Speaker Profile

Faisal Hamad Al Ayyar

Vice Chairman
Kuwait Projects Company (Holding)

Faisal Hamad Al Ayyar has been successfully building businesses in Kuwait, the Arabian Gulf, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for more than 20 years.

A former fighter pilot in the Kuwait Air Force, Mr. Al Ayyar began his corporate career in the 1980s with the Saudi Dairy & Foodstuff Company (SADAFCO), and joined Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) also known as KIPCO, in 1990 when it was a modest local investment bank. Under his leadership, KIPCO, has grown to become one of the leading diversified investment holding groups in the MENA region, with more than US$ 15 billion in assets under control or management.

The KIPCO Group controls or holds substantial stakes in some 55 companies throughout the MENA region, with core activities in financial services and media & telecommunications, in addition to real estate, manufacturing, management & advisory, medical services, aviation and education. KIPCO Group's holdings and interests also extend to the U.S., Europe, and India.

KIPCO is Kuwait's largest private sector investment company, employing more than 12,000 people internationally, and its shares are among the most actively traded on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. A core component of the KIPCO portfolio is a network of banks in Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria, that continues to expand across the region. A parallel network of insurance companies covers a growing number of countries. United Gulf Bank and its subsidiary KIPCO Asset Management Company (KAMCO) manage more than US$ 5 billion of assets.

KIPCO is a major regional media & telecommunications player. It controls a mobile telecom group with a rapidly expanding base of more than three million subscribers in Kuwait, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and the Maldives; KIPCO is also the majority joint venture partner of Viacom in Showtime, the leading pay-TV entertainment provider distributing 50 channels across the entire MENA region.

SADAFCO, which Mr. Al Ayyar has grown from three dairies in Saudi Arabia into one of the Gulf region's leading food groups, recently completed an IPO on the Saudi stock market to become the 10th KIPCO Group company listed on the Kuwait or regional stock exchanges.

Another KIPCO landmark is its Masharee Al Khair charitable foundation, supported by Group companies. This organization initiates and develops a wide range of projects including restoration of Kuwait's historical heritage, educational scholarships, and assistance to sick and needy children.

Balancing long-term strategy and short-term opportunity, while maintaining focus on shareholders' value, Mr. Al Ayyar has initiated the creation of hugely successful companies. His personal involvement in major KIPCO ventures gives him direct responsibility for their achievements.

He has taken the lead in promoting corporate transparency, by staging the region's first large-scale Financial Forums detailing financial performances and forecasts of KIPCO and its core listed companies to audiences of fund managers, analysts, shareholders and clients.

Throughout his career, Mr. Al Ayyar has dedicated himself to providing quality products and services to the MENA region. He has also been an active advocate of corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, and a work culture where merit and team spirit is appreciated and nurtured.

Profile as of 10/14/2008