Gulf Capital, a leading thematic alternative investment firm in growth markets, announced today that it has opened an office in Cairo to further seek investment opportunities in the fast-growing Egyptian and African markets. The office will be headed by seasoned investor Miray Zaki, the prior Chief Investment Officer of the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and previously with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), and Fady George, who joins from SPE Capital Partners.
Gulf Capital is strengthening its Egypt and Africa coverage with the office opening and the hiring of a seasoned senior investment team. Having already invested over EGP5 billion to date and having closed over half a dozen investments in Egypt, Gulf Capital is increasing its commitment to this all-important market and boosting its local presence.
According to the latest report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Egyptian economy will become the second largest Arab and African economy during 2022. The report indicated that the IMF’s expectations indicate an increase in total revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) to a record 18.6 percent in 2021/2022. The IMF projects a robust average annual growth rate of 5.6 percent for the Egyptian economy over the next five years, the best in the country’s economic history over the last 25 years. The country’s net international reserves increased to a remarkable $41 billion as of January 2022, mainly driven by an uptick in Suez Canal activity, tourism, exports, foreign investments, and remittances.
Dr Karim El Solh, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “Egypt continues to be an attractive and fast growing market and a major investment destination for our Firm and our global investors. Gulf Capital has invested over EGP 5 billion (US$300 million) in Egypt over the last decade, across various sectors, including technology, infrastructure, manufacturing, petrochemicals, healthcare, healthtech, business services, and oil and gas services. Opening a local office and hiring a senior Egyptian investment team will allow us to accelerate our investment pace in Egypt in promising sectors such as the digital economy and healthcare and to keep us closer to our existing portfolio companies and business partners. We are particularly excited about potential investments in the fast-growing technology, fintech, ecommerce, and healthtech sectors as Egypt is becoming a rising star in the global technology scene. Recently, the country was one of Africa’s most robust and active players in the tech ecosystems, with 28.3% of start-up investments on the African continent going to Egyptian companies.”
Miray Zaki, Gulf Capital’s newly appointed Managing Director and Head of Egypt, was previously responsible for managing a large portfolio of investments across the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia within multiple asset classes including Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Public Equity at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation. Miray has a 15-year track record of direct investments in Africa and the Middle East, including Egypt and a distinguished track record of investing in sustainability, plant-based food and food security.
Fady George, who joins as Vice President, is experienced in private equity and investment banking, having previously been a member of SPE Capital Partners’ inaugural $250 million Africa fund, a member of Beltone Financial’s investment banking team and a member of Axonic Capital’s US real estate investment team. His track record includes coverage of manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and transportation industries, and he has worked on a number of private equity investments and M&A transactions across North Africa.
The new team will be pursuing investment opportunities in the fast-growing technology, healthcare, business services, consumer and sustainability sectors of the Egyptian economy, to complement Gulf Capital’s existing portfolio of diverse businesses. Gulf Capital’s most recent investment in fintech payment solutions provider, Geidea, and healthtech company, Vezeeta, which was founded by Egyptian entrepreneurs with offices in Dubai, Riyadh, and Cairo, are examples of Gulf Capital’s strategy of investing in the sectors of the future.
“Our long-term commitment to Egypt and the broader Middle Eastern and African regions remains rock-solid. Miray and Fady bring a wealth of experience and will, in their new roles based out of Cairo, strengthen our position as a leading active investor in the Middle Eastern and African regions, both in the tech space and the industries of tomorrow. I am delighted to welcome them both to the Gulf Capital team. The new office opening in Egypt follows our recent office opening in Singapore last December, allowing Gulf Capital to invest across growth markets from North Africa to Southeast Asia,” Dr El Solh added.
Miray Zaki said: “I am thrilled to be joining the leading Middle East private equity firm and an amazing team of like-minded professionals with deep investment expertise and a remarkable private equity track record across geographies and industries. I have watched Gulf Capital invest in leading local businesses in the region over the last 15 years and transform them into true global players, and I am excited to be part of its future endeavours in Egypt.”
Fady George added: “It is an absolute pleasure to start my new journey with the Gulf Capital team. Together, we will continue to identify outstanding private equity investment opportunities for our global investors and to work more closely with our existing portfolio companies in Egypt.”