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Qatar names Mansoor Al Mahmoud as US$320b fund chief
[DOHA] Qatar appointed Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud as chief executive officer of one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds.
He replaces Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, who becomes a minister of state after nearly four years at the helm of Qatar Investment Authority, according to a royal decree published by state-run Qatar News Agency. It didn't provide more details.
Al Mahmoud is a dealmaker who's likely to push the fund to pursue a more aggressive investment strategy, two people who have previously worked with him said, asking not to be identified as they aren't authorized to comment publicly. Under the leadership of Sheikh Abdullah, the QIA had moved away from its pursuit of trophy assets, instead focusing on diversifying its portfolio in the US and Asia and deploying more resources at home.
The appointment isn't Mr Al Mahmoud's first brush with the world's 10th-largest wealth fund. The executive, who has led Qatar Museums since 2014, previously worked as the head of risk management at the fund. Mr Al Mahmoud served as director of Investment Affairs for a former prime minister of the Persian Gulf state and was also CEO of Qatar Development Bank, according to a biography.
The QIA has about US$320 billion in assets, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. It owns stakes in companies ranging from commodities giant Glencore Plc to British lender Barclays Plc. The fund and other Qatari investors have also amassed holdings in Hollywood, New York office space, London residential property, luxury Italian fashion and even a soccer team.
QIA has concluded more than 60 deals since 2015 during the tenure of the outgoing CEO. The majority of these transactions were in Europe and North America, according to SWFI data. The fund has been expanding its global reach with a plan to invest US$35 billion in the U.S. by 2020. Last year, it disclosed plans to open an office in San Francisco to focus on the technology industry. Among its most recent deals was the purchase of New York's 111-year-old Plaza Hotel in July.
The QIA, which was created in 2005 to handle the windfall from Qatar's liquefied natural gas and oil exports, stepped in to help local banks and companies last year after Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries severed diplomatic and transport ties with the country.
Sheikh Abdullah, a trained pilot, served as the chief of the Qatari Royal Court and member of the planning council from 2000 to 2005, according to a biography on the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds.