Gulf Capital Expands its Private Debt Business with Two Additional Senior Appointments
Dubai, United Arab Emirates : Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative asset managers in the Middle East, announced today that its regional private debt platform, Gulf Credit Partners, has made two additional senior hires, with the appointment of Omar Rifai as Managing Director and Majd Khodr as Vice president.
Based in Dubai, Mr. Rifai joins from Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) where he was a founding member of its Middle East and North Africa business and where he led numerous private equity and mezzanine investments across the region. In addition to his strong structuring skills and deep experience in mezzanine and private equity investments, Omar brings substantial portfolio management experience from his previous dual role as Head of Portfolio Management at SCPE, which had a broad portfolio of investments across Asia, Africa and the Middle East in various 3rd party funds.
Omar Rifai’s breadth of experience ranges from special situations to mezzanine and private equity investments across both emerging and developed markets. Omar started his career in New York and previously worked as a special situations analyst at credit hedge fund DiMaio Ahmad Capital and in the Leveraged Finance group of CIBC World Markets, New York after graduating from New York University with a Master of Arts in Economics.
Majd Khodr joins from the SR600 million mezzanine fund at Malaz Capital, and has sourcing, diligencing, structuring and documentation experience. Mr. Khodr has experience in structuring mezzanine and direct investments in the GCC.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “Omar and Majd are a strong addition to our private debt team and we are delighted to welcome them onboard. Their deep regional knowledge and substantial mezzanine and direct investment expertise will be instrumental as we accelerate our investment activities and grow our highly successful private debt platform.”
With these additions, the Gulf Credit Partners senior leadership team is now fully in place. The two senior executives join a strong team led by Senior Managing Director Christopher Foll and also includes Sharaf Sharaf, a former leader at NBK Capital and a senior executive with deep mezzanine and private equity experience in the Middle East. Collectively, the private debt team has over 100 years of combined investing and asset management experience regionally and globally.
Christopher Foll, Senior Managing Director at Gulf Credit Partners, concluded: “Omar and Majd are an excellent addition to Gulf Credit Partners, and I am delighted to have them both on board. I look forward to working closely with them on sourcing attractive new investment opportunities for our investors and growing our private debt platform. With these senior hires, Gulf Capital now has one of the largest and most experienced mezzanine teams in the Middle East and is well positioned to continue its leadership of the private debt sector across the Middle East and Africa.”
From its base in Dubai, Gulf Credit Partners is deploying its second fund and investing in a broad range of private credit across Africa, Middle East and Turkey. Investments include direct lending, mezzanine, convertible debt and preferred equity in growing mid-market companies with the average investment ranging from $15-$35 million.