December 6, 2023

Investment Banking

Let Your Investment Banking Do The Walking

Ex-Citi analyst heads to Saudi for ‘hottest’ job of 2023

A lot of people move to new countries for a new job in finance. Sometimes they move to Singapore, or even the Cayman Islands. Sometimes they move to Saudi Arabia.

Such might be the case if you were, for instance, Luka Gajic. A former investment banker with Citi’s financial institutions group, Gajic was with AnaCap Financial Partners (a private equity fund) in London for five years before joining the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) this month as an investment professional with the fund’s private equity team. Despite PIF also having a London office, he’ll be based in Riyadh.

The PIF is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. It manages around $650bn in assets in a rather opaque way, mainly focusing on the internal Saudi economy. Most of its funds come from the Saudi central bank, although it also issues bonds. Including green bonds. lol.

Still, a fund like the PIF might be a good place to be. Morgan Stanley said, earlier this year, that general IB activity will be “pretty anemic” until the “dry powder” in private equity is finally lit. The PIF is well placed to take advantage of that moment – Bloomberg has already reported the fund adding Jason Chung from hedge fund Point72, as well as Mark Cranley and Vesa Helin from Goldman Sachs to its New York office.

Although local news agency Arab News said that the PIF was planning on hiring an additional 50 people in New York (through its subsidiary, USSA International), the fund doesn’t seem to be openly advertising for very many roles. On its website, its only two job postings are for operations roles – and USSA International has practically no online presence whatsoever.

If the Saudis are hiring to bulk up their teams in both New York and Riyadh, they’re doing it behind the scenes. Gajic might be just the first in a long, long line of new hirings.

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