Dutch asset manager ING Investment Management is planning to reposition its Dubai office into a sales and client-servicing division after its equity team for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region resigned to join Lazard Asset Management.
Farah Foustok, former chief executive and CIO at ING Investment Management Middle East, will serve as a managing director and senior executive officer at Lazard’s new Dubai office.
Fadi Al Said, former head of investments and a portfolio manager at the same operation, will lead a five-person investment team that will manage MENA and frontier market equity strategies for local and global clients.
ING IM said its decision to end equity investment in the region followed a review of the company’s local strategy, according to spokesman Karl Hanuska.
As a consequence, the asset manager will cease all active, alpha-orientated investment management for its MENA mandates, as well as the Luxembourg-based mutual fund, in light of it fiduciary responsibilities towards its clients, he said.
Hanuska further made clear that the Dubai team managed a €314m equity portfolio.
According to the spokesman, the decision to cease MENA equity investment is in line with the overall strategy to continue with only fully fledged local asset management operations where ING also has a strong insurance presence.
He stressed that the change would not affect any of ING IM’s global emerging market equity capabilities, “which we will continue to manage from our other offices as before”.
He added that the company would continue to serve its clients with its global product offering out of Dubai.