Beltone Financial Holding, one of Egypt’s top investment banks, announced today that it has acquired a 60% stake of Auerbach Grayson & Company, LLC—a New York-based brokerage firm specialising in global trade and exclusive in-depth research on developed, frontier and emerging markets for international investors.
“The Auerbach Grayson acquisition is a natural extension for our businesses and is the first step in our strategy to create a major Middle East-based global investment bank” said Naguib Sawiris, executive chairperson and CEO of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT) which acquired Beltone Financial in 2015.
Sawaris acquired the global investment firm’s stake for $24m after Egyptian regulators blocked his acquisition of CI Capital for, what he said, were political reasons. He has also tried twice to acquire EFG Hermes. He continued that changing these policies could lead to an economic recovery in the country at large.“Our partnership with Auerbach Grayson enables Beltone to increase its exposure and broaden its customer base in emerging and frontier markets,” said Beltone chairperson Sameh El-Torgoman. “This aligns with Beltone’s broader corporate strategy to expand its brokerage, asset management, and investment banking operations beyond the Middle East.” Beltone is the largest asset manager in Egypt with EGP 30bn assets under management and a leading provider of equity research throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. Sawaris has sought for Beltone to become the country’s—and the region’s—largest brokerage firm.
David Grayson, CEO and co-founder of Auerbach Grayson said: “I first visited Egypt in 1994, shortly after the government rewrote the capital market laws and started a series of privatisations. I immediately recognised the opportunity and within a year, Egypt became one of our largest and most important markets as we took part in the majority of the country’s most notable capital markets deals. Our success there encouraged Auerbach Grayson to expand into every country in the world with a capital market system.”
Auerbach Grayson has built a global coverage network by establishing partnerships with local and regional brokers and with expertise in 120 international markets. The firm has recently expanded into US block trading, global block trading, and global programme trading—a difficult niche in today’s market. Through its partnership with Beltone Financial Holding, the firm will expand into asset management and investment banking in the MENA region while Beltone gains a window to expansion into international markets.