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Wed 20 Jan 2010 02:58 PM

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Dubai World's Istithmar CEO resigns

David Jackson has been replaced by the firm's chief investment officer Andy Watson.

State-owned Dubai World said on Wednesday the chief executive of its Istithmar World had resigned and had been replaced by its chief investment officer, as the group focuses on managing its investments rather than making acquisitions.

Istithmar is one of the flagship companies of state-owned Dubai World, which has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, and is in the process of restructuring some $22bn in debt.

David Jackson, who had spearheaded Istithmar's aggressive overseas expansion strategy including the purchase of luxury US retailer Barney's New York and a stake in Standard Chartered, has been replaced by Andy Watson.

"Today, Istithmar World is focused on the steady-state management of existing assets to maximise value rather than on private equity investment," said Aidan Birkett, chief restructuring officer at Dubai World, in an e-mailed statement.

Struggling Dubai World said on November 30 its restructuring plans did not include asset sales at Istithmar World, among the group's crown jewels.

Watson took over as chief investment officer at Istithmar World in September in a management reshuffle involving Dubai World's troubled property unit Nakheel, developer of three palm shaped islands. He was previously at UK-based banking group Barclays.

At the time, speculation increased that Jackson's role was under review, although Istithmar said his job was safe.

Istithmar hired an advisory firm in August to help it mull options to shore up Barneys' financial position amid speculation it is freezing investments as part of a restructuring that may result in the sale of the fund or its assets. (Reuters)

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John Mathew 10 years ago

SEVERAL TOP RANKING DUBAI OFFICIALS HAVE MADE IT CLEAR IN THE PAST THAT DUBAI WORLD IS NOT GOVERNEMNT OWNED. WHY ARE YOU STILL PUBLISHING ARTICLES STATING THE CONTRARY? DUBAI WORLD, ISTITHMAR AND LIMITLESS ARE NOT STATE OWNED AND THEREFORE, GIVE A CORRECTION.

John Chua 10 years ago

Hi John Mathew, you should get your facts right first, the Dubai Government do indeed owned Dubai World. Please read an extract from a recent report when they say that they will not guarantee DW's debt. Quote "Though the government is the owner, the company has many activities and is prone to risks. So from the beginning it was indicated that the government is not a guarantor. Therefore, the dealings of the company with all parties were based on this concept," he said. Al Saleh added that the creditors should bear part of the responsibility as they offered loans based on the viability of the projects and not on guarantees offered by the government. Unqoute http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/dubai-world-independent-1.542520 I think you are the only one needing the correction. PS please don't use CAPS it makes it even worse when you are wrong.