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BANKING

The renaissance of Egyptian investment banking

After a tumultuous decade, the country’s leading investment banks have finally recovered their confidence – and are bursting into new markets and products.

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Ali Khalpey is used to building up new businesses. In the past he has done so at Renaissance Capital and Exotix, helping both boutique emerging market investment banks grow in new directions.

But never before has he faced such a big task: to lead the effort to transform EFG Hermes, a well-regarded investment bank based in Cairo and active across the Middle East, into a leading global frontier house – virtually from scratch.

Interviewed in February 2017, just a month after he joined the firm to deliver that goal, the chief executive of the frontier division at EFG Hermes spoke with enthusiasm about the various markets he hoped to enter, from Asia to Africa. But, aware of the magnitude of the challenge, he added: “I may do a horrific job – who knows?”

A year and a half later, Khalpey can put that self-doubt to rest. Since the start of last year, EFG Hermes has opened in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria.

Vietnam is the only country on his original list he has yet to enter.