SHUAA loses more senior team members

Sameer Al Ansari (pictured), CEO of investment bank SHUAA Capital, has resigned. The event comes only a few months after it lost its head of private equity, Anis Bibi.

Dubai-based investment bank SHUAA has lost Sameer Al Ansari and hired ex-chairman and chief executive of Credit Suisse Europe, Middle East and Africa, Michael Philipp to replace him, according to the bank. SHUAA would not comment on why Al Ansari stepped down but said Philipp’s role will be effective immediately. 

Al Ansari only joined the firm in September 2009 and said in a statement: “I believe SHUAA Capital now needs a different skill set that will help the firm achieve its next phase of growth. I will be available to the company for a smooth transition period.”

Philipp is and will continue to be managing partner at US-based investment firm Ambata Capital Partners, and has had past experience at Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. The firm highlighted his experience as an important contribution to the bank. 

It was also announced today that SHUAA Capital's brokerage arm has lost it head of securities, Walid Shihabi. A press release said his departure was to “pursue other interests”. 

SHUAA has undergone a rigorous restructuring over the past two years, having experienced substantial losses up to AED 1 billion (€203 million; $272 million) in 2008. In May this year, PEI reported that SHUAA had made first quarter losses of AED 26.3 million (€5 million; $7 million) and was slashing 11 percent of its workforce. According to the press release, SHUAA recently reported a “break even financial result”. 

However, the bank says that it is now in a very good position amidst a struggling Middle East and North African market. A spokesperson for SHUAA noted that having experienced a few years of turmoil, the bank has gone through a period of thorough restructuring and now has a strong balance sheet with low levels of debt. 

The bank currently has two private equity funds under management – one of $200 million and one of £500 million. It is in the process of fundraising, but could not disclose any details as the fund is in a blackout period. Its private equity arm SHUAA Partners was reported by PEI to have recorded a loss in the first quarter of 2011 of AED 5.9 million.