CAIRO: Investment banking captured the attention of 33-year-old Wael El Hatow, vice president and head of investment banking for HC Securities & Investment in Egypt.
El Hatow studied political science at the American University in Cairo then did his MBA at Pennsylvania State University.
When people ask me what I do for living, I say legal consultant because the term investment banking is new to Egypt and does not exist in Arabic, El Hatow said.
El Hatow s job as he explained is to provide deals. If a company wants to sell itself, El Hatow s job will be securing the best deal for it and vice versa.
Simply I am at the crossroads between people looking for money and people that have money. I do more than just match them. I do in-depth evaluations to get the best deals. I can be on either side, the buyer s or the seller s, El Hatow said.
Why is that interesting? Because I deal with people from different sectors, he explained.
El Hatow also believes that the Egyptian market cannot handle more than three companies like his to work on big transactions. But he sees hope for more companies to develop in the future.
Most companies in Egypt working in this field go regional to places like Saudi Arabia for example, because they have a large market potential, El Hatow stated.
But he believes the Egyptian government is doing a great job in providing good investment opportunities.
The economy is definitely improving says El Hatow.
The average man on the street does not feel the positive effect because he is not specialized enough to know what is going on, El Hatow said.
They see the investment or privatization process from one perspective, which that a new administration will fire the old staff. But this is not the case, El Hatow said.
If we take Omar Effandi as an example, the company that bought it will introduce early retirements to some of the staff but will definitely develop a new infrastructure. If the company is successful the Egyptian economy will develop with it, build new branches and hire more people El Hatow said.
There are so many side benefits that people do not see, he added.
Another reason why the average person does not feel the benefits of development is the poor income distribution.
It takes time for the cycle to rotate so that everyone feels the difference, El Hatow said.
I could have said five years ago that if someone works really hard he will probably not get anywhere, but today if someone works hard it is very likely he will succeed, El Hatow said.
HC Securities and Investment “HCSI , is the group’s holding company and owns HC Brokerage, HC Bahrain and Hussein Choucri Financial Advisor.