MD Head of Middle East Distribution | Top-Tier Global Financial Institution
Tasked with finding a dynamic talent that would both lead and build a new regional fundraising division, NGS Global found an outstanding candidate who was a perfect cultural and professional fit.
Our client was a major top-tier global asset management and private banking organization. They are headquartered in Europe, have roughly $200 billion in assets under management, more than 2,500 staff, and serve a global client base. The product offering includes Private Equity, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Equities and Fixed Income.
In order to maintain their competitiveness as a premium investment house, for the past four years the company had undertaken a rigorous transformation exercise, which involved consolidating and simplifying their funds portfolio offering, ironing out inefficiencies, and harnessing a new culture and executive leadership team.
With their products now optimized, both in terms of structure and performance, the group looked to new territories where they could fundraise and build investment momentum into these funds.
The obvious geographical priority was the Middle East, with its plethora of sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and family offices, not just in the UAE, but also in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar. Our client had little visibility in this region, and no presence with regards to their asset management portfolio, despite the huge upside fundraising potential that their optimized product suite represented.
Our client was looking for an exceptionally talented business development individual who could initially execute as a one-person operation throughout the region, but then build up a valuable division and team for a fully-fledged Middle East-based investment and fundraising business.
The requirement was someone who had an outstanding reputation in the market, an established in-region client base, and was comfortable with selling to a discerning group of investor clients, both new and established. Understandably, the successful candidate was required to have first-rate investment and funds knowledge, and be extremely comfortable talking the language of financial performance, metrics, opportunities, industry sectors, comparative analysis and attributes from one fund to the next.
Demographically, this was to be a marquee diversity hire for the firm. The position could be held by either a native or non-native UAE citizen, but they had to be extremely adept and comfortable with operating in Middle Eastern culture.
Our Search Process
Because the client wanted a game-changing individual with best-in-class experience and credibility, NGS Global targeted the most successful and premium global and international asset management organizations who had an established and well-regarded presence in the Middle East offering sophisticated product solutions.
The search process was met with some resistance from the talent pool, as our client was not that well known in the region, and the question arose as to how they would capture market share. Additionally, many of those we approached were already well compensated and not looking to move.
Despite this, our dedicated, extensive and methodological approach, combined with our advantageous no off-limits candidates pool, and our own extensive in-market network generated significant interest in the position.
After a comprehensive selection and evaluation process, from amongst a short-list of three exceptional finalists, a standout candidate emerged and was successfully offered the position.
On paper, the individual ticked all the boxes (stellar resume, reputation, skill-set, and experience – she was jumping from a big brand in the market). But it was her energy, honesty and integrity that really set her apart. She was candid and authentic, showing genuine affection for the products, but also indicating where they could be improved in a constructive and positive way. She was also realistic but genuinely excited about the prospect of building a team from scratch.
Our NGS Global Value-Add
• Our premium network gained from multiple decades in the sector and region (the successful candidate came from the Lead Partner’s own network)
• Deep understanding of the client’s needs - the Lead Partner flew to their European headquarters and spent considerable time with the CEO to fully understand their objectives
• Detailed comprehension of the financial services sector, the firm’s product suite, and the personality profile ideally positioned to succeed.