Founder of private equity firm Abraaj steps down from day-to-day control of fund: Reuters

Arif Naqvi, the founder of Dubai-based emerging markets private equity fund, Abraaj Group, has handed the running of the fund to two co-chief executives and halted investments during a review of the structure of the business.

The reorganisation comes weeks after Abraaj said it had hired global auditing firm KPMG to look into the finances of its healthcare fund after a reported dispute with some its investors in the fund.

Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu were appointed as co-chief executive officers of the fund management business, Abraaj Investment Management Limited, a statement from the firm said, adding that they would take over with immediate effect from Naqvi, who founded Abraaj in 2002.

The group said Naqvi has passed the reins of the fund management entity to the co-chief executives in order to further grow the business.

Abraaj said it had commissioned a comprehensive review of its corporate structure with areas of focus to include governance and control functions. AIML will have an independent board of directors to which internal audit and compliance will directly report.

Naqvi will focus on managing Abraaj Holdings and will retain a non-executive role as a member of the global investment committee of AIML, it said.

Abraaj also said it had decided to pause investment activities temporarily, other than on transactions for which commitments are already final, until the re-organization is complete.

Lodhi and Yorgancioglu have each been with the group for over 10 years and were partners for the group’s Asia and Turkey businesses respectively.

Photo: Arif M. Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive, Abraaj Capital, of the United Arab Emirates, attends a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, January 26, 2012. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann