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Arif Naqvi steps back from Dubai-based Abraaj’s fund business

Arif Naqvi will remain CEO of Abraaj Holdings, which he founded in 2002. (Reuters)
LONDON: Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj Holdings, is stepping back from the management of the Dubai-based group’s fund business, according to a statement.

Naqvi “has passed the reins of the fund management entity” to two co-chief executives “in order to further grow the business,” Abraaj said in a statement.

Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu have been appointed as co-CEOs of the fund management business, Abraaj Investment Management Limited (AIML). They will assume their roles with immediate effect.

Arif Naqvi will remain CEO of Abraaj Holdings, which he founded in 2002.

The move comes as the equity firm seeks to restore confidence after claims it had misused investor funds, according to the Financial Times.

Abraaj on Friday announced broad changes to the firm’s governance and operating model and the appointment of a new leadership team.

Core to the re-organization will be the separation of AIML and Abraaj Holdings (“AHI”), which will be independently managed, it said.

“The fund management business will continue to oversee the operations of all of Abraaj’s funds globally on behalf of leading institutional investors and manage a portfolio of investee businesses across Asia, Africa, Middle East, Turkey and Latin America.”

“Mr. Naqvi will focus on managing Abraaj Holdings and will retain a non-executive role as a member of the Global Investment Committee of AIML.”

Amid the structural changes and an “ongoing review,” Abraaj has decided to “pause its deployment activities temporarily, other than on transactions for which commitments are already final, until the reorganization is complete.”

Naqvi’s move comes after a reported row with investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, the UK’s CDC Group and France’s Proparco Group.

Abraaj has denied any wrongdoing in the dispute between the four investors in Abraaj’s health care fund, according to the FT.

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