Istithmar World Capital Opens NYC Office

Istithmar World Capital, the investment arm of Dubai World, is opening an office in New York. It is the firm’s first office in the Americas, and will be headed by Felix Herlihy and John Amato.



Dubai and New York, October 14, 2008: In a move highlighting the company’s global approach to investment and its growing focus on exceptional opportunities worldwide, Istithmar World, the investment arm of Dubai World, headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has opened its second international office in New York City.  

New York will serve as the third major base for Istithmar World after Dubai, UAE and Shanghai, China. Istithmar World, which already has an active asset portfolio in the United States, will continue to target attractive investment opportunities with a vision to establish itself as the premier global investment firm from the Gulf region.

Commenting on Istithmar World’s rapidly growing global footprint, H.E Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman, Dubai World, said: “Opening an office in New York is a natural evolution of our growing presence in the Americas and demonstrates our commitment and enthusiasm for the region. We already have a solid asset base in the US and Canada, and through Istithmar World’s corporate presence in a dynamic city like New York, we look forward to expanding our portfolio further.”

David Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Istithmar World Capital, said: “Our base in New York City provides us a solid platform and hub from which we can build and develop our regional investment activities and network. The current global market conditions have opened up many windows of opportunity for us. We believe that a permanent presence in the region will provide us better insight into potential investment opportunities in the Americas while enabling us to add greater value to our portfolio companies here in the US, Canada and in the future, elsewhere in the Americas.

“Our vision is to establish ourselves as the premier sophisticated investor from the Gulf region among the business community in the US. We continue to be excited by the opportunities in this market and plan to source investment opportunities in the Americas in line with our strategies for the specialised sectors in which we have made investments – consumer, industrial and financial services and real estate.”

The New York office — located at 230 Park Avenue — has been designed by renowned US-based interior designer Nate Berkus, and interior architect Ahmad Sardar Afkhami, who have drawn strong influence from traditional Islamic architectural design elements in creating the office interiors. The design of the office innovatively incorporates conventional Islamic patterns, by using all the key shapes and structures individually and fusing it to produce a space that highlights classic style, while maintaining contemporary functionality.

The Prince George Ballroom located in Manhattan’s Madison Square North Historic District, also prominent for its architectural and artistic splendour and its non-profit nature of business was the venue for the office opening ceremony, the proceeds of which will be extended to support various charity initiatives.

The investment team at the New York office will be headed by Felix Herlihy, Chief Investment Officer; and John Amato, Chief Investment Officer of Istithmar World. Felix Herlihy and John Amato bring over 35 years of investment and advisory experience and have been serving in their respective positions at Istithmar World Capital since 2006.

In November 2007, Istithmar World purchased a majority stake in Barneys New York from Jones Apparel Group in a deal worth US$ 825 million. In August 2008, Istithmar World and Dubai World affiliate Nakheel purchased a 20 per cent stake in Montreal-based Cirque Du Soleil. In April this year, Istithmar World acquired a majority stake in Gulf Stream Asset Management LLC, a leading US-based institutional asset manager, which manages over US$ 3.8 billion of corporate credit portfolios for global institutional investors.

About Istithmar World:

Established in 2003, Istithmar World is an investment arm of Dubai World. In the five years since its inception, Istithmar World has built a broad portfolio of successful investments in markets ranging from North America and Europe to Asia and the Middle East, as well as across a variety of sectors, including consumer, industrial, financial services and real estate.

Based in Dubai and with offices in Shanghai and New York, the firm invests through its four separately-managed divisions: Istithmar World Capital, Istithmar World Aviation, Istithmar World Ventures and Istithmar World Real Estate. Currently Istithmar World has approximately US$12 billion in assets under management.