Saudi investors find PE Partners Forum a learning experience

Updated 28 December 2013

Saudi investors find PE Partners Forum a learning experience

Private Equity Saudi Arabia 2013, a PE partners forum which provides platform for knowledge sharing and business networking among top-tier private equity investors and investment fund managers, concluded here on Tuesday. Saudi investors said they found the forum a
learning experience.
With an eye on opportunities in the Kingdom, the forum formally began with the guest address of Walid Abukhaled, deputy minister for industrial affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, on Monday.
Now in its second year, the private equity (PE) investors brainstormed on opportunities in the Saudi market during the two-day session, including the Kingdom's resilience to the Arab spring and recession in international market, which attracted global investors by impacting their view about Saudi market as an investment destination, even in nonoil sector.
As the international forum has become the pre-eminent peer to peer gathering for the professionals in private equity firms who are focused on value creation at the portfolio company level, the brainstorming session divided into different segments was a very learning experience for the Saudi investors.
Commenting on the interactive session, Mohammad F. Albokhari, investment adviser, King Abdulaziz and his companions’ foundation for giftedness and creativity, told Arab News: “It was a very learning experience for us. We are involved in private equity and learned a lot. Moreover, such an interaction creates opportunity for venture capital, thus paving the way for value and opportunity for investment,” he said on the sideline of the PE partners forum.
Saud M. Al-Suwaileh, Riyadh manager Saudi-US Business Council, also applauded the knowledge sharing and business networking PE forum as a good experience for Saudi investors. He said the business of investing remained at the core of the private equity partnership.
The PE partners forum ended with Saudi access summit, which was the new feature this year and aimed at guiding about fundraising and doing business in the Kingdom.
Speaking during the access summit, Edward Burton, CEO and president, Saudi-US Business Council and Khaled Soliman, group CEO Galadari Brothers, UAE, explored the strategies and market insights for investors to venture into the most auspicious market in the Middle East, including the role of SAGIA and Zakat in doing business in the Kingdom.
Exploring standard market practices for private equity deals, Nabil Issa, partner, King and Spalding, Saudi Arabia, made a comparison of market practices under English and Saudi laws.
Commenting on the forum, an official of the Institute for International Research (IIR), Middle East, which organized the PE partners forum, said: “Aimed at making a sense of continuing flux in the global economy and building a better informed investment strategy, the forum succeeded in bringing together institutional investors and business owners with top tier regional and global fund managers and provided an exclusive experience featuring leading edge insights on the most promising sectors and the Kingdom's growth capital potential.”
The event featured topical debates led by business leaders, pivotal discussions on the evolving shape of the private equity sector in Saudi Arabia and ample networking opportunities.

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

Updated 26 April 2018

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

  • Kingdom is home to three quarters of region's foundations
  • Combined asets of global foundations is $1.5 trillion

Nearly three quarters of philanthropic foundations in the Middle East are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute with funding from Swiss bank UBS, also found that resources were highly concentrated in certain areas with education the most popular area for investment globally.

That trend was best illustrated in the Kingdom, where education ranked first among the target areas of local foundations.

While the combined assets of the world’s foundations are estimated at close to $1.5 trillion, half have no paid staff and small budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 percent of identified foundations have assets of less than $10 million, according to the Global Philanthropy Report. 

Developed over three years with inputs from twenty research teams across nineteen countries and Hong Kong, the report highlights the magnitude of global philanthropic investment.

A rapidly growing number of philanthropists are establishing foundations and institutions to focus, practice, and amplify these investments, said the report.

In recent years, philanthropy has witnessed a major shift. Wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

Organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become increasingly high profile — but at the same time, some governments, including India and China, have sought to limit the spread of cross-border philanthropy in certain sectors.

As the world is falling well short of raising the $ 5-7 trillion of annual investment needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UBS sees the report findings as a call for philanthropists to work together to scale their impact.

Understanding this need for collaboration, UBS has established a global community where philanthropists can work together to drive sustainable impact.

Established in 2015 and with over 400 members, the Global Philanthropists Community hosted by UBS is the world’s largest private network exclusively for philanthropists and social investors, facilitating collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Josef Stadler, head of ultra high net worth wealth, UBS Global Management, said: “This report takes a much-needed step toward understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way toward solving the great challenges of our time.”

This week Saudi Arabia said it would provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid in Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The UAE also this week said it had contributed $192 million to a housing project in Afghanistan through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.