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7 Notable Single-Family Offices In Middle East

by trusted insight posted 5years ago 11388 views

In recent weeks, Trusted Insight illuminated the reclusive world of single-family offices in Europe and the United States. This week, we are diving into perhaps the most secretive of all - the Middle East.

Single-family offices in the Middle East differ from their American and European counterparts in historical origin as well as in investment strategy. A report by Invesco Perpetual, a major UK-based investment manager, says 85 percent of Middle Eastern family offices are connected to sovereigns. Financial Times columnist Jeremy Hazlehurst noted in a 2015 article that Middle Eastern family offices are less liquid and more prudent in investing than their western counterparts because most of their wealth came from commodities, which are vulnerable to volatility.

Royal families and many family-owned businesses, especially those that originated in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, flourished with the wealth of these countries following World War II. Over time, many formed investment offices to manage their newfound family fortunes, which have since evolved into professional investment firms that have global and diversified portfolios.

But unlike many family offices in the rest of the world, which recruit outside investment professionals, most Middle Eastern family offices are very tightly controlled with the families they represent. All seven on the list have members from the families on investment teams.

Here are the seven most notable family offices in the Middle East:


Kuwait City, Kuwait
Associated Family: Abdul Aziz Saud Al-Babtain Family
Year Founded: 1958
Source of Wealth: Real Estate

Al-Babtain Group started with one small consumer goods company called Abdul Aziz Saud Al-Babtain & Sons Co. in 1958. Over the years, it has developed into a conglomerate controlling  seven companies. It is one of the biggest family-owned businesses in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Its investments focus on real estate, agriculture and various sectors in foreign markets.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Associated Family: HH Dr. Prince Mishaal A. T. Al-Saud Family
Year Founded: N/A
Source of Wealth: Petroleum

Zad is a Saudi Arabia-based family office managing the family wealth of Prince Mishaal, the second child of Prince Abdullah bin Turki bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. Mishaal is also the executive chairman of the company. Zad currently manages more than $1 billion of investments worldwide. The family office invests directly in companies as well as passive portfolio investments.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Associated Family: AlTouq Family
Year Founded: 1970s
Source of Wealth: N/A

AlTouq Group was founded by Sheikh Ibrahim AbdulAziz AlTouq in the 1970’s as an investment office managing the family’s wealth. Two family members, AbdulMohsen Ibrahim AlTouq and Saif Ibrahim AlTouq, currently sit on the executive team of the company. The company participates in a wide spectrum of investments, including private and public equity, real estate and direct investments.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Associated Family : Al Algil Brothers
Year Founded: N/A
Source of Wealth: Retail

Jarir Investments is a family office managing wealth of Al Agil brothers based in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the two companies under Jarir Group of companies. The other company of the group, Jarir Marketing Company, is a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of about USD$1.4 billion. Jarir Investments has been investing in the United States and Europe for 20 years, focusing mostly on private equity, hedge funds and real estate.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Associated Family : The Alsubeaei Family
Year Founded: 1933
Source of Wealth: Financial Services, Real Estate and Agriculture

MASIC was founded in 1933 as a trading house by Mohammed Ibrahim Alsubeaei. Over the years, it has grown with the fortune of Saudi Arabia after World War II to be amongst the top 50 companies in the country. Today, MASIC is a professional investment company with  involvement in direct investments, asset management and real estate investments.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Associated Family : The Binladin Family
Year Founded: 1931
Source of Wealth: Construction

Saudi Binladin Group was founded in 1931 under the name of Mohammad Awad Binladin Organization by Mohammed Binladin as a construction contracting company. The company expanded significantly over the years through taking multiple infrastructure projects in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company today, currently headed by Binladin’s son, Bakr Bin Mohammed Binladin, is an association incorporating various Binladin companies.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Associated Family : The Jawa Family
Year Founded: 1986
Source of Wealth: Petroleum

The Starling Holding Group was founded by H.E. Sheikh Jamal Hassan Jawa in 1986. It was one of the earliest private equity-focused investment firms in the Middle East. Sheikh Jamal Jawa, who has been the firm’s chairman since inception, was also a prominent figure in Saudi government, holding numerous leadership roles. For three decades, the company has focused on private equity and venture capital, with selective participation in direct investments. Its current investment portfolio consists of buyout funds and venture capital funds with exposure to global private markets.

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