Saudi wealth fund said to hire development head from Qatari Diar

Public Investment Fund plans to invest billions of dollars in tourism and property projects
Public Investment Fund plans to invest billions of dollars in tourism and property projects
By Bloomberg
Mon 16 Oct 2017 12:00 PM

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund hired the head of Qatar Investment Authority’s real estate arm as its chief development officer earlier this year amid plans to invest billions of dollars in tourism and property projects, according to people familiar with the matter.

Greg Bankhurst, formerly chief executive officer of Qatari Diar, joined the Public Investment Fund, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Bankhurst started working at the fund in June, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Jayson Miragliotta also joined as executive director of master planning in August, the people said. He previously held roles at Dubai-based Emaar Properties and Majid Al Futtaim, according to Miragliotta’s LinkedIn profile.

A spokesman for the fund didn’t respond to requests for comment.

PIF, as the wealth fund is known, has quickly risen to international prominence with a series of headline-grabbing investments. Recent deals include an agreement to commit $20 billion to an infrastructure fund managed by Blackstone Group, as much as $45 billion in a technology fund run by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., and a $3.5 billion investment in Uber Technologies Inc.

The fund could have assets of as much as $2 trillion once ownership of oil company Saudi Aramco is transferred, according to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Under a reform program he has spearheaded, the PIF is being transformed from a largely domestic-focused holding company into an international powerhouse.

Domestic Investments

Even as the PIF starts an overseas investment drive, it will remain a significant player in Saudi Arabia. Between 50 percent and 70 percent of the proceeds of the sale of shares in Saudi Aramco will be invested in the kingdom, Prince Mohammed said in May.

A significant part of the domestic investments will be in real estate. The PIF will spearhead an 18 billion-riyal ($4.8 billion) plan to redevelop the Jeddah waterfront on the Red Sea and will also set up companies to develop projects in Makkah and Medina.

It’s also creating a $2.7 billion company to invest in the country’s entertainment sector, and will be the main backer of a 334 square-kilometer cultural, sports and entertainment city to be built southwest of Riyadh.

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