Bashir A. Tahir
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He is the former CEO of Dhabi Group, a member of the Board of Wateen Telecom and board member and CEO of Warid Telecom International LLC. He is also the former CEO of the Abu Dhabi Group, which is a consortium of investors led by Dhabi Group as the lead investor, and a former Member of the Board Advisory Committee and Board Audit Committee for Bank Alfalah Limited. Previously, Tahir served as general manager and CEO for Union National Bank.
He has been honoured with one of Pakistan's highest civilian awards, the Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2005 in recognition of his role in various facets of banking, financial advisory and investments in Pakistan. He was until recently a board member of the Board of Investment of Pakistan.
Mr. Tahir is a career banker since November 1962; with over forty years experience in finance and Mr. Tahir has over the past 12 years focused on advising and leading private equity and buyout ventures for the members of the UAE royal family and their co-investors. Mr. Tahir is a pioneer for encouraging the collaboration of the various family offices of the ruling families in the region to help form what is now known as the Abu Dhabi Group.
Under the Abu Dhabi Group consortium of investors, Mr. Tahir has been directly responsible for over US$3bn. worth of foreign direct investments into Pakistan's financial and telecommunications sectors. Mr. Tahir has advised on transactions worth US$500m overseas, and has actively led investments into Africa and the CIS, helping the Group to expand its presence into the banking and telecommunications sectors there.
Mr. Tahir was honoured with the Highest Civil Award: Sitara-e-Imtiaz by President of Pakistan on 14 August 2005 in recognition of his contribution to Pakistan's banking sector. He is also a recipient of the Global Pakistani Award as acknowledgement of his services towards building stronger economic ties between the UAE and Pakistan.
Dhabi Group and Abu Dhabi Group's investments include: Bank Alfalah, United Bank Limited, Warid Telecom (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Republic of Congo, Uganda & Georgia), Wateen Telecom, KOR Standard Bank (Georgia), Raseen Technologies, Al Razi Healthcare, and other investments in the industrial, pharmaceutical and consumer staples sectors.
Tahir helped the Dhabi Group to evolve from a family office engaged in primarily passive investments into a vehicle that acted as a lead investor for a consortium of investors known as the Abu Dhabi Group. The key focus areas became banking, telecommunications and real estate.
The Group understood the risks of investing in emerging and frontier markets, including corrupt government officials and corruption in general, however were able to manage the risks inherent with this investment approach by approaching each target market as a portfolio investor. Tahir was the first to promote and encourage this approach: to be a portfolio investor in a market whereby the country can benefit from inward foreign direct investment that directly helps to create jobs as well as to help attract new investors. This longer-term partnership defined the access and readiness of countries to encourage investment groups that could provide a source of multi-sector investment and help reduce volatilities through such long-term partnerships.
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