Goldman trio leaves for EFG-Hermes private equity wing

Hazem Shawki, Kashif Siddiqui and Walid Zein have worked together at Goldman for more than six years and are now going to help the Egyptian bank invest its third MENA fund.

Goldman Sachs executives Hazem Shawki, Kashif Siddiqui and Walid Zein have joined the private equity arm of Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes.

After spending more than six years together at the New York-based banking giant, the trio will become managing partners at EFG-Hermes Private Equity, taking up residence in the firm’s Dubai and Cairo offices.

Zein and Siddiqui served as executive directors in Goldman’s investment banking division, with Zein focusing on client coverage in the Middle East and Africa and Siddiqui responsible for the private and public investment portfolio in Goldman’s Institutional Securities division.

Shawki worked as a managing director in Goldman’s investment banking unit, focusing primarily on the Middle East.

The trio will assist EFG-Hermes Private Equity in investing its third North Africa and Middle East fund, which closed on $555 million (€353 million) last March, by far the firm’s largest fundraising effort since its founding in 1997. Horus III more than tripled the size of its predecessor, which realised an impressive internal rate of return of more than 70 percent.

Past EFG-Hermes Private Equity investments include cellular phone network Vodafone Egypt and leading Egyptian jam producer Vitrac. The firm currently manages roughly $1 billion in assets.

Publicly listed EFG-Hermes was itself initially backed by Middle East buyout shop Abraaj Capital. Last year, Abraaj sold its 24.62 percent stake in the bank for $1.1 billion to Dubai Financial Group, nearly doubling its initial investment.

Shawki, Zein and Siddiqui’s departures are the latest in a steady exodus of investment banking professionals to bolt for alternative asset managers.  Earlier this week, hedge fund manager GLG Partners hired Goldman emerging markets trading director Driss Ben-Brahim.