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CFO says he left Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj

Two other executives also preparing to leave - sources

Gulf News

DUBAI: The chief financial officer of Dubai-based Abraaj Holdings told Reuters he had left the private equity company. Two other senior executives are also preparing to leave, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The investment firm, which manages $13.6 billion (Dh49.95 billion) in assets, is also considering a round of job cuts, they said.

Ashish Dave, Abraaj’s CFO and partner, confirmed that he had left the firm. “I resigned six months ago to spend time with my family and pursue other opportunities,” he told Reuters on Sunday.

A new chief financial officer, appointed from within the company, would be announced soon, one of the sources said.

CEO Arif Naqvi, who founded the firm in 2002 and turned it into a major emerging market investor, stepped aside from running the fund, Abraaj Investment Management Ltd, in February.

He will remain chief executive of Abraaj Holdings, which was separated from the fund as part of the changes.

Abraaj has shaken up its management, suspended new investments and undertaken a review of its corporate structure following a dispute with four of its investors over the use of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund.

Abraaj has always denied reports that it misused the money but the scandal at the Middle East’s largest private equity firm is seen to have taken the shine off a fast-growing sector in the region.

The investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank’s IFC arm. Officials at the Gates Foundation and IFC have declined to comment on the dispute.

A round of job cuts are also expected at the firm, the sources said, but the newly appointed co-chief executives have yet to make a final decision on the matter.

An Abraaj spokeswoman did not comment on the job cuts, but said in an emailed statement said that Abraaj had announced a comprehensive re-organisation of its business and an independent review of its structure. The review is expected to be completed within a few weeks.

— Reuters

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