Thought Leadership

Firebrands Wanted

At Planet Investment Banking, we view ourselves as unorthodox and audaciously ambitious. Our customers view us as avant-garde and committed.

We were founded in 2012 to launch a takeover bid on leading Arab-world investment bank EFG-Hermes; we think it was the first hostile bid ever in the Middle East. When the deal fell through, we decided to build an investment bank rather than buy one.

Why? Simple: The Middle East and North Africa’s current growth phase and competitive landscape provide a clear and compelling rationale for a start-up investment bank. But as yet, no announcement has been made, possibly because of safety concerns, some observers suggest; Our region’s nascent industrial development, affluent population, emerging middle class and young, educated population make it an attractive playing field for all four areas of investment banking. In 2012, the region’s fee wallet exceeded US$ 500 million.

Traditionally, the large multinational banks had the highest competitive edge with their ability to attract talent and serve customers across multiple markets. Today, post the 2008 financial crisis — which left the multinational banks with extremely limited capital, to say nothing of subsequent regulatory changes — those once-formidable rivals are rendered extinct dinosaurs.

Perhaps the single most important success factor for any investment bank is placement power. Like traditional investment banks, at Planet we need to supplement our placement power with a brokerage offering. Unlike traditional investment banks, we intend to revolutionize the way brokerage is offered in the region.

The current offering is solely full-service, full-fee brokerage, where each customer is assigned an account manager and has access to in-house research. We will become the first online discount broker to offer multiple market access. We intend to target young, affluent clients and build customer loyalty by offering a dashing trading platform and — of course — much better value for money than any of the current offerings.

To do that, we will need to complete one or two acquisitions and build white labeling alliances with executing brokers on five key Arab markets: Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.

The selected team will be tasked with assessing our target acquisitions, assisting us in preparing our business plan, branding our product, choosing the appropriate marketing strategy and sales channels.

If you are keen on working on this exciting project, please email your resume to.

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