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Key Sessions

Karim El Solh

GCC: A Reinvigorated Growth Story Driven Largely by the Rise of the Millennials

Gulf Capital

Fahad Al Turki

Macroeconomic outlook for the Middle East

Jadwa Investment

Huda AlLawati

Saudi Arabia: developments and opportunities for private equity

Savola Group

Robert van Zwieten

New models for emerging markets private equity


08:30 09:00 (30 mins)

Main agenda

Registration and welcome coffee

09:00 09:30 (30 mins)

Main agenda

GCC: A Reinvigorated Growth Story Driven Largely by the Rise of the Millennials

  • Karim El Solh - Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Capital

09:40 10:10 (30 mins)

Main agenda

Identifying and accessing quality dealflow

What are GPs doing in order to ensure they can deploy the capital they have raised? What can be done by investors to not only identify the best opportunities, but to access them at the right valuation in the current environment? How are global firms investing in the region?

  • Moderator Dori Dana-Haeri - Partner, LJ Group
  • Panellists Muhannad Qubbaj - Senior Managing Director, Private Equity, Gulf Capital
  • Neeraj Agrawal - Executive Director, Crescent Enterprises

10:10 10:40 (30 mins)

Main agenda

Macroeconomic outlook for the Middle East

What are the fundamentals driving opportunity in the region? What are the reasons for a positive outlook, and what are the causes for concern?

  • Fahad Al Turki - Chief Economist, Jadwa Investment

10:40 11:10 (30 mins)

Main agenda

LPs on Middle Eastern private equity

What opportunities in the Middle East are piquing the interest of investors? Who is allocating to the region and how does it fit into portfolio construction? What drives commercial LP interest? Where and when are DFIs able to invest?

  • Moderator Bariş Gen - Regional Lead, PE Funds – Europe & MENA, International Finance Corporation
  • Panellists Lynn Nguyen - Acting Vice President/Head of Investment Funds, Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • Tarang Katira - Principal, Hamilton Lane
  • Tolga Kirhan - Vice President Equity & Mezzanine, Europe, Middle East, Central Asia, DEG

11:10 11:40 (30 mins)

Main agenda

Morning coffee and networking break

11:40 12:00 (20 mins)

Main agenda

Saudi Arabia: developments and opportunities for private equity

  • Huda AlLawati - Chief Investment Officer, Savola Group

12:00 12:30 (30 mins)

Main agenda

Digital disruption: the revolution that will transform private equity

‘Buying low’ and ‘selling high’ is no longer enough to produce outsized returns for private equity. Now more than ever, managers need to demonstrate their ability to add value to portfolio companies – and one of the most untapped and underused opportunities is digitisation. How much more is there to be done, and what is the best way to do it? What more do investors and managers need to know about the potential effects of digitisation on portfolio company performance?

  • Panellists Erwan Colder - Middle East Transaction Services Leader and Private Equity Leader, PwC Middle East
  • Tushar Singhvi - VP Corporate Development & Investments, Crescent Enterprises

12:30 12:50 (20 mins)

Main agenda

New models for emerging markets private equity

  • Robert van Zwieten - President and CEO, EMPEA

12:50 13:25 (35 mins)

Main agenda

Investment strategies on a global scale

What are the current trends and opportunities of private equity and private debt investing on a global scale? How can Middle Eastern investors access the right opportunities and find the best ways to partner with GPs? What products are being created with the Middle Eastern investor in mind?

  • Moderator Paul Harter - Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Panellists Andrew Sheiner - Managing Partner, Altas Partners
  • Sunil Vaswani - Managing Director, Head of Middle East, Intermediate Capital Group
  • Janusz Heath - Managing Director and Head of Investment Management, Emerging Markets, Capital Dynamics
  • Graham McDonald - Global Head of Private Equity, Aberdeen Asset Management

13:25 14:25 (60 mins)

Main agenda

Lunch and networking break

14:25 14:55 (30 mins)

Stream A: Digging deeper into geographical opportunity

Understanding opportunity in Egypt

In light of reforms and currency flotation, what does the private equity opportunity look like in Egypt? How can international investors ensure they are getting exposure to the most lucrative deals and sectors?

  • Moderator Basel Roshdy - Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Nile Capital & IT Ventures
  • Panellists Karsten Sinner - Senior Banker, Equity Funds, European Bank For Reconstruction And Development
  • Sharif El Akhdar - Managing Partner, LimeVest Partners
  • Amir Mishriky - Director, Ezdehar Management

14:25 14:50 (25 mins)

Stream B: MENA Investment Trends

Clarifying investment opportunity in the Middle East

What needs to change and develop in Middle Eastern private equity in order to align it better with the investment and governance policies of non-MENA institutional investors? What opportunities will they consider and what stops them investing?

  • Mohamed Hage - Head of Investments and Research, CPG Research and Advisory

14:50 15:25 (35 mins)

Stream B: MENA Investment Trends

Sector specialists in the Middle East

Is now the time for sector specialisation to come to the fore in MENA? How can LPs accurately assess the specialist credentials of a management team? What part do sector specialists play in economic diversification?

  • Moderator Mohamed Hage - Head of Investments and Research, CPG Research and Advisory
  • Panellists Mosbah Kahaleh - VP (Private Equity), SEDCO Capital
  • Ali Hashemi - Co-founder and Managing Partner, Avicenna Partners
  • Jens Zimmermann - Partner, New Silk Route Advisors

14:55 15:55 (60 mins)

Stream A: Digging deeper into geographical opportunity

Demystifying Saudi Arabia

How can Saudi Arabian investors help to demystify Saudi Arabia for the international counterparts and investors in funds? What opportunities does the Vision 2030 process bring for the private sector, and how can private equity find returns?

  • Panellists Omar Farooqui - Founder & Managing Partner, CI Holdings
  • Robert Samaan - Head of Direct Investments, MASIC (Mohammed I. AlSubeaei & Sons Investment Co.)

15:25 15:55 (30 mins)

Stream A: Digging deeper into geographical opportunity

India: on the verge of change?

How does the Indian market need to continue to develop in order to justify the risk of investing? What reforms are ongoing and what makes this attractive to the Middle Eastern investor?

  • Panellists Sundaram Sivaramakrishnan - CFO & Partner, Baring Private Equity Partners India
  • Ranjit Shah - Managing Partner, Gaja Capital
  • Anand Prasanna - Managing Partner, Iron Pillar

15:25 15:55 (30 mins)

Stream B: MENA Investment Trends

Assessing operational value-add capability

What are GPs doing to add to their capability to add value to the companies they invest in? How do you work with management teams, especially in family-owned businesses, to pursue change? Are GPs adding Operating Partners to their teams or outsourcing this function, and what are the challenges to each approach?

  • Moderator Ara Sahakian - Managing Partner, Incubate Advisory
  • Panellists Imad Ghandour - Co-Founder & Managing Director, CedarBridge
  • Jameel Anz - Senior Director, Foursan Group
  • Adolf Kabban - Senior Director, Regulus Capital Limited

15:55 16:25 (30 mins)

Stream A: Digging deeper into geographical opportunity

Getting comfortable with Turkey

Is investment activity on hold in Turkey or do the fundamentals still make it a ripe opportunity for private equity? How can GPs get their investors comfortable with Turkey as an investment opportunity? How do you manage intermediation?

  • Panellists Marco Natoli - Head of Lower Mid-Market, Northern, Eastern & Southern Europe, European Investment Fund

15:55 16:25 (30 mins)

Stream B: MENA Investment Trends

Update on secondaries

How do you find the right buyer for an asset in the Middle East? With a significant number of exits globally being from private equity house to private equity house, what is being done to develop the MENA secondary market? Will the restructuring activity of some of the larger Middle Eastern investors create opportunity for attractive assets to be bought on the secondary market in the near future, and if so, how do you access those deals?

  • Panellists Carlo Pirzio-Biroli - Managing Partner & CEO, Glendower Capital
  • Manish Mittal - Head of Private Equity, Qatar Insurance Company

16:25 16:55 (30 mins)

Main agenda

Afternoon refreshments and networking break

16:35 17:10 (35 mins)

Main agenda

Putting together a global investment jigsaw

When compared to other investment destinations, how risky really is the Middle East? What do you need to be aware of and how does it fit into the context of other emerging markets investments? Do we need to rethink our risk/return analysis of developed vs. emerging markets?

  • Demosthenes James Peterson - President, Longview Global Advisors

17:30 18:30 (60 mins)

Main agenda

Sector focus roundtables

Take the opportunity to sit down with leading figures in some of the most important sectors in the Middle East. Each discussion table runs twice for 30 minutes, giving the chance to get discuss two sectors of your choice.

  • Healthcare – how are GPs deploying capital? What are the niche sectors within healthcare and how different are the opportunities?
  • Education – what deals are being seen in this key sector? How do managers stave off competition to ensure access to the most lucrative opportunities?
  • FMCG – how is the consumer sector developing in the Middle East? How do you apply changes in the fundamentals of the region to develop an investment strategy?
  • Alternative Energy – in an era of diversification, how is private equity getting exposure to large alternative energy developments in the MENA region?
  • Infrastructure – how do you define the asset class and how are investors identifying and accessing the best opportunities today?
  • Education Jens Zimmermann - Partner, New Silk Route Advisors
  • Infrastructure Adel Louahem M'Sabah - Investment Officer - Infrastructure & Natural Resources, International Finance Corporation

18:30 19:40 (70 mins)

Main agenda

11th Annual SuperReturn Middle East Evening Reception

19:30 19:30 (0 mins)

Main agenda

End of Main Conference Day 1