May Nasrallah

Founder and Executive Chairman
deNovo Partners

May Nasrallah is the Founder and Executive Chairman of deNovo Partners, an Independent, Middle-East focused, corporate finance advisory firm, offering international bulge bracket expertise to MENA-wide and centric corporates and institutions.

deNovo Partners under May’s leadership has over the past 13 years established its reputation and track record as the pre-eminent independent, regionally-headquartered boutique advisory firm. deNovo has successfully executed numerous sellsides, buysides, stake sales, restructurings, valuations, fundings, capital structure and strategic reviews on behalf of its continuously growing client base. May and deNovo’s advice is consistently sought by the region’s leading family groups, corporates and sovereign wealth funds as well as global firms seeking regional acquisitions. deNovo entered a Strategic Alliance to enhance global coverage with PJT Partners in 2020, and with Bank Itau in 2019.

May has also served as a non-Executive Chairman and Senior Advisor to BlackRock across the Middle East region, between 2020 and 2022, supporting development of BlackRock’s strategy in the region and fostering relationships with key regional stakeholders, including clients, regulators and governmental bodies.

Prior to founding deNovo, May spent over 15 years at Morgan Stanley in numerous Investment Banking roles and geographies including New York, Hong Kong, London and Dubai. Most recently, she was Head of Investment Banking for the Middle East and North Africa region, where in 2005 she established, led and grew Morgan Stanley’s inaugural investment banking presence in the Middle East, based in the DIFC, Dubai. She retired from the firm in late 2009.

May graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) with Dual Degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. May further received her Masters in Management and Finance from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.


May currently holds the following Non-Executive positions:

▪ Board Member of the Dubai International Chamber of Commerce

▪ Member of the International Advisory Council for PJT Partners

▪ Independent Board Member for The Kanoo Group Holding Company

▪ Board Member of ABANA, Arab Bankers Association of North America

▪ Advisory Board Member and previously Chair of the Board of Directors of the Lebanese Professional Diaspora

Organization “LIFE”

▪ Member of the International Advisory Council of the Middle East Institute (MEI)

▪ Member of MIT MENA Senior Advisory Board.


Notable Highlights:

▪ Ranked one of Middle East’s 100 most Powerful Business Women in 2023 by Forbes Magazine

▪ Ranked one of 50 most Influential Women in the Middle East in 2019 by Financial News

▪ Named Businesswoman of the Year for the UAE in 2015 at the Arab Woman Awards Ceremony

▪ Ranked in top 500 Most Influential Arabs in Arabian Business magazine in 2013 and 2012; Ranked in top 100 most

influential Arab Women

▪ Featured in the Financial Times’ List of The Leading Business Women in the Arab World

▪ Featured in the Women and Leadership Publication Case Study in the National Newspaper’s Celebration of the 100th International Women’s Day


May speaks fluent Arabic and English and lives in Dubai with her husband and four sons.