Spain-based Alantra opens in Dubai to serve MENA and South Asia clients

Rick Steves

“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.”

Alantra, a distinguished independent global mid-market financial services firm headquartered in Spain, has taken a strategic step towards expanding its presence by inaugurating a new office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

This move will enable Alantra to extend investment banking services to clients within the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, fortifying its international footprint while deepening its engagement within local markets.

Saad Ashraf heads Alantra’s DIFC operation

With over 650 professionals spread across 25 offices in 22 countries, the firm has gained authorization from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to offer financial services from within the DIFC.

This strategic expansion is poised to provide Alantra with direct access to burgeoning opportunities fueled by the momentum of emerging markets trade and investments. Additionally, the firm will benefit from access to top-tier global talent, allowing it to bolster its regional offerings with a team of experts in various sectors.

Saad Ashraf has been appointed as the Senior Executive Officer (SEO) of Alantra DIFC. In this role, Ashraf will lead the firm’s operations and growth strategies in the region.

Notably, Alantra’s presence in the Middle East began with a focus on the maritime and offshore sector through its Maritime and Shipping team based in Athens. This team, which has executed approximately 20 deals worth over USD 1 billion in the region, will now operate from the DIFC.

Saad Ashraf, SEO & Managing Partner of Alantra DIFC, commented: “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. 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 at DIFC Authority, welcomed Alantra to the region, highlighting DIFC’s role as an attractive hub for international investment banks. He emphasized the advantages of DIFC’s supportive regulatory environment, optimal time zone, and access to top-tier talent, enabling financial institutions like Alantra to gain a competitive edge while serving their clients and tapping into growth opportunities across the MEASA region.

Alantra’s investment banking division is renowned for providing independent advice on various financial transactions, including M&A, debt advisory, financial restructuring, and capital markets activities.

Over the past four years, the firm has advised on more than 650 deals with a cumulative value of approximately €88.5 billion. The expansion into the DIFC marks another milestone in Alantra’s journey as a global financial services leader, underlining its commitment to delivering specialized, sector-focused advice to clients worldwide.

In an era of interconnected global markets, Alantra’s strategic decision exemplifies the transformative power of collaboration between financial institutions and prominent international hubs like DIFC.

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