Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Interviews

The Financial Falcon

by BTM

Wed, 31 October 2018

The Financial Falcon

Head of Narmo Capital, Fahad Al-Omran, speaks to Behnaz Sanjana about his company’s unique place in the region’s finance world.

After starting out as a management associate at Citibank in Riyadh, where he hails from, 39-year-old Fahad Al-Omran is now managing partner and CEO of Narmo Capital WLL, Bahrain. Established in 2014, the company is an institutional, professionally managed multi-family office advisor. Fahad explains: “Narmo’s mandate is to manage the holdings of the Al-Omran family and other likeminded investors with some of the most intelligent, experienced individuals in the field of asset management and alternative investments. We offer next-level investment strategies that are sponsored by the family, thereby unlocking tremendous potential for clients, limiting their costs of having a private bank or broker as a middle agent. This pooling of investors has enhanced the ability to improve our performance and risk.”

With more than 17 years of experience in the financial world, Fahad’s business acumen is as keen as the swooping falcon depicting the company’s official logo. The alumnus of Boston and Harvard universities has a background in chemical engineering, which he believes was an ideal springboard to finance. “Observing my father allocating capital globally, I was always obsessed with finance,” Fahad says. “The beauty of being an engineer lies in your command of very deep analytical and problem-solving skills. Both these are important in finance and that complemented my career shift very well.”

Narmo boasts a proven track record in risk management and in wealth creation and preservation – two areas where Fahad believes high-net-worth individuals and family offices seem to lack when they develop a relationship with conventional investment banks. “We tailor-make products for clients because every client requires a different architecture when constructing their investment portfolio. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Additionally, clients get the chance to diversify and invest in multiple asset classes, as the main sponsor is involved in a large variety of asset classes which the Narmo team has a full overview of. Besides our extensive, pooled financial experience, we offer investors an institutional platform, which is more advantageous in terms of optimising costs and accessing better rights when allocating funds to investments,” says Fahad, explaining why the company has clients and business collaborations spanning various countries.

The family built business connections with Bahrain more than 70 years ago. “My forefathers were one of the first from Saudi to do business in Bahrain. Today, we have a strong base on the island thanks to its strong legal and banking system, better retention of talent and being the most cost-effective in the region,” he says. The family maintains major interests in Bahrain’s hospitality industry and are shareholders in the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa. 

Fahad’s experience has taught him that one doesn’t need to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results. He says: “You need not revolutionise the wheel. You can achieve remarkable results with minimal resources, which is what we do at Narmo, to bring about consistent returns. It’s important to remember we’re not in a sprint, but in an enduring marathon. Another philosophy that we, as a team live, by is to be emotionally detached from investment decisions, and, going by the wisdom of Warren Buffet, being fearful when others are greedy and vice versa.”

The busy executive, who is a member of the global Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO), is also a member of the Al-Omran Family Foundation, a non-profit establishment. It financially assists deserving Saudi families in areas of healthcare, housing, marriage and entrepreneurship. Fahad says: “My wife and I are regularly involved in a variety of humanitarian causes that we come across in our travels to countries such as Bhutan, India and in Africa, and we encourage our children to be involved in them. The voracious reader enjoys topics of foreign and critical affairs, modern business, finance and investment, as well as popular fiction.

"The beauty of being an engineer lies in your command of very deep analytical and problem-solving skills.”

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