Shailesh Dash establishes Al Masah Capital

The Dubai-based alternative asset management firm will launch a $500m private equity fund in April 2010 focused on social infrastructure.

Shailesh Dash, the former private equity chief of Kuwait-based Global Investment House (GIH), has set up Al Masah Capital, an alternative asset management firm based in Dubai.

Al Masah Capital intends to fill the “vacuum” left by MENA financial services firms adversely affected by the crisis, which “are either closing down or have lost their credibility in the market”, Dash said in a statement.

Khalil E Alaali, who has co-founded the firm alongside Dash, will be its chief placement officer.

Al Masah Capital intends to offer private equity, real estate and hedge funds to investors globally and will launch its first private equity fund focusing on social infrastructure  in April 2010. The fund will target $500 million, Dash told sister site PEI Asia.

While the firm will primarily focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, it will consider opportunities in South Asia and Turkey. It will also favour co-investment opportunities with regional investors, a statement from the firm noted.

“Based on the current market indicators, I believe the markets are going to exponentially improve in the next 12 to 18 months,” Dash stated.

Dash resigned from GIH in October. He had been at the firm since 2000 and was a founding member of its private equity operations, which began in 2005. At the time of his leaving, GIH’s 50-strong private equity team managed about $3.2 billion across five private equity funds.

Alaali has more than 14 years of experience in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, having previously established and managed private banking operations.