Rasmala reshuffles management team

The Middle East investment firm has appointed founder Ali al Shihabi as executive chairman, Tamer Bazzari as CEO and David Woods as chief operating officer.

Dubai-based Rasmala Investments has reshuffled its senior management team, appointing Ali al Shihabi, its founder and CEO since inception, as executive chairman.

The firm has also appointed Tamer Bazzari as chief executive officer and David Woods as chief operating officer.

  Ali al Shihabi

Al Shihabi founded Rasmala in 2000. Prior to that, he was the chairman of the management committee of Hollandi Bank for more than 10 years. Bazzari joined Rasmala in 2002. He was most recently deputy chief executive officer at the firm and has also worked as the head of investment banking and the chief financial officer of Rasmala. Bazzari is also a member of the firm’s private equity investment team.

Woods joins Rasmala from ABN-AMRO, where he was chief operating officer for the Middle East. Previously, he has worked as chief executive officer of ABN-AMRO Securities in the US and chief executive officer of Alfred Berg Securities, a Scandinavian securities firm.

The private equity arm of Rasmala is in the market for Rasmala MENA Private Equity Fund II, which is targeting commitments of $350 million and saw a first close on $120 million in November 2008. Bazzari said in a statement at the time that he was confident the fund would see a final close “in the next few months”.

The firm’s maiden private equity fund was fully realised in 2007, returning 3.5 times capital to investors and generating an IRR of 22 percent.

Separately, Rasmala has established a new office in Abu Dhabi to service its financial brokerage business. The firm's other offices are located in Dubai, Jeddah, Riyadh, Cairo and Muscat.