Core Team

Andrew Gazitua

Partner & Board Director

Ziad Awad

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Marc Nassim

Partner & Managing Director

 

Gokul Mani

Partner & Managing Director

Mohamed Bensaid

Vice President

Massyl Aït-Saïd

Associate

Bassel Al Fouzan

Analyst

Rana Abou Hassanein

Office Manager

Advisory Board Members

Dr. Nasser Saidi

Chairman of the Advisory Board

Khamis Buharoon

Advisory Board Member

 

Fred Aubin

Advisory Board Member

Omar Al Madhi

Advisory Board Member

Bassel Al Fouzan

Analyst

Bassel is an analyst at Awad Capital where he contributes to the team’s execution efforts. He has 1 year of experience in M&A in the US and the Middle East.

Bassel joined Awad Capital from Tobin & Company, a US-based investment banking boutique, where he was involved in several transactions in the US SME space. Before that he was part of the finance team at MassHousing in Boston

Bassel holds a BSc. in finance from Northeastern in the US.

Gokul Mani

Partner & Managing Director

Gokul is a Partner & Managing Director at Awad Capital, where he focuses on key client relationships & transaction executions as well as the advancement of the Capital Markets, M&A, Corporate Finance & Fundraising businesses.

Mr. Mani joined Awad Capital (in H2 2016) from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), and previously Merrill Lynch & Co., where he began his career in 2001 in the firm’s London office, working in the Corporate Finance and Equity Capital Markets groups (Investment Banking Division)

Mr. Mani has been based in Dubai since 2008/09, covering key regional clients and has executed a number of landmark transactions.

During his career at Awad Capital & BAML, he has been involved in over $40bn of value in equity & debt capital market transactions and advised on M&A transactions whose value totaled in excess of $30bn across a variety of sectors.

Mr. Mani holds an Advanced Management Program (AMP 191) degree from Harvard Business School, an Investment Banking Institute diploma from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and a BSc. in Economics from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE).

Excerpts from an Awad Capital press release taken from the time of Mr. Mani’s appointment at the firm:

Ziad Awad, CEO of Awad Capital, stated: “I am excited that Gokul has decided to join us as a Partner. His experience in sectors such as real estate, hospitality, healthcare, consumer and retail, as well as his expertise in Equity Capital Markets and Mergers and Acquisitions will be great assets for our clients. Gokul embodies the culture of the firm which is all about excellence in execution, integrity and team work. His joining us is an important step in our mission of becoming the trusted advisors of the best institutions in the region.”

Gokul Mani, Partner & Managing Director at Awad Capital, recapped: “We are experiencing a growing trend by the region’s leading corporations, financial institutions, sovereigns and family offices to use the services of independent investment banks, such as ours. ACL’s relentless pursuit of client objectives, its values and strength of leadership team, all accord very strongly with my beliefs, and attracted me to the platform.”

 

Massyl Aït-Saïd

Associate

Massyl is an Associate at Awad Capital, where he is in charge of M&A execution.

Massyl has 5 years of experience in M&A advisory and Private Equity. He joined Awad Capital from Swicorp, where he contributed to the Private Equity practice in Dubai and Geneva.

Prior to that, he held an M&A analyst position at Credit Suisse in Paris.

Massyl holds an MSc. in Management from EMLyon Business School in France.

Rana Abou Hassanein

Office Manager

She is responsible for all the administrative back office functions for the office and supports the team across all executions.

She serves as Board Secretary and Deputy Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officer.

Rana has over twelve years of administration and organizational support.

Prior to joining Awad Capital in July 2016, she has assisted Senior Directors within financial organizations in Dubai.

Mohamed Bensaid

Vice President

Mohamed is a Vice-President at Awad Capital, where he is in charge of production supervision and M&A execution.

Mohamed has 8 years of experience in M&A advisory and private equity. He joined Awad Capital from Commercial Bank of Dubai, where he contributed to the energy and power generation M&A practice.

Prior to that, he held various positions in a M&A boutique dedicated to African markets and clients and was based in Paris then Dubai.

Before that, Mohamed worked in the French sovereign fund as a private equity analyst and Morgan Stanley in Paris and London in the sales and trading teams.

Mohamed holds a MSc. in Management and an MBA from ESSEC in France.

Dr. Marc Nassim

Partner & Managing Director

 

Dr. Nassim is a Managing Director and Head of Corporate Development at Awad Capital, where his main focus is to cover regional and international clients to offer them the most suitable advice and opportunities.

 

He was most recently Head of Corporate Development at Dar Al Mal Ltd, an Alternative Asset Management firm based in the DIFC and prior to that, a Partner with (and then Advisor to) AR Investment Partners, a consulting and advisory boutique based in Dubai.

 

Before that, Marc was Head of Clients & Markets, Financial Advisory Services for Deloitte Corporate Finance Ltd in the Middle East, where he focused on building and strengthening the relationship with clients across the Middle East, with a particular focus on family groups, private equity funds and sovereign financial institutions. Since 2005, he has advised on numerous deals involving financial sponsors, both within the MENA region and cross-border. Prior to joining Deloitte, he gained experience in M&A, private equity and banking, with leading French and Lebanese institutions.​

 

Dr. Nassim has a PhD in corporate finance (summa cum laude) from the Univeristé d’Aix-Marseille (France), a postgraduate degree in financial management from Grenoble Graduate School of Business (France) and a Masters degree in Money & Banking from Univeristé Saint-Joseph (Lebanon).​

 

He is a member of the French Valuation Society (SFEV) and fellow of the French Finance Association (AFFI) and the American Finance Association (AFA).​

 

Ziad Awad

Chief Executive Officer

Ziad founded Awad Advisory in March 2013, which then renamed as Awad Capital in February 2015. In response to client demand, the firm rapidly grew to offer a diversified range of financial services, operating from the DIFC with a category 4 DFSA licence. Ziad is personally involved in all client engagements with a particular emphasis on connecting the best investment opportunities with the most suitable sources of capital.

From 2007 to 2012, Ziad was a Managing Director with Merrill Lynch in Dubai, then Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he occupied a number of senior positions including Senior Executive Officer for the DIFC branch, Head of Capital markets and Financing and Head of Investment Banking for Industrials, Energy and Power. He executed numerous advisory assignments, including for TAQA, Lamprell, Dubai Holding, Qatari Diar, ACWA Power, Investment Corporation of Dubai; as a well as a number of financing deals.

From 1994 to 2007, Ziad was with Goldman Sachs in Paris (4 years), then London (9 years) then Dubai. He started his career as a Government bond trader then moved to the debt capital markets where he executed close to half a trillion dollar of bond deals including for the World bank, The Federal Republic of Germany, HBOS, The Republic of Italy, The Kingdom of Belgium, Exportfinans. He was also a board member and Executive Director of MTS Associated Markets, an Electronic Trading company.

Ziad holds a masters from ESSEC in France and is an avid sailor.

Omar Al Madhi

Advisory Board Member

Omar Al-Madhi is the Managing Director & Board Member of the Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ) Industrial Development Company, currently under formation. 

Omar joined ALJ Group’s leadership after nearly three years within Volkswagen Group’s leadership as the Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Group Saudi Arabia (VGSA), the establishment of which he led. 

Prior to VGSA, Omar was a member of SAGIA's executive team. Omar was also selected as an Advisor to HE the Minister of Labor.

Prior to SAGIA, Omar was an associate at McKinsey & Company in Dubai and at Saudi Aramco.

Fred Aubin

Advisory Board Member

A 35 year command-level combat veteran of the Canadian Army and former Director Future Security Analysis for the Government of Canada, Mr. Aubin is the CEO & Founder of Strategic Red Team Consulting.

A pioneer of utilizing military-style competitive intelligence, strategy, operational planning, war gaming and red teaming in the commercial world, Mr Aubin has been used extensively in executive leadership consultancy and strategic planning capacity building portfolios at Head of State, Ministerial, Ambassadorial, CEO and Senior Executive levels on five continents.

Fred holds a Masters in Military Technology from the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham, a Baccalaureate of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Ottawa, and is a graduate of the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College Kingston, the UK's Joint Command and Staff College and the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. 

Khamis Buharoon

Advisory Board Member

 

Mr. Buharoon has more than 30 years of experience in the banking and finance sectors.

Khamis is a board member of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, as well as Executive Chairman of Burooj Properties, Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Islamic Financial Services Company.

Prior to these positions, Khamis was CEO of Commercial Bank International 

Dr. Nasser Saidi

Chairman of the Advisory Board

Dr. Nasser Saidi has served as the Minister of Economy & Trade and Minister of Industry and the First Vice-Governor of the Lebanese Central Bank. He is the former Chief Economist of the DIFC and founder & former CEO of the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance. His expertise has significant global reach, influencing policy, leadership, market & financial development, regulations & governance

In 2013 Dr. Saidi was named among the 50 most influential Arabs in the World by The Middle East magazine, for the fourth consecutive year.

Dr. Saidi is the President of Nasser Saidi & Associates, a niche economic advisory & consulting company.

He is a board member of Majid Al Futtaim, Al Jaber Group, Future Pipe Industries and Falcon Trade Group.

He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Rochester, US, an MSc from University College, London and a BA in Economics from AUB, Beirut.

Andrew Gazitua

Partner & Board Director

Andrew serves as the Senior Independent Director of Awad Capital Ltd. In this capacity, he works very closely with management on strategy and selected transactions, and provides corporate governance oversight to the functioning of the Board. Andrew has over twenty five years of experience as an investment banker, with broad geographic experience both in emerging and developed markets. 

Andrew's investment banking career commenced with Merrill Lynch in New York in 1989 as a member of the FIG M&A team working on FIG transactions in the US, Latin America and Europe. 

Relocating full time to Europe in 1992, he became responsible for marketing and executing FIG advisory mandates in Europe as well as equity and advisory mandates in emerging markets. 

Andrew spent time with Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ)/ Credit Suisse and Putnam Lovell before re-joining Merrill Lynch where he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Global Origination, a wide-ranging role at the side of Mr. Andrea Orcel

Following the integration with Bank of America he led the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) corporate and investment banking division.

Andrew also currently holds a number of senior board and advisory positions with European financial institutions:

  • Member of the Supervisory Board of Credit Bank of Moscow
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Web Financial Group, S.A. 
  • Advisor to Civitas Partners Limited.

Throughout his career, Andrew was involved in a large number of Financial Institutions Investment Banking transactions:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions transactions for most banks in France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa
  • A multitude of Debt and Equity Capital markets transactions for the same institutions
  • Acting as a senior advisor to the leadership of a number of these organizations, particularly on internal organization and growth planning matters