Dubai: DFM-listed Shuaa Capital will be scouting for a new CEO – the incumbent, Fawad Khan, has resigned for personal reasons, according to a statement by the UAE fund manager.
Khan had taken on the CEO role in mid-2022 and had been helming the company through some elaborate restructuring, including a more intense focus on real estate possibilities in the UAE and possibly the Gulf, and cleaning up some of the legacy losses on the books.
Meanwhile, Wafik Ben Mansour has been named as acting CEO. Formerly managing director at Credit Suisse for 15 years, Ben Mansour had joined Shuaa in May last. "I will be closely working with the Board and management team to charter a new course for the company, one that prioritises excellent client service, sustainable growth and shareholder value while simultaneously enhancing balance-sheet efficiency," he said in a statement.
The Shuaa stock is down more than 30 per cent this year. The stock - which is at Dh0.26 - is suspended from trading on DFM, for not disclosing the Q3-2023 results.
When it comes to senior personnel, this is the second big development Shuaa has gone through over recent months.
Jasim Alseddiqi - who had during his tenure laid much of the groundwork to position Shuaa as a strong entity in the Gulf’s booming investment landscape – stepped down as managing director. Plus, he brought down his stake in the company from around 30 per cent. (That stake is now down to around 5 per cent.)
"The Shuaa stock had been performing OK up until August, which was when the news of Alseddiqi stepping down as MD filtered through," said an analyst.
Shuaa is banking on a rights issue as part of its capital restructure program. Last month, it issued a statement saying 93 per cent of noteholders in its $150 million bond had voted in favour of extending the maturing date from October 2023 to March 31, 2024.
"This was the first step in developing the timeframe to successfully deliver Shuaa’s capital optimisation plan," the company said at the time.
This is where the rights issue would help - "The company intends to use the capital optimisation to support growth through sustainable profitability, debt reduction and balance sheet strength, positioning the company for future dividend distributions and enabling participation in Shuaa’s growth story from existing and new investors while also increasing the free float to promote liquidity."
Now, all of that would be overseen by a new CEO.