RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: Safanad, a global holding company combining investment and operational excellence, announced the expansion of its leadership team with three new Senior Partners – Saleh Romeih, Faisal Rehman, and Christopher Fazekas – to further enhance its investment and operational capabilities as the firm launches Safanad KSA to execute a US$3B (SAR 11B+) investment strategy in Saudi Arabia over the next five years.
Saleh Romeih, who will serve as Global Managing Partner, was a Founding Partner at the SoftBank Vision Fund, where he led its Operating Group and remains a member of the Vision Fund 1 Investment Committee. Faisal Rehman, who will be Head of Transactions and Financing Solutions, also joins from SoftBank Vision Fund, where he was a Managing Partner responsible for all MENA investments, global debt capital markets, and transaction execution. Christopher Fazekas, who will serve as Head of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development, was a senior member of the leadership team, board member and investment committee member at the asset management division of one of the world’s largest investment companies. Combined, the three Senior Partners bring over 80 years of experience to Safanad.
“On behalf of the Safanad Board and shareholders, I am proud to welcome Saleh, Faisal, and Christopher to Safanad. Their extensive investment and operational track records and experience across the US, Europe, and Middle East speak for themselves. I cannot think of a stronger group of new partners to help drive this next phase of Safanad’s growth, in particular as we execute on opportunities in Saudi Arabia created by the nation’s ambitious Vision 2030,” commented Kamal Bahamdan, Safanad Founder and CEO.
Leveraging the launch of Safanad KSA and the extensive skill-set and experience of the expanded team, Safanad will bring its established US and UK-focused investment approach to the region. Safanad KSA will focus on investments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and selectively across the wider GCC region. Building on the experience and existing platforms of the firm globally, Safanad KSA will focus on education, healthcare, financial services, industrials, and digital infrastructure. The first investment, Safanad Education KSA, is already active in the region with ~10,000 students in the Kingdom.
In parallel, Safanad will open offices in London and Riyadh, supplementing its existing hubs in New York and Dubai. The London office will further strengthen its investment and operational capabilities in the UK and Europe and provide a bridge between the firm’s existing US and Middle East footprint. The Riyadh office will be focused on improving investment and operational capabilities in the Kingdom and GCC region as part of the firm’s KSA strategy. The London office will be led by Global Managing Partner Saleh Romeih, while the Riyadh office will be led by Founder and CEO Kamal Bahamdan.
Commenting on their new roles, Saleh Romeih said, “We’re excited to join a dynamic, global platform with well-established investing and operating roots in important sectors of the economy that will benefit from strong technological and socio-demographic tailwinds in the years ahead. We will focus on delivering long-term value in select sectors to our investors beyond the traditional PE model by applying our investing, operating and capital markets capabilities in close partnership with our investors.”