By Massoud A. Derhally
EXCLUSIVE: High-level departures come amid negotiations over EFG-Hermes JV
Five senior members of QInvest, the Qatari investment bank forming a joint venture with Egypt’s EFG-Hermes, have left the firm, according to an informed source.
The heads of investment banking, financial institutions and structured finance, placement and wealth management, corporate services and risk management, and compliance are no longer at QInvest. The departures follow the stepping down last week of CEO Shahzad Shahbaz.
Shahzad was replaced by his deputy Tamim Al Kuwari, previously a managing director at Goldman Sachs.
In a statement emailed to Arabian Business, a QInvestment spokesperson said: "Al Kuwari, the newly appointed CEO of QInvest, evaluated the current situation and identified means and channels to increase effectiveness and efficiency while maintaining the bank’s strategic direction, business activities, meeting clients’ requirements and closing the JV with EFG-Hermes which is pending regulatory approval. Therefore, jobs have been eliminated and colleagues have left the firm."
Shahzad told Arabian Business last week he had “chosen to leave”, that QInvest has “a new chapter starting with EFG”, and that he helped create “a market-leading platform and now it's for other people to take on that challenge”.
In May, QInvest, a unit of Qatar Islamic Bank, which has been cutting jobs at its brokerage and asset management divisions, announced with EFG their plans for a joint venture that would create the largest investment bank in the Middle East and North Africa. QInvest will hold 60 percent and EFG's holding company will own 40 percent of the venture.
Licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority in 2007, QInvest had more than 135 employees as of last month with offices in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The firm, led by chairman Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Bin Jaber Al Thani, has authorised capital of US$1bn and paid up capital of US$750m.
The QInvest shareholder structure includes Qatar Islamic Bank as well as other institutional investors and high net worth individuals from across the region. The firm's business lines include investment banking, investment management, brokerage and wealth management services, according to the company's website.