EFG Hermes, a financial services corporation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, announced on Tuesday the accelerated expansion of its frontier markets.
“EFG Hermes announces the expansion of our division serving global frontier markets with a particular focus on securities brokerage investment banking and research”, said EFG Hermes Group CEO Karim Awad.
He added that transformation into a frontier house is part of the group’s strategy communicated to the market in early 2016.
It will be supported by both new hires as well as the existing lines of business and back-office functions, Awad noted.
“EFG Hermes Frontier will be headed by Ali Khalpey, a 20-year veteran of frontier and emerging markets with a proven track record spanning from London and New York to Johannesburg,” he said.
Khalpey joins EFG Hermes from Exotix Africa LLP, the frontier-focused specialist investment bank he co-founded and led after a career that included stints with Blackrock, Investec, and Renaissance Capital.
“Our continued drive into frontier markets will be no less significant to the firm’s future than was our expansion out of Egypt to become the leading investment bank in the MENA region in the early 2000s,” said Mohamed Ebeid, co-head of securities brokerage at EFG Hermes.
“With the acquisition of an on-the-ground presence in Pakistan now in its final stages, our aim in 2017 is to accelerate the rollout of the platform as we open new markets and businesses on the ground,” according to Hermes’ statement.
EFG Hermes had announced a tender offer on the Pakistan stock exchange for Karachi-based Invest and Finance Securities Limited. Meanwhile, the firm is pursuing a licence in another frontier market and is “carefully studying the potential to make other opportunistic expansions across frontier markets as part of our 2017 plans”, says Ebeid.
According to EFG Hermes, the expansion of Frontier comes just weeks after the firm announced it is seeking regulatory approval to open EFG Hermes USA to directly serve US-based institutional clients seeking exposure to MENA and frontier markets.