May. 27, 2020


Guy Hurley

UAE, Abu Dhabi

Guy Hurley

CEO, Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners is showing the finance world Abu Dhabi's investment potential, especially in the areas of logistics and transportation.

BIO

Guy Hurley is the CEO of Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners. He was previously a managing director at Merrill Lynch where he led the Hedge Fund Development and Management Group in Europe and set up the award-winning Merrill Lynch Investment Solutions (MLIS) UCITS platform. Additionally, Hurley was the global head of manager research at Man FRM, and ran his own investment management and advisory business called HCM. Hurley has a BA in Slavonic and East European History from UCL and an MBA in finance and decision sciences from the Wharton School.


What are your priorities in your first year of operation, and how do you expect to impact the financial ecosystem of Abu Dhabi?
The fund's aim is to realize commercial returns by partnering with top tier investment firms and industry-leading businesses that can benefit from building a meaningful and sustainable presence in the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners is backed by Mubadala, which has been instrumental in helping us launch. As a new entity, we have invested time in hiring exceptional talent, obtaining licenses, and building our corporate infrastructure. We want to make a positive impact across ADGM's financial ecosystem. Therefore, when evaluating investment opportunities, we not only consider financial returns but also evaluate the wider impact we can have on ADGM and Abu Dhabi.

What are some of the opportunities you are currently exploring both domestically and internationally?
We are considering various strategic and long-term opportunities that complement Abu Dhabi's own ambitions. Given its geographic location, Abu Dhabi is a natural transportation and logistics center. ADGM has the potential to become a financial hub that supports both industries. As a bridge between the region and major financial markets, Abu Dhabi can offer unrivalled opportunities for companies to expand internationally. We have an ambitious investment strategy targeting opportunities across asset management, specialty finance, and financial infrastructure. Investees are expected to have a presence in ADGM to create a positive impact on job creation and engagement with the wider ADGM ecosystem. In the long term, we are interested in opportunities presented by India and Africa due to their proximity to Abu Dhabi.

How are you working to grow both the indigenous and global talent of Abu Dhabi?
We want to ensure that jobs are not affected by market volatility and have a meaningful purpose. Employment opportunities should be sustainable over the long-term. Transportation will evolve, but in 100 years there will still be a need for people to travel and trade. Growing talent is about mapping out core areas of interest. This requires a broad range of skills from the UAE and abroad. Formal education is important in nurturing talent; however, job training and mentoring is equally important. We place emphasis on ensuring that our investees hire locally and train their employees regularly.

Abu Dhabi has become known as a regional hub for fintech. Where do you see opportunities here?
It is a cliché to state that technology is changing everything, but it is. We consider technology in its widest possible context and how it impacts all of the businesses in which we invest, not just financial services. For example, a crucial part of logistics is managing data. These days, it happens increasingly over mobile phones. Generally, technology is transforming sectors such as banking, oil, and shipping to ensure they are more efficient in operations. A good example of this can be seen in how Palantir Technologies, the Silicon Valley-based tech firm, has optimized flows of oil through BP's pipeline network, increasing its delivery of oil by 30,000bpd. We are interested in nurturing this type of technology company by bringing them to ADGM.

How would you summarize the advantage of ADGM as an option for global asset managers, international lenders, investment funds, and tech companies?
Abu Dhabi is a premier financial district for many reasons. Firstly, 80% of the world's population lies within an eight-hour flight of Abu Dhabi. We are strategically located to conduct business with large parts of the world. ADGM is also one of the world's fastest-growing onshore financial hubs. The regulatory authority has done an excellent job facilitating investment and commerce and is open to collaborate on best-practice initiatives. A good example is the leadership role ADGM has taken with cryptocurrencies, as well as the creation of the first digital legal system. Finally, Abu Dhabi remains an attractive tourist and residential destination.

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