Gus Chehayeb left his role as head of Middle East and Africa credit research for Exotix Ltd. to start a company in Dubai that will invest in regional distressed assets, a person familiar with the plan said.
The firm will also focus on investing in so-called special situations, the person said yesterday, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t yet public. Exotix confirmed Chehayeb’s departure in an e-mailed statement, without specifying when he left. Chehayeb, 33, joined the investment-banking boutique in 2010, specializing in high-yield and distressed assets.
Investors are pursuing opportunities in less-developed nations in the Middle East as economic growth accelerates and markets recover from the global credit crisis. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is restarting regional equity sales in Dubai, two people familiar with the matter said last month, while Warburg Pincus LLC, a private equity firm that manages about $37 billion, made its first investment in the Middle East in April.
An increasing number of share sales from companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council region prompted alternative-investment company Al Masah Capital Management Ltd. to set up a fund for initial public offerings, Chief Executive Officer Shailesh Dash said earlier this month.
Dubai, whose DFM General Index has posted the biggest gains in the world this year and last, has improved investor confidence since it came close to defaulting more than four years ago. The economy grew at the fastest pace since 2007 last year and is set to expand an average 4.6 percent through 2015, according to government forecasts.
Global Investment House KSCC, the Kuwaiti bank that restructured $1.7 billion of debt, earlier this year hired Orhan Osmansoy, a former chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi-based The National Investor, to head its $600 million distressed asset business.