Since inception, MBU has evolved, learnt, and adapted. Throughout its evolution, the company has faced many challenges, both operational and financial. As it adapts and overcomes each obstacle – it strives to get stronger.
Mohammed has extensive experience in financial markets. He started his career at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (“CIBC”), London, as a derivatives analyst building and implementing risk and pricing models for complex derivatives.Click here to read CEO Profile
MBU approached HNI’s and family offices and offered them advisory services to help manage portfolio risks. Within a short period MBU was advising several HNI clients during which time they developed proprietary portfolio optimisation tools to increase investment returns.
One of the first major pieces of work undertaken by MBU was to advise a Saudi based family office on how to improve an existing endowment fund structure by implementing new Governance, Risk Management and Investment review and approval policies. After an 18-month study, MBU presented its findings and recommendations as a several hundred page dossier with presentations to the Board of the Al Rajhi Endowment Fund. The study was welcomed, translated into Arabic, and was distributed throughout the Al Rajhi Group as well as other leading family offices in Saudi Arabia.
The founder quickly realised that post the 2008 and 2011 crashes, there were several interesting investment opportunities in the market. One such opportunity was a real estate investment in the London home county of Hertfordshire. MBU acquired an income producing commercial asset, with the investors looking for a high, yet stable yield.
Having assessed the potential in real estate, MBU acquired its first development project comprising over 200 residential units with ground level commercial space. The circa £50m project and several similar schemes were supported by building in-house development expertise comprising of project managers, architects, and real estate finance expertise.
MBU quickly learnt that access to high-quality education was getting harder even though Emerging Markets were getting more affluent. MBU established a Private Education business in Eastern Europe and the Middle East by acquiring and operating a portfolio of 46 schools and 2 universities which had over 18,000 students.
MBU invested in a number of small start-up technology firms. As the company continued to grow, MBU came across several new investment opportunities and decided to back those which demonstrated strong management skills and a clear vision.
Throughout each stage of MBU’s journey, there were challenges to access traditional banks for both leverage and generic corporate banking services. Being a start-up business itself at one stage, MBU was keen to bridge this gap and help other businesses help realise their full potential.
The founder quickly identified an opportunity to acquire, subject to regulatory approval, a fully licensed deposit taking UK Bank. The vision behind this was that it would become “the leading SME lending bank”.
In January 2020, MBU also launched Corporate Finance and Merchant Banking Services. This division provides SME's with Capital, Advisory and Structuring services.
Soon thereafter MBU launched its Natural Resources division, headed by industry experts, and focused on mining opportunities in developed markets.