Al Ansari steps back in latest DIC changes

Sameer Al Ansari has taken on a non-executive role at Dubai International Capital in order to focus more on his CEO responsibilities at SHUAA Capital.

Sameer Al Ansari has stepped back from his role as executive chairman of Dubai International Capital (DIC) to become a non-executive chariman at the government-funded investment firm.

Sameer Al Ansari

Al Ansari's move is the latest in a series of changes that have taken place at the firm, once a powerhouse of private equity, in the past year. In February 2009, the firm switched the management team in its Europe-focused private equity division, DIC Private Equity, as it shifted its focus from dealmaking to portfolio monitoring in light of the economic crisis.

The shift to non-executive chairman allows Al Ansari to focus on fulfilling his duties as the chief executive of SHUAA Capital, a DIC spokeswoman said. He remains on DIC's investment committee and the boards of many of its portfolio companies and continues to play a role in the overall governance of the firm, she added.

In September 2009, Al Ansari resigned as CEO of DIC in order to assume the role of chief executive officer at SHUAA Capital. However, he continued to head the firm in his capacity as executive chairman. He was replaced at the time by Anand Krishnan, formerly DIC’s chief operating officer. Krishnan continues to report to Al Ansari, the spokeswoman said.

DIC and Dubai Group, a diversified financial services company, were aligned under Dubai Holding Investment Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dubai Holdings in order to cut down back-office costs.

Al Ansari helped establish Dubai Holding in 2004 and later founded DIC. He was formerly chief financial officer for the Executive Office of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

DIC is not the only government-sponsored investment firm to experience a management changeover recently. Earlier this month, David Jackson, the chief executive officer of Istithmar World, the private investment business of troubled ports and real estate conglomerate Dubai World, also quit his position to “pursue other opportunities” and was replaced on a temporary basis by Andy Watson, the firm's chief investment officer.