Morgan Stanley Middle East Equity Chief Joins Dubai Boutique HK

Morgan Stanley’s head of Middle East equity sales and trading, Fahmi Alghussein, left to join Dubai-based HK Advisory Services Ltd. after the Wall Street firm shifted equity jobs from the U.A.E. to Saudi Arabia.

Alghussein, who worked at New York-based Morgan Stanley for more than five years, confirmed his departure by phone today and said he left the bank two weeks ago to seek a new challenge. A Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment.

Morgan Stanley, the sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets, followed Credit Suisse AG earlier this year in shifting its Middle East and North Africa equities business to Riyadh from Dubai, according to a banker familiar with the matter. Equity trading in Saudi Arabia is surging and dwarfs the Dubai market, where about 50 brokerages have closed after the emirate’s 2008 stock and real-estate crash.

Alghussein said HK Advisory was established in 2008 by Ali Husseini, a former managing director at Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, and Walid Kamhawi, who worked at Blackstone Group LP, the world’s biggest private-equity firm. HK Advisory specializes in capital raising, restructuring and mergers and acquisitions in the Middle East, Africa and Russia.

Alghussein worked at Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc before joining Morgan Stanley in June 2007.

Morgan Stanley plans to eliminate about 1,600 jobs from its investment bank and support staff in coming weeks, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Morgan Stanley reduced staff by about 4,200 people in the first nine months of last year through job cuts and unit sales, after saying in December 2011 it would trim 1,600 jobs.

Shares valued at about 7.6 billion riyals ($2 billion) were traded daily on average in Saudi Arabia last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with $52.5 million traded in Dubai and $61.3 million in Qatar.