Saudi Wealth Fund Hires Hage as Global Private Equity Head
(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund hired Tony Hage as its head of international private equity to help lead dealmaking for the $430 billion sovereign investor following the pandemic.
Hage, formerly a senior adviser at Mercer Investments, joined the Public Investment Fund last month, according to his LinkedIn profile. Bloomberg reported in July that Kevin O’Donnell, his predecessor and one of the fund’s first international hires, was set to leave the private equity job.
The PIF, as the wealth fund is known, declined to comment.
The promise of higher returns at a time of extra low interest rates is prompting the $10 trillion wealth fund industry to shift more capital into private markets. Looking to expand its reach, the PIF has made a spate of senior appointments recently.
It named Turqi Alnowaiser and Yazeed Alhumied as deputy governors and hired former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Eyas AlDossari as head of investment advisory within the MENA Investments Division. Omar Jahidi, previously the director for investment banking advisory at HSBC Holdings Plc in Saudi Arabia, has been appointed as the fund’s director of investments in the Middle East and North Africa.
Since Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman unveiled his plan to diversify the Saudi economy away from a reliance on oil sales, the PIF has been put under the control of Yasir Al Rumayyan and transformed from a sleepy domestic lender into a global fund backing some of the world’s biggest deals.
The fund is one of the main backers of Liberty Strategic Capital, a $2.5 billion private equity fund led by Steve Mnuchin, former Treasury secretary in the Trump administration, people familiar told Bloomberg last month. It also invested in the telecoms retail and fiber internet businesses of India’s Reliance Industries last year.
The PIF’s assets under management have nearly tripled from about $150 billion since 2015. It has taken stakes in Uber Technologies Inc., put $45 billion into SoftBank’s Vision Fund, and backed electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors Inc. It’s also increased headcount to more than 1,000 from about 40.
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