MR. AHMED ABDULLAH KANOO
Partner & Chairman of the Board
Mr Kanoo is a shareholder and a Director of the Holding Company Board of the Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo Group of companies. The Group is one of the largest Family owned conglomerates in the Middle East with a history dating back to its foundation in 1890. Ahmed joined the family company in 2002 as a fourth-generation member.
From his board position Ahmed takes in a broad view of regional and international business both in those areas of company operations and investments. He plays a vital role in the Company governance.
It is however in the long-term management of the family wealth that he is most interested, and this is the subject in which he has specialised for the last 15 years. He does this through a combination of research and attendance at industry and technical events around the World.
Attended Santa Monica Community College and then transferred to American Intercontinental University for Business Administration and eventually completed Marketing and Computer Science courses in UCLA Extension.
Outside of the office he delves into mechanical engineering and foundry processes and is very keen on his pack of thoroughbred saluki dogs which he looks after on a small farm. He is also involved in philanthropic work impacting the local community.
MR. FIRAS MALLAH
Firas has 17 years of experience working with the Middle East.
He was the Managing Director, Middle East & North Africa for BMO Global Asset Management, the asset management business of BMO Financial Group, he was also the Senior Executive Officer of the Middle East Rep Office of BMO. Firas joined BMO Financial Group (historically known as Bank of Montreal) in 2011 to launch the MENA office in Abu Dhabi and has since then set up the asset management business from scratch.
Formerly, Firas was the head of the MENA business and the Senior Executive Officer of the MENA office for Dexia Asset Management where he again set up the office from scratch and managed the regional business for the firm out of Bahrain. The mandate for Dexia Asset Management in MENA was capital raising and advisory with a focus on Hedge Funds, Equities and liquid real estate.
Prior to that, Firas was in charge of the Middle East client relations for Triago, a private equity placement firm based in Paris. He also extensively worked on multiple secondary private equity deals with MENA based sellers.
Firas started his career in engineering, working in Abu Dhabi on energy projects.
He is regularly on TV and printed media in the region. He holds a Master in Business Administration from INSEAD, a Master of Engineering in Engineering Management from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Engineering from the American University of Beirut.
MR. MAHDI MATTAR
Dr. Mattar served as Managing Director of Evolvence Group, a Dubai based conglomerate which focuses on asset management, education and retail. Additionally, he leads the Evolvence GCC private equity unit. He has extensive experience in asset management and investment banking focusing on the GCC region.
Dr. Mattar formerly served as the CEO of CAPM Investment (a UAE central bank regulated investment bank) and FH Capital (a DFSA regulated investment bank), part of Finance House Group. He supervised the operations of both entities focusing mainly on asset management, private equity, and corporate advisory business. During his tenure CAPM acted as the lead IPO manager of Marka, the first IPO on the DFM post crisis. Also FH Capital and CAPM acted as the lead IPO manager of Insurance House, the first IPO on the ADX post crisis.
He was the Head of Research and Chief Economist of CAPM Investment and prior to that of SHUAA Capital, where he oversaw the economics and equity research covering the MENA region. Under his leadership, the research department was ranked as the top research house in the MENA by Euromoney, in addition to being personally ranked among the top strategists and economists in the region. He was also a member of SHUAA Capital’s management committee. Dr. Mattar was the Director of Financial Markets Division at the Dubai International Financial Centre Authority (DIFC). Prior to his banking career, Dr. Mattar pursued a career as an academic, as a Professor of Finance at the American University of Beirut, the American University of Sharjah, as well as at the Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development (CTPID) at MIT.
Dr. Mattar makes frequent appearances in various regional and international media outlets. He holds a Doctorate in Risk Management from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, a Master of Science in Construction Finance from MIT, and a Bachelor of Engineering from the American University of Beirut.