FAHAD ALSHAREKH

Saudi Arabia 2021 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Fahad AlSharekh, Vice Chairman of KAMCO Invest KSA.

Fahad AlSharekh
BIOGRAPHY

Before his current position, Fahad AlSharekh was previously a board member and subsequently chairman of Al Mal Investment Company. He has served on several boards including ATG, Saftec, and AwalNet. He is currently director on the board of CODED, the first coding academy in the GCC.

What made you take the decision to enter the Saudi Arabian market?

We are excited to grow our business and cater to the Saudi market. Saudi Arabia is the largest and most promising market in MENA. We have capitalized on the license to operate that we have obtained after our acquisition of Global. Global Investment House got its Saudi Arabian license in 2008, over a decade now. Global was a publicly traded company listed in the Kuwait Stock Exchange. At one point, it was cross listed in the UK and Dubai, with a USD5 billion market cap in 2008, which was huge compared to any other regional GCC company. In 2018, KAMCO made a bid for Global and merged to become KAMCO Invest. KAMCO Invest has now USD13 billion worth of assets under management, and its reach spans Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, and Turkey with representative offices and affiliates elsewhere. Using our licenses, strong capital base, and assets, we are hoping to go after all business opportunities in the Saudi Arabian market.

What are your thoughts on the growth of the fintech sector as well as the technology companies in Saudi Arabia?

We like the fintech movement, whether it is in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. Central banks and regulators are pushing for adoption of fintech and the transformation to the digital economy. With fintech, the market becomes a meritocracy, with less red tape, less bureaucracy, and more efficiency and productivity. For ourselves, one of the issues of the merger is to unify an IT platform. As we have already committed to this platform, we might as well invest more and have an advanced digital platform to manage the company internally. That will allow us to offer services in a user-friendly manner, whether it is trading, real estate portfolios, public equity portfolios, or private equity funds. We will put these services on the tech platform and allow people to access deals and opportunities, invest and exit in a much easier way than previously done before. ✖