Our Board of Directors is comprised of six highly-experienced professionals. They provide strong governance, as well as access to an exceptional network within the real estate and private equity industry.
Abdullah Bahamdan is Chairman and a Board Member. He is also the Founder and Chairman of the Bahamdan Group, a global investment holding group. He is a seasoned banker, with more than 40 years of experience.
Mr. Bahamdan previously held positions as CEO and Chairman of The National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, which he helped to build into one of the Middle East’s largest financial services groups. He sits on the boards of the Bahamdan Group, Health Water Bottling Co. Ltd, Aluminium Products Company and Farabi Petrochemicals.
Mr. Bahamdan is a Founding Member and Member of the Board of Directors at the Saudi Society for the Preservation of Heritage, an Honorary Member at The Consultative Council and the Founding Member of the Prince Khalid Al Faisal Center for the Development of Managerial Leadership.
Lubna Olayan is a Board Member. She served as Chief Executive Officer of the Olayan Financing Company (“OFC”), a subsidiary and the holding entity for the Olayan Group’s operations in the Middle East.
Mrs. Olayan remains the Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Directors of OFC. She also serves as Chairwoman of the recent merger between Alawwal Bank and the Saudi British Bank (SABB).
Since 2011, she has been a board member of Schlumberger, a leading global provider of oilfield services. Additionally, Mrs. Olayan sits on several international advisory boards, including those of Akbank, Allianz SE, McKinsey & Co and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Mrs. Olayan holds a B.Sc. degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Indiana University.
Joseph Azrack is Safanad’s Chief Investment Officer in addition to being a Board and Investment Committee Member. He brings over 30 years of real estate investment experience to the Safanad team.
Previously, Mr. Azrack was the Chairman and Managing Partner of Apollo Global Real Estate. Prior to joining Apollo, he was Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citi Property Investors (“CPI”) where he chaired the firm’s Management and Investment Committees and directed investment policy and strategy. Prior to that, Mr. Azrack was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of AEW Capital Management, L.P., Founder and President of the AEW Partners Funds, Founder and Chairman of the Board of IXIS AEW Europe and a Member of the Board of Curzon Global Partners.
Mr. Azrack is Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business where he taught Real Estate Entrepreneurship and is a member of the Real Estate Program Advisory Board. Mr. Azrack holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.Sc. degree from Villanova University.
Marty Edelman is a Board and Investment Committee Member. He is of counsel in the real estate practice of Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm.
Mr. Edelman has more than 40 years of experience and concentrates his practice on large international real estate, corporate mergers and acquisitions transactions. Mr. Edelman is on the Board of Directors of Equity Commonwealth, BXMT and Aldar, an Abu Dhabi public company. He is an advisor to Grove Real Estate Partners, The Related Companies and Mubadala, the strategic investment arm of the Government of Abu Dhabi. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences and in 2011 was selected by the National Law Journal as one of the 34 most influential lawyers in the US.
Mr. Edelman is on the boards of Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City football clubs and is an advisor to the Miami Dolphins. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School.
Abdul Kareem Abu Alnasr is a Board Member and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Safanad, bringing extensive banking and managerial experience to the role.
He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of The National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, one of the leading financial institutions in the GCC region. Mr. Abu Alnasr currently serves as a Board Member of Abdul Latif Jamil United Finance Company where he is also Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committees. He is also a member of the Board and Audit Committee of Yanbu National Petrochemical Company.
Mr. Abu Alnasr was named ‘Saudi Arabia Banker of the Year 2009’ in World Finance magazine and received The Banker magazine’s ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2008 for his “considerable contribution to financial services in Saudi Arabia and the region”. He holds a M.B.A. degree from the American University in Cairo and a B.B.A. degree from California State University.
Kamal Bahamdan is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Safanad, a Board Member and Chairman of the Investment and Executive Committees.
Since 2002, Mr. Bahamdan has also been the CEO of the Bahamdan Group, a global investment holding group, where he is responsible for expanding its activities from a largely industrial base into telecommunications, education, infrastructure and retail across the MENA region by building investment and operating platforms. Prior to that, he was co-founder and managing partner of the BV Group, a private equity investment firm formed in 1995, focused on technology and real estate investments, and operating in the US, Europe and Asia.
Mr. Bahamdan is a five-time equestrian Olympian and a bronze medalist in the 2012 Olympic Games. He was named a Young Global Leader 2006 by the Forum of Young Global Leaders, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum. Mr. Bahamdan is a graduate of Boston University with a B.Sc. degree in Manufacturing Engineering.
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