Waha Capital appoints new chief executive

Ahmed Khalifa Al Mehairi will replace Amr AlMenhali, who led the company’s transformation and international growth strategy

Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., February 12, 2019. Sunny but chilly weather at the Corniche.
-- (Probable Big Picture) Watersports enthusiasts enjoy the beautiful weather.
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Reporter:   Mustafa AlRawi
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Waha Capital, an investment company in Abu Dhabi that counts Mubadala Investment Company among its shareholders, appointed Ahmed Khalifa Al Mehairi as chief executive, as it continues to transform its business.

Mr Al Mehairi is replacing Amr AlMenhali, who led the company's turnaround strategy, Waha Capital said in a statement on Saturday. Mr AlMenhali will take up a senior position in Abu Dhabi, it said without giving details.

During his tenure as chief executive, Mr AlMenhali delivered on a transformation plan “under volatile market conditions, which has included the initiation of a new investment programme and the adoption of an ambitious international growth strategy”, the company said.

Mr Al Mehairi , who will lead the “next chapter of growth”, joins Waha Capital from the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, where he was a principal at the global special situations department. He has also previously worked at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and is currently a board member of Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company.

Mr Al Mehairi will join the Abu Dhabi-listed company on October 18.

“Al Mehairi brings with him extensive experience and expertise in asset management and investment strategy,” said Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, chairman of Waha Capital.

The company has two business divisions – a private investment arm that invests directly in high-potential companies, and an asset management division that invests in proprietary and third-party funds in globally listed equities and credit.

The company manages assets across several sectors, including healthcare, financial services, energy, infrastructure, industrial real estate and capital markets.

Waha Capital launched a Sharia-compliant fund in August to meet growing investor demand and expects it to attract more than $500 million (Dh1.83 billion). The fund will invest in assets in sukuk and equity markets around the world.

Earlier this year, the company revealed plans to invest $120m in a number of US-listed healthcare, technology and telecoms companies. It invested Dh184m in New York-listed online travel company Despegar.com in August.

Waha Capital has also invested in companies such as Dubai FinTech firm Channel VAS, Deem Finance, National Energy Services Reunited and Petronash Holdings. It sold its stake in New York aircraft leasing company AerCap last year in a deal that generated net cash proceeds of Dh933m.

Waha Capital carried out a review of its business in the second half of last year. The investment company swung to a profit in the second quarter of this year on the back of a higher operating income. Net profit attributable to owners of the company for the period ending June 30 stood at Dh267.2m, compared with a loss of Dh124.3m during the same period last year.

Waha Capital’s investors include pension funds, endowments, sovereign wealth funds and family offices from North America, Europe and the Gulf. The company also invests in its own funds.