Wed 23 Sep 2009 09:47 AM
Talal Al Zain

Talal Al Zain

Industry: Banking & Finance

Company: Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company

Designation: CEO

Country: Bahrain

Citizenship: Bahrain

Occupation: CEO

Talal Al Zain is the CEO of Bahrain’s $10bn sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, and so holds the investment purse strings of the first Gulf state to discover oil, way back in 1932.

Mumtalakat’s portfolio spans everything from national carrier Gulf Air - of which Al Zain is also chairman - to the Bahrain International Circuit, the Formula 1 racing track, to a 36.7 percent stake in telecom operator

. The SWF has a 49 percent stake in
National Bank of Bahrain

, and is also the second largest shareholder in the McLaren Group, a group of companies focused around Bruce McLaren, a Formula 1 constructor and the founder of the eponymous UK Formula 1 team.

Earlier this year Al Zain told
Arabian Business

that the state holding company would focus on consolidating its existing investments. However, he added that it might also begin to implement a long-term strategy of diversifying the fund’s asset classes and geographical spread. Mumtalakat is also looking at making direct investments in real estate through its Bahraini real estate subsidiary, Edamah, domestically and abroad.

“I’m looking at North America, I’m looking at Europe, both east and west, and I’m looking at Asia,” he said. And where Al Zain wants to go, Bahrain has the money to take him.