Rasmala appoints private equity head

Michael Kidd joins the Dubai-based investment bank ahead of its second private equity fund’s final close.

Rasmala Investments has appointed Michael Kidd as head of its private equity division.

Kidd’s appointment comes after ex-Carlyle Group executive Ibrahim Saad joined Rasmala as a partner and head of private equity last February. According to a statement then, Saad was to launch the firm’s second private equity fund, Rasmala MENA Private Equity Fund II. 

However, as of September 2009, the fund’s executive summary does not include Saad in its investment team. It is unclear if Kidd has replaced Saad or if Saad has left the firm.

Rasmala was not available for comment at press time. 

Kidd joins from Middle East investment firm Swicorp’s Intaj Capital, a mid-cap private equity fund focused on the Middle East and North Africa region. Before that, he was an executive director at Canada’s CIBC Capital Partners in London where he focused on mid-cap private equity. Kidd has also worked for US consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

In the last two years, Rasmala has expanded its regional footprint, from one office in Dubai to six in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Oman, Tamer Bazzari, Rasmala’s chief executive, said in a statement. The bank aims to grow its market share in the short to medium term, he added.

The bank also reshuffled its senior management team this June, appointing Ali al Shihabi, its founder and chief executive officer, as executive chairman. Bazzari, formerly deputy CEO, was named chief executive. David Wood joined as chief operating officer from ABN-AMRO where he held the same position for the Middle East.

Presently, Rasmala’s private equity arm is raising its second fund, which is targeting commitments of $350 million. The fund saw a first close on $120 million in November 2008 and Bazzari said in a statement at the time that he was confident it would see a final close “in the next few months”.

Rasmala’s debut fund was fully realised in 2007, returning 3.5 times capital to its investors and generating an internal rate of return of 22 percent.

Separately, Rasmala has also appointed Husam Kutaifan as head of corporate finance.