Saudi’s $360 Billion Wealth Fund Rejigs Top Leadership
(Bloomberg) - Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has revamped part of its top management to take on a bigger role in the local economy.
The $ 360 billion public investment fund announced Tuesday that Fahad Alsaif, chairman of the country's National Debt Management Center and advisor to the finance minister, would become head of corporate finance and a member of its administrative committee.
Alsaif is replacing Alireza Zaimi, who joined the fund from Bank of America in 2017 to oversee corporate finance. Zaimi has been promoted to special advisor to PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan in his various roles. Al Rumayyan's other offices include Chairman of Saudi Aramco and Saudi Arabian Mining Co.
The reshuffle comes as the PIF and its subsidiaries prepare to significantly increase domestic spending, for which it is likely to need to borrow more from local and international markets. The fund is currently in the process of raising a $ 7 billion loan. Alsaif was responsible for setting up the Kingdom's state loan program in 2016.
The wealth fund is an important lever in the UK's efforts to revive growth after what may be the deepest recession the world's largest crude oil exporter has seen in decades. The PIF, which received $ 40 billion to buy global stocks earlier this year, plans to invest the same amount in the domestic economy next year and again in 2022, even as the Treasury Department prepares to cut the spending in cut the next few years to balance the budget by 2023.
In other changes, Rania Nashar - the first woman to run a Saudi bank - becomes senior advisor to the governor of the PIF. While Saudi Arabia has given women more rights in recent years, they still hold few top positions in the Gulf.
Nashar is leaving the company as CEO of Samba as the lender prepares to close a merger with National Commercial Bank and will not be part of the management team of the combined company.
Rashed Sharif, who is currently responsible for PIF's domestic holdings, will become CEO of the merged investment banking divisions of NCB and Samba. Chief of Staff Yazeed AlHumied will replace Sharif as head of local operations and Saad Alkroud, head of stakeholder management, will become acting chief of staff.
The PIF has grown rapidly since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman decided to use it as a vehicle for his ambitions to diversify the kingdom's economy away from oil while changing the way it invests its wealth abroad. Formerly a small, domestically focused investor, the company is targeting over $ 2 trillion in assets by 2030 in a mix of local and global holdings.
Since launching the new strategy for the fund, he has pumped $ 45 billion into the Softbank Vision Fund and invested in Uber Technologies Inc. Al-Rumayyan recently said the fund's goal is to have about 80% of its assets outside of Saudi Arabia.
The fund's employees have grown from under 100 five years ago to over 1,000. Following the appointment of former Morgan Stanley Investment Management Chief Risk Officer, Feta Zabeli, Fadi Al Said was hired by Lazard Asset Management LLC in September to oversee the company's Middle East and North Africa equity strategy.
(Corrected to clarify Zaimi's role in the third paragraph.)
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