Barclays Hires Ex-Goldman Banker Eldabag for Middle East

Barclays Plc appointed former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive Khaled Eldabag as co-head for investment banking in the Middle East and North Africa.

Eldabag will work with David Nataf, who was promoted as the regional co-head for investment banking in the region, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. The contents of the memo were confirmed by a Dubai-based spokesman for the bank.

Barclays is pursuing growth in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa as accelerating economies revive investor demand for share sales and mergers and acquisitions. The bank appointed Makram Azar as chairman for the Middle East and North Africa in June, replacing chief executive John Vitalo, who left in April to join former Barclays CEO Robert Diamond’s Africa investment vehicle Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Ltd.

“Khaled and David’s appointment build on the success of Barclays’ investment banking franchise in MENA,” Azar said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News. “This is a clear reflection of our commitment to grow Barclays’ business in the region.”

Investment banks in the Middle East are reviving banking hires as deal activity picks up, after cutting jobs during the global financial crisis. UBS AG is relocating Alberto Palombi, head of the investment bank’s global sovereign wealth fund business, to Dubai from London, people familiar with the matter said in April. Goldman Sachs and Renaissance Capital Ltd. are among banks bulking up their equity business in Dubai, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar were raised to emerging-market status from frontier by index provider MSCI Inc. in 2013, encouraging more foreign investment.

Barclays is advising Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group in a potential sale of its transportation and lifting unit, people familiar with the matter said last month. The bank plans to boost hiring at its corporate banking business in Dubai, Rezwan Mirza, head of that business in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf countries, said in a May 26 interview

Nataf joined Barclays in 2008 and was most recently a managing director at the bank. Eldabag handled several roles at Goldman including as co-head of investment banking for Middle East and head of client coverage and head of M&A in the region, according to the memo. He left the bank last year.

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