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Investing

PURPOSE & MISSION

The Olayan Group’s fundamental purpose is to create long-term value for its shareholders, colleagues, partners and communities.

It achieves this primarily as an investor with a view that is at once opportunistic and strategic as well as global and long-term.

While The Olayan Group originated as a commercial operator in Saudi Arabia in 1947, it has also been an international investor since the early 1960s.

As a private enterprise, the Group combines the strength and security of a decades-old institution with the nimbleness of a family-owned business. We are proud of our track record of investing in high-quality assets and achieving consistent, multi-generational growth.

We are also proud of the key relationships we have developed with investment, banking and other professional partners with whom we have achieved success.

STRENGTH

A fortress balance sheet and very substantial net worth are core strengths of The Olayan Group. We have the financial capability to participate in major transactions, the resilience to withstand market shocks, and the agility to capitalize quickly on high-value opportunities as they arise.

The Group’s strong, decades-old banking relationships provide maximum flexibility and solid financial foundations. As a private concern, the Group does not publicly disclose its financials, but of course it maintains full transparency with credit and risk officers at its partner banks.

The Group also has non-financial advantages that contribute to the overall strength of the enterprise. We have short decision-making lines and close coordination between offices. Our business information and communication systems are state-of-art, backed by rigorous cybersecurity.

The Group also has strong governance. Its shareholders are active, committed, and farsighted. Corporate profits are reinvested in the enterprise at an exceptionally high rate. The Group’s Corporate Board includes both senior members of the Olayan family and distinguished independent directors. They have carried out a highly organized and well-structured program to ensure continuity and smooth succession for the future.

STRATEGY

We achieve superior risk-adjusted returns in three ways:
• As a proprietary investment manager in attractive markets where we have knowledge and expertise.
• As an investor partnering in selected markets and asset classes with third-party asset managers who can add value.
• As a focused operator in attractive sectors with long-term potential that are consistent with our purpose.

As a long-term investor, we look for solid fundamentals, enduring franchises, and other indicators of intrinsic value. We seek solid and proven performance with reasonable valuations and risk-adjusted returns.

We take strong, collaborative positions with top-caliber management. We carefully choose our business partners for their acumen and integrity, and we look to create long-term relationships with them.

Our investment activity is underpinned by these elements: growth and value, high asset quality for the long term, robust cash generation, high liquidity optionality, conservative leverage, an array of committed term bank facilities, and strong controls.

We also highly value the entrepreneur's instinct for opportunity. The Olayan Group was founded by a self-made, pioneering entrepreneur who went on to become an internationally recognized private investor and business leader. Our corporate culture is steeped in the values that Suliman Olayan personified, especially love of work, perseverance, optimism, and virtue.

PORTFOLIO

Our investment portfolio is a diversified mix of public and private equities, real estate, fixed-income securities, and other specialized assets held through investment entities with dedicated management teams.

We consider and then execute investments through a set of disciplined principles and clearly defined criteria with iterative reviews.  Investments in listed companies remain the largest portion of the Group’s overall portfolio. While historically The Olayan Group was known for concentrating its public investments in large financial institutions, today we invest in companies across highly diverse sectors.

Our fixed income portfolio is global and spread across asset classes to take advantage of opportunities in that space.

Our interest in private equity and real estate has grown meaningfully in recent years. We take private equity positions both directly and as a limited partner with leading firms that have a track record of stability and excellence.

The Group has also capitalized on opportunities to invest directly in a number of world-class real estate assets.

Today these holdings include:

•    550 Madison Avenue in New York City (formerly the AT&T and Sony building)
•    The Knightsbridge Estate in central London
•    The Etoile Estate in the prestigious 8th Arrondissement of Paris
•    The historic Hotel Ritz in Madrid
•    Al-Bustan Village, a showcase residential community in Riyadh
•    Chevron House Podium (30 Raffles Place) in Singapore

OUR TEAM

Ours is a culture of entrepreneurship, professionalism, integrity, and continuous improvement in the pursuit of excellence. We build and cultivate our investment teams around this approach.

Our investment professionals work within two main divisions:
• Alternative Investments, including private equity and real estate
• Liquid Investments, including listed equities, fixed income, and foreign exchange

Both divisions take a global view augmented by geographic expertise provided by our eight offices in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

Our in-house analysts specialize by asset class and sector while also bringing local expertise to the table. They conduct their own research and perform rigorous due diligence. They also have high-level access to top outside financial, economic, and investment expertise.

The Group’s international investment teams are supported by in-house specialists in the following functions: finance, treasury, accounting, IT, legal affairs, compliance, risk management, strategy, economics, HR, corporate communications, and administration.

The investment teams and support functions are represented on the Group’s six-member Global Management Team (GMT). Group CEO Mr. Camile Saba heads the GMT. He reports to the Corporate Board, chaired by Ms. Hutham Olayan.

WEATHERING THE STORM

Taken together, all of the above has buttressed The Olayan Group against numerous economic downturns over the course of decades.

Two of the most severe such shocks have been the most recent – the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the severe social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are heartbroken by the human and economic toll the pandemic has wrought. At the same time, we are grateful and relieved that our own people have been largely spared the worst. Moreover, we are very proud that both our company and our employees have contributed to medical relief funds in all eight cities where we have offices.

During this time, we have been in closer touch than ever with each other and with our partners, associates, and friends. We know that even this crisis, like all the others, will make us better, stronger, closer, and more humane.