A seasoned banker with 20 years of experience in the Corporate and Investment Banking sector. Mohammed spent his entire career with blue chip banking groups. He started his career after graduation in 1993 with J. P. Morgan Chase (Chemical Bank at the time), where he held various positions including Head of Islamic Banking Unit and Head of MENA Financial Institutions Group.
He then moved to Lend Lease (the largest real estate asset manager in the world at the time) to establish and lead their regional business development in the MENA region. He later became the head of the GCC business development team of UBS Global Asset Management. Most recently, Mohammed has managed the regional business development in the Middle East for Deutsche Bank Asset Management as the Managing Director of Alternative Investments.
Regionally, Mohammed has successfully worked on establishing, managing, restructuring and merging a number of regional Islamic institutions. During that period, he assumed the role of CEO of Al Imtiaz Investment Bank and Capivest Investment Bank. Mohammed has BSc in Finance from Bahrain University, an MBA from Exeter University and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.
Over twenty years of Investment Banking and Corporate Advisory experience gained with some of the most innovative and ground breaking institutions in the world. His career started while attending his Executive MBA program in 1991 with AST Research out of Irvine, California which is one of the first movers into the PC and laptop markets in the United States.
Moving back home in 1993, he joined National Chemical Industries Corporation, a subsidiary of SABIC in Saudi Arabia, as head of Marketing for three years. After that, he joined the advisory division of Arthur Andersen - Bahrain where he lead a number of high profile engagements such as the Arab Open University with Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal and the automation of the private office of HRH Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
In 1998 Khalid joined Arcapita and was instrumental in forming the bank’s vision, mission and strategy. His responsibility started in the earlier years with establishing the placement team of the bank into one of the most robust teams in the industry. It later evolved into managing the placement team with a personal focus on the key strategic relationships of the bank. At the time that Khalid left Arcapita to build his personal business he was an Executive Director of the bank and member of the Management Investment Committee, Management Administration Committee and head of placement. Khalid has a BSC in Computer Science & Mathematics from California State University Long Beach and an Executive MBA from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.
Dr. Al Sultan brings a wealth of regional and international experience gained over close to four decades of senior involvement in the academic, investment and regulatory fields. Starting as an investment analyst at KFTCIC in the late seventies, Dr. Al Sultan rose to become the Chief Investment Manager of the Direct Investment Department at the Kuwait Investment Authority (“KIA”), a position he held from 1991 to 2002.
After the KIA, and up to 2012, he accepted the role of Chairman and Managing Director of National Technology Enterprises Co., a KD 100 million wholly owned subsidiary of the KIA, aimed to servicing major stakeholders in Kuwait with their technology needs through global affiliations with blue chip institutions.
Throughout his career, Dr. Al Sultan had extensive involvement in the academic world as a researcher, an educator and a senior advisor to a long list of prime academic and regulatory institutions. Dr. Al Sultan has a BA in Business Admiration from the University of Kuwait and an MBA and PHD in Economics from Claremont Graduate University in the USA.
Mr. Benaissa has an enviable track record of building successful businesses in the region in association with some of best well-known global and regional institutions. In 2007, he co-founded Eastgate Capital Group, an affiliate of National Commercial Bank, in Dubai and built it into one of the largest regional players with Commitments under Management of US$ 1.3 billion before exiting and freeing himself to directorships and advisory work in March 2105.
Before that, Mr. Benaissa, and for eight active years, was part of the core team that spearheaded the development of McKinsey & Co. in the Middle East from a 14-people team in 2001 to a 200-people practice when he left in 2007. At McKinsey, Mr. Benaissa also co-founded the Islamic Banking activities and led the firm’s “family-owned business” initiative, serving leading regional family-owned businesses. Mr. Benaissa’s first business assignment in the region was with TAG Heuer S.A., Neuchatel in 1996. Based out of Dubai, Mr. Benaissa spent four years growing the company’s business through building local relationship with institutional and family distribution partners in thirteen countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, Iran and Pakistan. By the time he left TAG Heuer in 1999, the regional turnover of the company had increased by five folds.
Early in his career, Mr. Benaissa spent two years as an auditor in EY Paris and as an Associate Fund Raising officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. Mr. Benaissa holds an MSc degree in Science of Management from HEC (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales) in Paris, with a focus on Finance and Investment.
Mr. Woodward is founder and CEO of Monarch Realty Advisors (US). Well-known by many of the biggest institutional investors in the world as an astute real estate investment professional that led the US investment business for Lend Lease Real Estate Investment, which was, at the time, the largest in the US institutional real estate advisory market. Mr. Woodward’s institutional real estate advisory experience spans over twenty years in roles of ascending responsibility at Lend Lease Real Estate Investments and its predecessor firms, Equitable Real Estate and Richard Ellis.
Starting with Richard Ellis’ U.S. advisory arm in 1984 Mr. Woodward was Vice President of Acquisitions where he was responsible for building client investment portfolios including multiple offshore clients with investment values ranging in size from $90 million to $1.1 billion. During his tenure as an Executive Vice President at Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, Mr. Woodward led the firm’s International Group, and the development of the organization’s international client base while continuing to directly manage the portfolios of several of the firm’s most important client’s accounts.
In 2000, Mr. Woodward assumed the role of Head of Real Estate Operations for Lend Lease, with responsibility for the firm’s entire capital transaction and asset management organizations. In 2002, Mr. Woodward assumed leadership of Lend Lease’s Portfolio Management organization with $10.9 billion of assets.
Mr. Woodward founded Monarch Realty Advisors in 2004 to provide institutional level advisory services to high net worth investors and institutions. Mr. Woodward earned B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania both with academic honors.
Mr. Ali Al-Obaidli has a well-rounded and extensive experience that was acquired over the last 24 years. Along these years he mastered the skills of professional management and strategic planning which culminated in the strong performance that he achieved working in different institutions and navigating the ups and downs of the local economy. He dealt with different asset classes which comprised commercial banking, investment banking in addition to real estate development, management, acquisition and disposition.
His professional career started as an Assistant Professor of Finance at Qatar University, followed by holding several positions the last of which is the position of Group Chief Executive Officers for Ezdan Holding Group, the largest listed real estate company in State of Qatar.
Mr. Al Obaidli holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Oklahoma in the U.S and also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Qatar University.
Mr. Elkhair is a well known and seasoned banker who has held a number of board memberships including Qatar Holding, Qatar Abu Dhabi Investment, Knowledge Universe, Pavilion Real Estate Fund, Ahly Capital, the National Bank of Egypt, and Chairman of the Board for Islamic Bank of Britain and of The Family Office BSC in Bahrain. He is currently on the board of the Central Bank of Egypt and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee.
In 1993, John was appointed Head of Investment Banking-Middle East for the Chase Manhattan Bank. In 2000, he was appointed Managing Director and Senior Corporate Officer for JP Morgan for the Gulf Region. In mid-2006, he joined Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) as the Advisor to the CEO. In Early 2007, Mr. Elkhair set up Qatar Holding (QH) to undertake direct investments for The State of Qatar and appointed its first CEO. QH went on to execute investments into Cadbury, Barclays, Credit Swiss, the London Stock Exchange, VW /Porsche, The Pavilion, Malaysia's retail and residential landmark and the sale of 25% of the Doha Securities market to the New York stock Exchange. In 2010, Mr Elkhair set up the Bahrain based Elkhair Management Consulting Co. to provide independent advisory to select clients.
Mr. El Khair graduated from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia after completing a Bachelor of Economics.