At the beginning of October, upon the announcement that he’d been appointed as head of equity capital markets at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), Yasser Geissah was talking up the potential of the UAE IPO market. However, now, just two months later, he’s now settling into his new role as CEO of regional investment and advisory firm The National Investor (TNI).
Geissah joined The National Investor in the last week of November, taking the role of CEO, according to sources close to the situation. Orhan Osmansoy, who has served as CEO of the firm since 2004, is stepping down and will leave the firm next week.
In October, NBAD announced Geissah’s appointment as head of equity capital markets. He said at the time: “Investors globally are becoming increasingly interested in the UAE companies given their valuation and investors’ renewed appetite. As a result, there will be a flurry of IPOs in the coming months.” However, he was approached by TNI shortly after his appointment.
TNI is a regionally focused firm offering private equity, asset management and investment banking services. Much like another regional powerhouse, Shuaa Capital, it has struggled as investment banking activity in the region declined after the financial crisis and private equity deals dried up. In February 2012, it cut nearly half its workforce as it looked to rein in costs, primarily in investment banking and equities.
Geissah’s appointment suggests a change of strategy at the bank. Osmansoy’s background is in private equity, having previously worked for Dexter Capital Group in London and U.S.-based JH Whitney & Co. Geissah, meanwhile, is a seasoned investment banker and joins at a time when there’s increasing optimism around the deal pipeline in the region.
Before joining NBAD, Geissah was CEO of Manazel Real Estate, a role he held for seven months until October 2012, and CEO of CAPM Investment from 2007 until March 2012.
TNI didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.