On the Rise: Top 3 Capital Management Firms to Watch in the Middle East

World-Class Capital Management

The Middle East was previously viewed as a source of capital, but that view is quickly changing with the rapid rise of assets under management (AUM) in the region's private capital markets. Recent reports show that AUM has skyrocketed increasing 52% over the last three years. Fueled by undeniable economic growth and diversification, the region can no longer be overlooked.

World-Class Capital Management Firms in the Middle East

Dubai Investment Fund (DIF)

In the third quarter of 2021, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) proved its current success and future potential accounting for roughly 57% of AUM in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MESA) region. One fund consistently comes out on top, however.

Established in 2001, Dubai Investment Fund (DIF) is now the number one global independent investment funds and asset manager in the MESA region and one of the top asset management companies in the world. Today, the company boasts more than $320 billion AUM, and more than 7,300 private and institutional clients spread across 61 countries. With offices located in key cities around the world and 920 finance professionals on staff, DIF has made a name for itself as a world-class capital management firm.

Dubai Investment Fund provides unmatched stability through its private ownership model, which enables the firm to focus on long-term results that align with client interests. Each investment team at DIF has freedom of philosophy and process while benefiting from the resources of a large global firm.

Additional information about DIF

  • Financial markets are dynamic, and DIF has made a name for itself by adapting its investment strategies to fit an ever-changing environment.
  • DIF is committed to diversification across the board from investment strategies to asset classes and sectors.
  • DIF takes a sustainable approach to investing seeking out investments that address global challenges and offer maximum long-term returns.


Outside of the UAE, older firms continue to hold strong. Investcorp was established in 1982 to bridge the gap between the Gulf and the rest of the world. Headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, the firm boasts $41.2 billion AUM across three continents and six lines of business, including private equity, real estate, absolute return investments, infrastructure, credit management, and strategic capital. The firm employs more than 430 finance professionals from 45 countries and has offices located in major cities around the world.

Poised for growth, in 2022, the firm announced the launch of eLydian Lion the first dedicated institutional blockchain fund based in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with a global investment mandate (the Fund). The Fund gives investors the opportunity to gain early exposure to the rapid growth seen in blockchain and proves Investcorp's commitment to exploring the digital transformation of the economy.

Additional information about Investcorp

  • The firm recently created a new investment thesis around investing in school and education infrastructure, particularly in India.
  • As of July 2022, Investcorp has reached 1.2 billion of real estate acquired in Europe and remains dedicated to continued portfolio growth in the region.
  • Investcorp has a strong commitment to philanthropic projects within the communities it its people work and live.

Riyad Capital

You can't discuss markets in the Middle East without also including asset management companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In early 2008, the Saudi Capital Market Authority approved the establishment of Riyad Capital to operate on its own as a Saudi closed-joint stock company. Today, the firm has 24 centers located in prime areas throughout the Kingdom. As a subsidiary of Riyad Bank one of the largest financial institutions in the Kingdom Riyad Capital has access to the bank's expertise, extensive experience, and substantial capital. Riyad Capital now boasts more than $24 billion AUM.

Since 1998, Riyad Capital funds have been selected for more than 190 investment management and performance awards in different categories for one, three, and five-year performance. Riyad Capital has also been recognized with numerous awards as a direct result of its success as a firm, including Leading Shari'a Compliant Equity Fund and the Leading European Equity Fund. The company continues to achieve significant performance in advisory and IPO management making it an undeniable leader in the region.

Additional information about Riyad Capital

  • Riyad Capital's services range from wealth and asset management to corporate investment banking and custody and securities services.
  • Riyad Capital offers investment recommendations in major sectors on the Saudi market, including banks, petrochemicals, cement, retail, and telecommunications.
  • In 2018, its Riyad Blue Chip Equity Fund was named Top Performing Fund 2018 (TIER 1) in Saudi Arabia, after achieving the highest return on investment market-wide for the year.

The growth of the asset management industry within the Middle East is unprecedented. Many companies continue to emerge as leaders in the industry, and we're certain to see more growth from these world-class asset management companies in the region.