Paladin, Abu Dhabi partner on MENA fund

The fund’s advisory board includes several US foreign policy heavyweights, including General Wesley Clarke and terror-expert Richard Clarke.

Paladin Capital Group and Invest AD have launched a $100 million vehicle for investments in the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa, the firm announced in a statement. 

The fund will likely invest in small to medium sized companies, based on a statement from Paladin’s co-founder and managing partner Michael Steed. 

Palandin and Invest AD, which is a subsidiary of sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Council, declined to comment. 

The firms expect the  region to develop quickly relative to other markets over the next couple of years, citing International Monetary Fund data that projects GDP growth of 4.7 percent this year and 3.8 percent in 2013. 

“[MENA economies] are performing well considering the uncertain global backdrop,” Steed said in a statement. 

The fund’s advisory board includes several notable foreign policy experts and politicians, including former US Presidential candidate General Wesley Clark, former senior White House advisor and longtime terror expert Richard Clarke as well as former chairman of the Democratic National Committee Terry McAuliffe.

This appears to be Paladin’s first fundraise since its third flagship fund, which raised $340 million in 2007. As of 30 September, that fund was generating a 4.4 percent internal rate of return and a 1.1x return multiple, according to New York City Employees’ Retirement System documents. 

The firm was founded in 2001 by Steed and Mark Maloney. Paladin manages around $1 billion in invested and committed capital, and maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC and Dubai.