Alex has over 18 years experience in structured finance and financial innovation, formerly working at JPMorgan Chase where he was responsible for transaction advisory coverage in areas such as Global Emerging Markets DCM, Secondary Loan Trading, Leveraged Finance and Securitised Products Group. Alex’s most recent transaction history includes developing the region’s first European Islamic leveraged finance portfolio focusing mainly on the European mid market and managing the liquidity program for QInvest LLC where he was formally Managing Director and Head of Financial Institutions and Structured Finance. Alex also sat on the firm’s Management Board and Investment Committee.
Alex has worked on some high-profile transactions during this 11 years in the region, winning multiple awards including ‘Deal of the Year’ Islamic Finance Awards 2012, Asian Asset Management Awards ‘Best Islamic Deal of the Year’, also launching the Islamic Qatar Equity Protected Series and several structured Islamic enhanced deposit trades which represented market firsts. Alex developed the first multi-asset class Shariah-compliant structured product program in the GCC, the first Shariah-compliant Indian Equity Fund and a number of other firsts in terms of Shariah-compliant asset management products over his ten years spent in the GCC.
In the field of investment and principal capital deployment, Alex has significant experience of both private equity and credit. Private equity experience includes responsibility for a portfolio deployed across a range of direct investments, co-investments and LP investments. In terms of private credit and direct lending, Alex was responsible for a diverse portfolio of investments that included senior, unitranche and mezzanine instruments. Most recently, Alex worked with Caspar Warre at QInvest where he was responsible for the European Leveraged Loan Principal Portfolio. Alex has extensive experience in the execution of complex international financial transactions. Alex is also a member of the Institute of Directors.
Caspar is an investment banker with over 18 years experience. Most recently, he was a Managing Director of Principal Investments and Head of M&A at QInvest where he worked with Alex Armstrong. In addition, he was a member of QInvest’s Investment and Management Committees. Prior to QInvest, he was a Director at Dresdner Kleinwort in the Corporate Finance and Origination division.
During his career, Caspar has executed corporate finance transactions with an aggregate value in excess of USD10bn. He has a wide range of corporate finance skills including M&A, capital structuring and raising, credit analysis and restructuring. His experience has included acting as a financial adviser and in an internal corporate development function. Transactions have occurred across multiple sectors and in both developed and emerging markets.
In the field of investment and principal capital deployment, Caspar has significant experience of both private equity and credit. Private equity experience includes lead responsibility for a portfolio deployed across a range of direct investments, co-investments and LP investments. In terms of private credit and direct lending, Caspar was responsible for a diverse portfolio of investments that included senior, unitranche and mezzanine instruments.
Caspar has had significant involvement in the management of businesses, which has included representation on investee companies’ boards and key sub-committee membership (e.g. audit, risk, remuneration and nominations). As a result, Caspar has been a Non-Executive Director, inter alia, of Panmure Gordon (UK), Ambit (India) and Intercat (UAE). Non-executive directorships have included regulated financial groups and stock exchange listed groups.
Both in terms of corporate finance advisory and capital deployment, Caspar has a strong understanding of Islamic finance and the expertise to structure investments in a compliant fashion. Caspar was educated at the University of Cambridge and Eton College.
Bruce Fraser Armstrong
Mr Armstrong has over forty years’ experience in the investment banking and financial services industry. Occupying numerous executive positions with several financial houses, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a member of the Institute of Directors, an Associate of the Institute of Bankers and previously Chairman of Ivobank and Chief Financial Officer for Nymex Europe Limited.
Mr Armstrong was with the Credit Agricole/Credit Lyonnais Group for over 30 years including postings as Group Finance Director for both Credit Lyonnais and latterly Calyon. He has a breadth of experience as a Director within major international investment banks with fifteen years experience at board level in the United Kingdom covering such areas as risk, internal controls, audit, pensions, corporate governance and regulatory issues, areas of fund management, equities, fixed income, energy, commodities and derivatives with wide ranging experience as a non-executive director of investment houses as well as banking and finance companies. Former posts include Executive Director Credit Lyonnais Rouse (FSA Regulated) undertaking commodity, futures trading and brokerage on LME, NYMEX, CBOT, CME and LIFFE, as well as structured OTC transactions, Senior Executive Officer and Executive Director of Credit Lyonnais Securities which included operating names such as Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia and Credit Lyonnais Laing, an FSA-regulated institutional equity broker covering brokerage, research, corporate finance, market making and sales trading on mainly UK, Asian and European Markets, Non-Executive Director of Laing & Cruikshank an FSA regulated Private Client Broker and Asset Manager with £4bn of funds under management. Bruce Armstrong was also a Non-Executive Director of Alexandra Discount House Plc, a discount house and authorised bank with a balance sheet of £4bn and a major participant in the UK short-term money market.
Bruce Armstrong also has extensive direct experience in the Middle East through positions served at Gulf Riyad Bank, Kufex and Kuwait French International Exchange Company.
John Howland-Jackson - Senior Advisor
John Howland-Jackson is currently Chief Executive Officer of Nikko Asset Management Europe, the Europe and Middle East arm of Nikko Asset Management, which is one of Japan and Asia’s leading asset management businesses. He is also the Non-Executive Chairman of Wyelands Bank, a specialist trade and receivables bank affiliated to the GFG Alliance, a UK-based industrial conglomerate with broad global interests in steel production, energy and metals trading.
John is a qualified lawyer with an extensive background in the international capital markets and has held senior executive positions over a banking career of more than 40 years with some of the world’s leading financial institutions. Having started his career with the UK merchant bank Kleinwort Benson in the 1970s, he subsequently worked for JPMorgan, the Nomura Securities Group, the NatWest Group and finally the Dutch ING Group. With vast experience throughout the markets of Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, John has also undertaken several postings in the Asian region.
John graduated from Oxford University (BA Jurisprudence 1971) and is a qualified Barrister-at-Law (Middle Temple 1972).