Job fears as Pinebridge restructures

Restructuring1Pinebridge Investments Middle East will undergo restructuring in the coming weeks as the US parent firm seeks to retain a distribution presence in the region. It had been reported that the Middle East subsidiary was to close.

It is unclear how many of the roughly 30 employees of the Bahrain-based operation will keep their jobs after the restructure. Talal Al Zain, chief executive of Middle East unit, has already left. Emails to several employees of the firm were bounced back, indicating others may have left.

However, a source with knowledge of the situation says it is premature to say the unit has closed. US-based Pinebridge Investments, which has nearly $78 billion under management, will seek to retain a presence in the Middle East, says the source.

Whether the remaining presence is limited to distributing investment products managed elsewhere, rather than handling investments themselves, as Pinebridge Investments Middle East had done, remains to be seen.

Pinebridge established its Middle East headquarters in Bahrain in 2012, having gained a category one licence from the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The firm aimed to manage private equity investments across the MENA region as well as in Turkey. Among its funds was a real estate vehicle investing in Gulf property.

The source says the restructuring at Pinebridge reflects a difficult economic environment.

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