Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is poaching bankers from rival firms Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc. This is part of moves by the United States-based lender to grow its operations in the Middle East as the surge in deals continues across the region.
Jassim AlSane, a senior Citigroup banker, will be joining Goldman Sachs’ Dubai office in November as the new managing director and the co-head of investment banking operations for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Also, Omar AlZaim will join the bank as an executive director and the head of investment banking for Saudi Arabia, according to a spokesman for the lender.
The hirings come on the heels of a spike in deal activity in the Middle East. The upward deal trend, is sponsored in large part by the rush by governments and state-run corporations who are seeking new ways to raise fresh capital and to diversify their economies after last year’s drop in oil sale revenue.
This year alone, figures compiled by Bloomberg show that mergers and acquisitions activity in the Middle East and Africa region has increased by well over 100%, reaching almost US$125 billion. This rapid and huge growth has been driven by big-money deals, including a $12.4 billion stake in Saudi Aramco’s oil pipelines.
Goldman Sachs is also recovering from the woes brought on by the 2019 lawsuit by fund Mubadala Investment Co. for the recovery of losses suffered from its deal with Malaysia-based 1MDB Fund, which saw the lender being neglected by some of the emirate’s largest firms.
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