Mar. 24, 2015

Rashid Fahad Al-Naimi


Rashid Fahad Al-Naimi

CEO, Qatar Foundation Investments


Rashid Fahad Al-Naimi has responsibility for Qatar Foundation’s investment portfolios. Additionally, he is the residing Chairman of MEEZA, Gulf Bridge International, and Mazaya Qatar, and a Board Member across a number of companies, including Vodafone Qatar, Al Khaliji Bank, Msheireb Properties, and Mannai. His career spans the past 25 years and he has held roles in senior management for over a decade. Prior to joining Qatar Foundation, he was the Manager of Human Resources for RasGas Company Limited. He has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Indiana State University, US.

What is the role of Qatar Foundation Investments, within the larger structure of Qatar Foundation (QF)?

Qatar has long recognized the need to secure its future in a post-hydrocarbon world, and QF for Education, Science, and Community Development's vision and mission is to support the nation on this vital journey to becoming a knowledge-based economy. In this context, and initiated by the founders of QF, Qatar Foundation Investments supports QF by developing its endowment and implementing an investment strategy that will secure its long-term financial sustainability. Qatar Foundation Investments is inspired by local needs, with a core objective to work with national stakeholders. It has developed the platforms for investing within different industries and territories that provide the right levels of return and also risk. The success of our investment strategies help to enable long-term delivery of QF's continued efforts to unlock human potential and foster a culture of quality and excellence in support of the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030.

What is your strategy when choosing the companies in which QF invests?

Our strategy draws upon different factors to inform our investment perspective and assessment of associated risks for every opportunity under consideration. To achieve diversification in the range of assets we hold, we consider investments in mature and emerging markets, as well as across the full range of private equity, hedge funds, direct investment, real estate, and commodities, and then make an assessment against our portfolio's other investments and its policies. We are committed to a long-term approach. Furthermore, our investments are not necessarily based on financial returns alone; we have to support QF's core values, and be aligned within the long-term strategy for the portfolio. Seeking out investments that support innovation is a key driver of the investment strategy, particularly with companies in fields that support QF's three pillars of education, science, and community development. One interesting example is our partnership with Vodafone, the country's second largest telecommunications provider, where part of our investment decision was informed by an assessment of the infrastructure that QF requires to support education and research.

How does building the human capital of Qatar feature in this element of the larger QF organization?

QF's mission includes the objective to nurture and develop the nation's leaders of tomorrow, meaning turning our attention to the development of Qatar's younger generations is imperative. The greatest asset of any country is its people, yet the potential of its population is never listed as an asset on its balance sheet. As education is one of QF's strategic pillars, we focus on developing the youth by equipping them with the proper tools and guides so that they know how to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in their academic training to build a career in the business world and beyond. That requires investing in our younger generation. We sponsor them through different programs, train them, build their competency, develop their leadership skill and style, and provide them with the invaluable experience of working with our institutes.

Where is QF investment focusing at this stage? What can we expect from Qatar Foundation Investments in the short term?

Qatar Foundation Investments' focus is on delivering the platforms for QF's success and building the endowment demands long-term commitment to the strategies and policies that underpin the investment portfolio. Of course, no one can predict precisely where the economy will be in five years, just as no one anticipated what happened in 2008, or the shocks that led to the crisis of the 1930s. Achieving a diverse portfolio is a key part of our strategy to reduce risk whilst maximizing opportunities across the investments' geographies and commodities. QF and Qatar are part of a global market, meaning that worldwide economic factors will naturally affect us. However, the benefit to Qatar Foundation Investments, taking a long-term and balanced view of its portfolio, is that when one industry or geographic region suffers within the cycle, QF is protected elsewhere.