BMB grows emerging markets footprint

The Brunei-based alternatives manager has bought EMP Global, an emerging markets private equity firm. EMP's heavy-hitting chairman, former World Bank chief and Pakistani prime minister Moeen Qureshi, joins BMB’s senior management.

As part of a wider programme to expand its emerging markets private equity capability, BMB Group has acquired Washington-based private equity firm EMP Global.

Moeen Qureshi

Brunei-headquartered alternative asset management firm BMB will absorb EMP’s non-US operations, which comprise offices in Brunei, Hong Kong and Bahrain. These will be renamed BMB Emerging Markets and will launch a series of private equity funds focused on energy, infrastructure and financial services, according to a statement from the firm.

EMP’s US operations will continue to run independently.

EMP partner Moeen Qureshi, the former prime minister of Pakistan and chief operating officer of the World Bank, becomes vice chairman of BMB Group, while Don Roth, another EMP partner and former head of Merrill Lynch Europe and treasurer of the World Bank, becomes head of principal investments.

Donald Roth

When we come out of the tunnel, the world will look a very different place

Chris Walker

In 2005 EMP Global’s European arm span out to become Mid Europa Partners.

BMB is looking to acquire additional private equity management firms as well as carve out individual teams from large buyout groups in its target markets of East Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

The firm is hoping to benefit from well-priced talent as large US and European firms shutter their non-core operations, as The Carlyle Group recently did with its Central and Eastern European office.

“This is an ideal time to have capital,” global head of institutional sales and marketing for BMB, Chris Walker, told PEO.

Chris Walker, a former managing director of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership recently joined BMB to oversee the implementation of Sharia law compliant pension plans.

Walker is confident that the current financial crisis, while it has had an adverse effect on emerging markets, will dramatically change the global economic landscape. “The world is undergoing an enormous shift from the Western to Eastern hemispheres in terms of both capital and talent. When we come out of the tunnel [of the financial crisis] the world will look a very different place,” he said.

The combined entity has assets under management in excess of $12 billion.