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Thu 4 Dec 2008 10:37 AM

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BMB Group plans major Saudi expansion

Investment group plans to increase presence in Middle East after merger move.

Investment group BMB Group will increase its presence in the Middle East as it acquires the world’s largest private equity firm dedicated to emerging markets, EMP Global, BMB announced on Thursday.

The group will have offices in Dubai and Bahrain and said that it plans to expand “siginificantly” in Saudi Arabia.

BMB stated that the combined group will represent one of the world’s leading alternative asset management houses, with assets in excess of $12 billion.

EMP partner Moeen Qureshi, the former prime minister of Pakistan and chief operating officer of the World Bank has been appointed vice chairman of the BMB Group. He will act as a senior advisor to BMB Group’s global strategy, and the development of its sovereign wealth focus.

EMP, founded in 1992, was the first major private to specialise in emerging markets and is a huge investor in the Middle East, having raised some $7 billion of private equity funds.

The private equity house has also partnered the Islamic Development Bank.

EMP’s partner Don Roth, the former head of Merrill Lynch Europe, and treasurer of the World Bank, has been made head of principal investments for the BMB Group.

EMP’s US operation will continue to run independently, managing existing private equity funds for corporations and governments.

The offshore business of EMP will become BMB Emerging Markets, which will launch a number of direct investment funds around the world focused on energy, infrastructure and financial services.

“Our new business will be a global one that assists in the flows of new capital in a changing world, matching eastern values with western governance and experience,” Roth said.

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