Alantra authorized by the Dubai Financial Services Authority to launch investment banking activities in the Middle East

Date 30 August 2023

Type Press Releases

  • Alantra has received approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to start its investment banking activities from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) through Alantra (DIFC) Ltd
  • DIFC is a leading international financial hub in the MEASA region with more than 4,900 companies
  • Saad Ashraf has been appointed as the Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of Alantra DIFC
  • Alantra’s global Maritime & Shipping investment banking team, which has already completed c. 20 deals worth more than €1bn in the region will also be based out of the DIFC

Dubai – Alantra, the independent global mid-market financial services firm, has received approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to operate from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). This is an important milestone to further strengthen the Firm’s global reach coupled with deep local penetration and to consolidate its service offering in the Middle East with the support of specialized sector teams.

Alantra initiated its coverage of the Middle East at the end of 2021 mainly focusing on the maritime and offshore sector through its Maritime & Shipping team based in Athens, which will now also be based in the DIFC. Since then, Alantra has completed c. 20 transactions worth more than €1bn, including advising Overseas Marine Logistics group (and its affiliates) on refinancing part of its offshore fleet, Allianz Marine Services (and its affiliates) on raising debt to support the acquisition of five Platform Support Vessels, and Allianz Middle East Management on the capital raising and sale to Shuaa Capital.

Saad Ashraf, who has been appointed SEO & Managing Partner of Alantra DIFC, said: “DIFC was a natural choice for Alantra when we decided to set up our investment banking activities in the Middle East, given Dubai’s strategic location, top notch infrastructure and availability of specialized talent. In addition, we have also domiciled and relocated significant part of our global Marine & Shipping Investment banking sector team to the DIFC in light of the region’s strong relevance for this growing sector. We believe that our specialization in key sectors such as FIG, Consumer, Real Estate, Healthcare & Technology, will add meaningful value to our clients’ strategic objectives.”

Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer, DIFC Authority, added: “We welcome Alantra to Dubai and the region. Their decision to establish here underlines DIFC’s position as an attractive hub for international investment banks. Capitalising on our time zone advantage, supportive regulatory environment, and unparalleled access to top-tier talent, financial institutions like Alantra gain a significant competitive advantage in serving their clients and tapping into growth opportunities across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.”