SAUDI ARABIA - Finance
Abdullah Saud Al-Rashoud graduated as an engineer and started his career at the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, where he served for six years. He continued at Bank Jazeera, after which he obtained his MBA from Nottingham University in the UK. Returning to Saudi Arabia, he founded the KASB Capital Group and continued as its CEO for three years, after which he joined Blominvest.
The company received its license in 2007, and I joined in 2012. At the time, we developed a plan to focus on specific sectors, mainly real estate and the equity markets. We studied different companies and found some focused on corporate finance and M&A and others on brokerage. We saw brokerage as a service that does not require a great deal of investment in know-how, so we cancelled that license. With our focus on operations, the IT infrastructure was developed. We saw real estate as the largest market in Saudi Arabia. By focusing there, we increased the assets under management (AUM) from SAR300 million in 2012 to around SAR10 billion. The company is well known in the market for handling projects.
We are a completely separate company owned by Saudi investors and the Lebanese bank. All our work falls under the regulations of Saudi Arabia. From a financial point of view, first, there are some rules at Blombank in Lebanon that any company related to the bank cannot invest in Lebanon at all; we have not invested one single riyal in Lebanon since the beginning. From an investment point of view, we have been investing money coming from Lebanon, Egypt, Switzerland, and the UK. Furthermore, with regard to talent, some have come from Lebanon, which was not affected by the financial crisis in Lebanon at all. All of the decision making is done in Saudi Arabia by Saudis. The board is composed of two Lebanese, and everyone else is Saudi.