DIC appoints communications veteran

The Dubai-based investment firm, led by Sameer Al Ansari, has bolstered its public relations team.

Dubai International Capital (DIC) has appointed Mark Lunn as a managing director in corporate communications from Gavin Anderson, the public relations agency.

Sameer Al Ansari:
bolsters PR team

Lunn has worked for 16 years in financial and corporate communications and is a financial services specialist. At Gavin Anderson he had an international client portfolio and responsibility for the Middle East. 

The firm is expanding its communications team so it can continue effectively managing its fast-growing business. Lunn said: “There’s a certain pressure to be transparent and open. DIC’s already fairly exemplary, but we’re going out to different regions like China and India… I’m here to keep pace with the business’ rapid growth plans.” He said DIC would be actively participating in the debate about the transparency of private equity and sovereign wealth funds.

DIC is owned by Dubai Holding, the investment company of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Dubai Holding yesterday consolidated Dubai Islamic Investment Group and Dubai Bank to create Dubai Banking Group, a $10 billion (€6.5 billion) Shariah-compliant investment firm, according to a statement.

The firm says it is not a sovereign wealth fund because it manages independent capital, although it is owned by Sheikh Mohammed.

DIC has made two attempts to buy Liverpool FC, an English football club. George Gillett, a US sports tycoon, and Tom Hicks, a buyout veteran, acquired the club last year after bidding against DIC. The two owners had difficulties refinancing the club earlier this year, prompting a second ownership attempt by DIC.

The firm was one of the most active private equity firms in Europe in the second half of last year, following the credit crunch. It bought Almatis, a German aluminium company, for an undisclosed sum, in one of a flurry of deals during the period.

The firm has recently launched a planned $1 billion China-focussed fund alongside First Eastern, a Hong Kong private equity firm.