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The skyline of Dubai shows the Burj Dubai Tower, the tallest tower in the world January 4, 2010.Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. is planting its flag in Dubai with an eye on deals beyond the energy sector.

The firm is relocating Sachin Mahajan, managing director of mergers and acquisitions, to the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates in order to work on deals for clients in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The small office and investment banking team will be up and running by the second quarter of this year, and will work closely with Canaccord Genuity's offices in London and Tel Aviv.

Canaccord's big goal is to advise clients on M&A activity in the region, where the firm sees opportunity to grow its business outside of mega deals. Canaccord Genuity wants to reach "investors with increasing demand for exposure to global mid-market investment opportunities," said Paul Reynolds, chief executive of Canaccord Genuity. Clients include high net worth investors, family offices and institutional investors seeking returns.

The slump in oil prices could mean less wealth being generated in the region, but that change may have heightened the demand for investment opportunities outside the energy space. Canaccord Genuity is focused on the diversified industries space, which traditionally includes sectors such as industrial, building, consumer products and chemicals.

Mr. Mahajan already spends a lot of time commuting to these parts of the word, as well as to India, and plans to build on existing relationships there. He was with Genuity when it started in 2005, and has worked on major M&A, restructuring and refinancing deals in the last decade.

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