By Ed Attwood
Dubai Int'l Capital's non-executive chairman and former CEO resigns to focus on role at Shuaa Capital.
Sameer Al Ansari has resigned the position of non-executive chairman at Dubai International Capital (DIC), the private equity group he helped found in 2004, an official from his current company has told Arabian Business.
The Sunday Times newspaper reported that the former CEO of Dubai Holding subsidiary had quit due to the poor performance of its portfolio. A statment from DIC, released on Sunday, said: "Dubai International Capital confirms that its Board was dissolved in January 2010 by its parent company, Dubai Holding, in order to implement a new governance structure."
A senior figure at investment bank Shuaa Capital, where Al Ansari is now CEO, told Arabian Business he had resigned his DIC post “months ago”.
“He is the CEO of Shuaa Capital and he wanted to focus a little more on his current role here, which requires 100 percent of his time,” Shuaa Capital head of marketing Dana Chehayeb Musfy told Arabian Business on Sunday.
In May, DIC requested a three-month delay on the repayment of around $1.2bn of a reported $2.5bn debt.
Al Ansari held the post of executive chairman and CEO since 2004 when he founded DIC, although he stepped down as CEO after taking on his role at Shuaa Capital in September last year.
Under Al Ansari’s stewardship, DIC made a number of significant investments in the private equity field including the UK’s Alliance Medical ($873m), Travelodge ($982m) and the Tussauds Group ($1.2bn).
Al Ansari was also involved with an attempt to buy English Premier League outfit Liverpool FC. In 2008, he told Arabian Business that DIC had offered to pay $786m for the club, but that a deal could not be reached with Liverpool’s American owners.
But observers say that Al Ansari’s move to focus on one job was understandable, given the difficult state of the global economy.
“It may be difficult to add value across multiple businesses especially during challenging markets,” UBS analyst Saud Masud told Arabian Business.
“Perhaps a new set of eyes for DIC and greater focus for Shuaa bodes well for both platforms.”
Companies usually need different leaders for different stages. When a company is in trouble it is wise to hire a fresh brain to assess the situation and make impartial decisions being emotionally detached from the past. The leaders of companies who get in trouble due to bad investment decisions or external shocks usually feel they have ownership of those past investment decisions and as such find it difficult to part away from their investments even if it is the right call to do so. God bless the UAE..