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Narrow focus pays off for GulfMerger

Kuwait-based firm has big ambitions in the Gulf’s growing middle market.

GulfMerger, set up in 2007, is an independent investment bank providing advisory services for mid-market mergers and acquisition deals. The bank is based in Kuwait, and has offices in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

The company has kept a narrow focus and not expanded into other areas of investment banking. Yann Pavie, its founder and chief executive officer, says this approach has paid off for the firm, which was named by Euromoney as best M&A house in Kuwait in 2008 and 2010.

"We set up with a focus on mid-market M&A deals," he says. "We thought regional firms were trying to do too many things too early, and focusing would allow us to have more of a competitive edge. As a result, we’ve done the most M&A deals in the region compared with any of our peers. We’ve done deals in almost every possible sector."

The bank typically gets involved in transactions with a value of $25 million to $250 million, although it has done some work on larger deals worth up to $400 million.

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