Investcorp hires 30-year Citi vet to lead Gulf activities

Mohammed Al-Shroogi has resigned from the financial services giant to join the Bahrain-based investment manager.

Investcorp, which is listed on the Bahrain and London stock exchanges, has named Mohammed Al-Shroogi as head of its activities in the Gulf region.

Al-Shroogi, a 30-year Citi veteran, recently resigned as a managing director for the Middle East and chief executive officer in the UAE. The Bahraini national was responsible for the setting up of Citi’s regional operations, for which he relocated to Dubai for in 2006, as well as its expansion into markets including Kuwait and Qatar. He will leave the financial conglomerate after 31 August, however he remains a member of its Middle East advisory council, which it is presently setting up.

At Investcorp, Al-Shroogi will report to Nemir Kirdar, the alternative investment group's executive chairman and chief executive officer.

The listed alternatives manager has been struggling in the wake of the financial crisis, booking a loss for the first time in the second half of 2008 and suffering a ratings downgrade by Standard and Poor's in January due to falling valuations of the firm's investment portfolio and high leverage levels. It has been in cost-cutting mode for months; in December, it slashed 20 percent of its staff across offices in Bahrain, London and New York. Earlier this month, Investcorp eliminated the role of chief operating officer to “streamline its management structure”, effecting the resignation of 15-year veteran Gary Long.

Other firms in the Middle East have also restructured in a bid to cut costs and reduce debt. In March, Kuwait’s Global Investment House reshuffled its management teams and streamlined reporting lines in a move to reduce its debt burden. The firm defaulted on a $200 million loan in the second half of December.

To “realise efficiencies” and cut down its back office over head, government-backed Dubai Holding brought Dubai International Capital and Dubai Group together under the same holding company. Dubai Holding Investment Group this February. The firm also brought together the back office functions of three real estate entities, Dubai Properties Group, Sama Dubai and Mizin.