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PIF reshuffles top team ahead of big Saudi market moves

December 23, 2020

The new team will focus on the fund’s mission to stimulate investment inside the Kingdom

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund (PIF) has bolstered its top executive team with a string of appointments of Saudi investment specialists to key positions in the Kingdom’s $360 billion sovereign wealth fund.

Six key jobs were filled, with two newcomers to the PIF setup. Rania Nashar, one of the leading female financiers in Saudi Arabia, has been made special adviser to PIF Gov. Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

Fahad Al-Saif has moved from his role as head of the National Debt Management Center and adviser to the Ministry of Finance to become PIF head of corporate finance.

Financial experts said that the new team would likely focus on PIF’s mission to stimulate investment inside the Kingdom as a key part of its remit to enhance economic diversification under the Vision 2030 strategy.

“The staff changes announced by PIF appear to reflect a greater emphasis on local investments,” one regional asset management chief told Arab News.

The PIF’s role as a driver of economic investment within the Kingdom has recently been re-emphasized after a year when it appeared to prioritize foreign investment strategy with some big trades in US and European markets. Also appointed to new jobs within PIF were Yazeed Al-Humeid as head of local holdings investments, Alireza Zaimi as special adviser to the governor and Saad Alkroud as acting PIF chief of staff.

Rashed Sharif, head of local investments at PIF, has been named managing director and CEO of the newly merged entity of NCB Capital and Samba Capital, part of the largest bank in the Kingdom and a key element of PIF’s domestic investment portfolio.

FAST FACTS

• Rania Nashar, one of the leading female financiers in Saudi Arabia, has been made special adviser to PIF Gov. Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

• Fahad Al-Saif has moved from his role as head of the National Debt Management Center and adviser to the Ministry of Finance to become PIF head of corporate finance.

“This is clearly a way of integrating PIF even more fully into the domestic financial fabric of Saudi Arabia,” the asset manager said. Al-Rumayyan welcomed the two newcomers. “Rania Nashar brings more than 20 years of professional experience in the banking industry and assumed various roles in different divisions within Samba, and is a member of various boards including the Tadawul. She joins PIF with vast experience in banking, audit, governance and trade,” he said.

“Al-Saif built a global standard debt management office for the Ministry of Finance and brings more than 20 years of corporate and investment bank leadership experience to the role,” Al-Rumayyan added. Al-Saif will join PIF’s management committee.

The governor said: “As we continue PIF’s ambitious strategy, they will bring extensive experience of global capital finance and banking to their positions, which will play an integral part in helping accelerate PIF’s growth trajectory.

“These appointments further strengthen our proven leadership team and are critical to ensuring we continue our ambitious growth trajectory and important mandate on behalf of the people of Saudi Arabia.”

Having made big profits in global markets by selling stocks it had bought cheap after the pandemic first hit, PIF is expected to pay a one-off dividend of up to SR25 billion ($6.66 billion) to the Saudi government.

It is committed to investing SR150 billion each year in 2021 and 2022, with increasing amounts earmarked until 2030. PIF is a big stakeholder in quoted companies in the Kingdom, and the recent budget emphasized that there would be a big privatization program in 2021 as part of diversification and fundraising to help reduce the government deficit.

PIF recently passed the 1,000 employee mark, and has invested $83 billion in the Saudi economy over the past four years, creating 190,000 jobs in the process, the wealth fund said in a statement.

arabnews

finance & economy