received an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Masters of Public Administration from Princeton University, and a BA, summa cum laude, from Emory University. She is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, and a Trustee of Meridian International Center in Washington, DC.
Selcuk Yorgancioglu oversees and sits on the Board of the Group’s investments in Turkey and Central Asian markets. He led the acquisition and the exit of four recent Turkish investments, including Acibadem Healthcare.
He joined The Abraaj Group in 2008 from Deutsche Bank, where he was the Chief Executive Officer for the operations in Turkey and before was a Managing Director for the emerging markets investment banking team in London for seven years. Previously, he held senior leadership positions in investment banking with Turkey’s Finansbank Group and ABN AMRO-Rothschilds in Amsterdam and London.
Mr Yorgancioglu graduated in Economics from Istanbul University and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of New Haven.
Sev Vettivetpillai is a member of The Abraaj Group’s Executive and Investment Committees and has 20 years of direct private equity investing experience. He previously held the positions of Chief Executive Officer of Aureos Advisers Ltd and Chief Investment Officer for the Aureos Group, where he was instrumental in implementing the Aureos investment philosophy and strategy of investing in small and medium-sized companies across global emerging markets.
Prior to joining Aureos, Mr Vettivetpillai was a Senior Investment Executive at CDC Group plc. Mr Vettivetpillai’s other appointments were at Vanik Incorporation (Sri Lanka) as a Portfolio Manager and Mott Macdonald Group (UK) as an Engineer.
Mr Vettivetpillai holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a BEng. (Hons) in Civil Engineering from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine.
Shahid Naqvi is a member of The Abraaj Group’s Corporate Business Development team.
He has several years of financial services experience gained in London and New York. Before joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Naqvi was a Managing Director in the Investment Banking team at Fairfax plc and set up its MENA business.
Prior to that he was a Director in the corporate finance group at Deutsche Bank for seven years in London and also worked at Daiwa Securities and Singer & Friedlander.
Mr Naqvi qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG.
Shakir Merali is a member of The Abraaj Group's team in Africa where he oversees a number of investments in East Africa and also manages the Group's Africa Health Fund, an innovative impact investment initiative aimed at improving the quality of health services for low-income populations across the continent.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Merali invested in early to mid-stage companies as a Director at Geocapital Partners in London, and has previously advised a number of Fortune 500 companies as a strategy consultant with the Monitor Group.
Mr Merali holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance and a Master’s in Information Systems, both from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Simona Di Vietri
Simona Di Vietri has thirteen years’ experience in private equity, mezzanine financing and investment banking. At The Abraaj Group, her primary focus is to identify, structure and execute investment opportunities. She is also actively involved in management of these investments.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, Ms Di Vietri was in London working as a member of the investment team of MezzVest, an independent Fund investing mainly in mezzanine tranches of LBO transactions. Prior to that, Ms. Di Vietri spent five years at Lehman Brothers, where she was focusing on M&A transactions in the communications and media sector, and then in Structured Finance.
Ms. Di Vietri holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the LUISS Guido Carlo University in Rome.
Srisant Chitvaranund is a member of The Abraaj Group's team in South-East Asia. Prior to joining the Group he was a Managing Director of TDI Advisory Limited where he raised and set up two private equity funds—the Thai Direct Opportunity Funds I and II.
Between 1999 and 2002, Mr Chitvaranund managed Capital Thai Associates Limited, an investment advisory firm.
Before this, Mr Chitvaranund established Walden International Investment Group Limited in Thailand and helped manage a US$ 800 million private equity fund covering South-East Asia. He was also an Investment Manager at AIA Thailand’s direct investment department, a subsidiary of AIG Investment Corporation, where he managed a range of direct investment portfolios.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Business from Ohio State University.
Tabish Gauhar has 19 years of experience in project development in the private power, water and petrochemical industries in the Middle East, South Asia, Europe and Africa.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was the Regional Chief Financial Officer at AES Corporation and was responsible for an EMEA-wide power and water portfolio. He previously worked with International Power on its Hub Power Project in Pakistan.
Mr Gauhar started his career at Exxon Chemical as a Systems Analyst.
He graduated in Electrical Engineering from King’s College, London and holds an MBA from the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan.
Talgat Kukenov is a member of The Abraaj Group's team in Kazakhstan.
He has more than 10 years of experience in the sector gained from his work in American and European private equity funds, including the Central Asia American Enterprise Fund.
Before joining The Abraaj Group in 2007, Mr Kukenov served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kazyna Capital Management (2007), Deputy Chairman of Kazakhstan Investment Fund (2006), and the National Innovation Fund of Kazakhstan (2004-05), where he made a number of successful investments in the oil & gas and pharmaceutical sectors and two exits (strategic sale and management buyout).
He has a PhD in Mathematics from Kazakhstan National University, an MBA from Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research and a Master’s in International Finance from the University of Amsterdam.
Tarek Kabil is a member of the Abraaj Performance Acceleration Group, where he leads partner company management for The Abraaj Group’s businesses in the MENA region. In addition to this role, Mr Kabil is an expert resource for deal teams across the Group’s global operating portfolio.
Previously, Mr Kabil held leadership positions in PepsiCo for 18 years, most recently as President for Middle East and Africa (MEA). In this role, he oversaw the operations of the MEA region for beverages and food business, one of the largest regions for PepsiCo with more than US$ 7 billion in retail value, locations in more than 43 countries and over 15,000 direct employees. In 2011, as President and Chief Executive Officer for MEA and South-East Asia, Mr Kabil led the creation of International Dairy and Juice Co., a venture between PepsiCo and Almarai Co.
Earlier in his career, Mr Kabil worked for Procter and Gamble for more than 12 years and held senior management positions in the US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Mr Kabil holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Alexandria University.
Tarek Kabrit manages The Abraaj Group's investments in Lebanon. Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr Kabrit was a Principal and Partner with Siraj Capital, overseeing investments in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He previously worked with Deutsche Bank’s Mergers and Acquisitions team in London and Dubai. He also spent nearly four years as a Strategy Consultant with Booz & Company.
Mr Kabrit graduated in Economics and Biology from the American University of Beirut. He has a Master’s in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an MBA from INSEAD.
Tarik Awad is a member of The Abraaj Group's Middle East and North Africa team based out of Jordan.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was Executive Director of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), leading the Fund’s program to invest in organizations for socio-economic development.
He previously spent 12 years with Mobil Oil Corporation, Pepsi Cola International and Boscan Middle East Investment Ltd.
Mr Awad serves on the Boards of several companies and non-profit organizations in Jordan, including the National Microfinance Bank, Oasis 500, King Abdullah II Center for Excellence, Al Mafraq Development Company and Injaz Al Arab (Junior Achievement).
He graduated in Business Administration from the University of Louisiana and holds an MBA from the University of North Texas.
Tarun Mehta has 12 years of experience in private equity and investment banking. At The Abraaj Group, he has been involved in originating, executing and portfolio managing several investments primarily focused on South Asia. In addition, his responsibilities include identifying, developing and maintaining relationships with a global investor base.
Before joining the Group, Mr Mehta was an analyst in the Global Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Merrill Lynch Investment Banking in New York. He was primarily involved in various aspects of transactions including pitching, financial modeling, valuation, structuring and conducting due diligence. He started his career at Goldman Sachs, where he was a member of the Institutional Sales Team covering US equities.
Mr Mehta holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Virginia. He majored in Accounting and Finance and minored in Economics.
Tayyab Tareen joined The Abraaj Group in 2006. He has more than 18 years of experience mainly with multinationals in business turnarounds, financial management, planning and business acquisitions.
Before joining the Group, he was the Chief Financial Officer of The Coca-Cola Company managed bottler in the UAE and Oman. From 1997 to 2001, he was CFO and Company Secretary at Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan.
He started his career in 1995 with Packages Limited in Pakistan as Manager Project Financing.
Mr Tareen is a qualified Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.
Tom Speechley joined The Abraaj Group in 2006 and has been responsible for several investments across a number of sectors and growth markets. In 2009, Mr Speechley established the Group’s small and mid-cap (SMC) investment platforms and oversaw its growth into new markets in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Mr Speechley speaks and writes frequently on the topic of entrepreneurship and was responsible for creating and launching wamda.com, The Abraaj Group’s online portal dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs. He sits on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum on Fostering Entrepreneurship.
Mr Speechley initially trained in law and worked for several years with leading law firms in London and New York. He holds a First-Class Honors degree in Law from the University of Sheffield.
Wahid Hamid leads the Abraaj Performance Acceleration Group.
Before joining The Abraaj Group, he was an independent consultant to private equity firms and their portfolio companies. He previously worked at PepsiCo as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development and Chief Financal Officer of PepsiCo Americas Foods. He was also a Board Member of PepsiCo Americas and a member of the company’s Executive Management Committee. Previously, he spent 15 years with Boston Consulting Group, where his last role was Senior Partner and Managing Director in New York.
Mr Hamid has undergraduate degrees from the California Institute of Technology and Occidental College in the US. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Occidental College.
Walid Bakr is a member of The Abraaj Group's investment team in the Middle East and North Africa and is based out of Egypt. He has more than nine years of investment management experience.
He was previously a Director of Riyada Ventures, which was acquired by The Abraaj Group. Prior to that, he was Chief Executive Officer of Ideavelopers, an EFG-Hermes subsidiary in Egypt.
Mr Bakr has also held management positions with the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Arab Stock Exchange and France’s Sunbelt Software.
He graduated with a degree in Communications Engineering from Alexandria University.
Waqar Siddique is responsible for risk management across The Abraaj Group and is represented on the Boards of several portfolio companies. He is a Board Director of The Abraaj Group and Chair of the Group’s Risk and Compliance Committee.
Mr Siddique serves on the Board of Governors of the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi, as well as IMD's Executive Education Advisory Council. He is a Trustee for the Aman Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established by Arif Naqvi.
He was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Cupola Group. Prior to that role, he was with Mawarid Holding Company, Saudi Arabia and PwC in Pakistan.
He holds an MBA with a specialization in Finance.
Zahi El Khatib
Zahi El Khatib is a member of the Special Situations Group. His responsibilities include deal origination, execution and portfolio management.
Mr. El Khatib has more than 11 years of private equity and investment banking experience in Europe, MENA and South Asia. Prior to joining Abraaj in 2011, Mr. El Khatib was at Gulf Capital in Abu Dhabi, and previously at Investcorp as part of the European Private Equity team in London. He started his career in investment banking at Citigroup.
Mr. El Khatib holds an MSc in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics and a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut.