Alexander Armstrong

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.

Phone: +971501452889

Caspar Warre

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).

Natalie R. Boyd – Senior Advisor

Natalie Boyd is a highly experienced Finance and Investment Management lawyer with over 20 years’ expertise in conventional and Islamic capital markets, structured financings and hedging products, Middle Eastern investment solutions and Middle Eastern financial services regulations. Natalie has extensive UK, European and Middle Eastern experience, having advised global institutional clients for over two decades on complex, often ground-breaking products and structures.

Having practised as an associate and partner at Clifford Chance (London, Paris) and Simmons & Simmons (London, Paris and Dubai), Natalie moved to K & L Gates in 2012 (Dubai, London) where she held a number of management positions, including Global PGC (Practice Group Co-ordinator) for Banking & Finance, Head of London Investment Management/Funds, Head of UAE Banking & Finance/ Financial Services and Co-Head of UK Women in Profession Committee. Natalie provides clients with English, United Arab Emirates and Dubai International Financial Centre legal advice.

Consistently recognised as a leading practitioner in Chambers and Legal 500, Natalie was nominated by IFLR as the leading female practitioner in the UAE. Natalie is recognised by clients as “a very sharp lawyer with excellent knowledge”. [Chambers Global 2016]

Phone: +447958117851

Alex Kershaw – Senior Advisor

Alex is a world-class HR professional with over 20 years’ experience of human resource management.

She has fulfilled a number of board level HR Director Roles at American Express, Westfield Shopping Towns, Sabre Holdings and Orange Telecommunications.

Her experience spans all facets of Human Resource management, including; regional HR leadership, global employee servicing, organisational development and regional business partnering. She has a particular interest and expertise in creating HR strategy to drive growth, change management, talent planning and leadership development. She has presided over the achievement of several Best Employer Awards and other industry accolades.

Alex has been a member of executive teams across a range of cultures and geographies. She has lived and worked in London, Singapore, Australia and Dubai and has extensive experience working across the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Alex holds an MSC in Occupational Psychology. She is Level A&B Qualified, CIPD Certified, with accreditation in MBTI, Lominger, Facet 5, EQ-1, Hogan, HDS, HPI and MPVI.