Investment bank buys analyst house

In a rare move consolidating market and investment research, a preeminent regional analyst house has been acquired by a leading investment bank.

Arab Advisors Group, the analyst firm focussed on North Africa and the Middle East, has been acquired by one of the region’s leading investment banks, Arab Jordan Investment Bank. AJIB is a pioneer in IPOs and project finance in the region’s Technology, Media and Telecoms markets.

The bank will combine its own research capability with those of the analyst firm, and AJIB will provide a full research service to its clients and those of Arab Advisors Group. The move allows Arab Advisors Group to start equity and financial research in the regional markets. Lighthouse anticipates that its coverage will extend into further vertical markets and segments.

Arab Advisors has been one of the analyst success stories in recent years. Despite rapid economic growth and big-spending clients, especially in the Arabian peninsula, US analyst firms have been sheepish about entering the region. This has allowed the Group to grow to 12 specialists, each focussed on two or three of the 18 national markets it tracks.

The Group’s management team will remain and Jawad Abbassi, previously the major shareholder, will retain a minority holding in the firm.

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