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Investing

The Olayan Group has been an international investor since the early 1960s.

As a private concern, the Group combines the strength and security of a decades-old institution with the nimbleness of a family-owned business. We are able to take a long-term, multi-generational view in the pursuit of quality assets.

We are proud of our track record of steady growth. We are also proud of the key relationships we have developed with investment and banking partners who have contributed to our success.

STRENGTH

A fortress balance sheet and very substantial net worth are core strengths of The Olayan Group. The Group has the financial capability to participate in major transactions, the resilience to withstand market shocks, and the agility to capitalize quickly on high-value opportunities as they arise.
The Group’s exceptional term credit lines with an array of banking partners maximizes this flexibility. Many of these banking relationships are decades old. As a private concern, the Group does not publicly disclose its financials, but of course it maintains full transparency with credit and risk officers at its partner banks.
The Group also has non-financial advantages that contribute to the overall strength of the enterprise. We have relatively flat management structure, short decision-making lines, and close coordination between offices. Our business information and communication systems are state-of-art, backed by cybersecurity.
Our management and strategies are consistent. Many of our executives measure their tenure with the organization in decades, as do employees at every level.
The Group also has strong governance. Its shareholders are active, committed, and farsighted. Corporate profits are reinvested in the enterprise at an exceptionally high rate. The Olayan Group Corporate Board includes both senior executives of the Group and independent directors. Several are members of storied family businesses in the U.S. and Europe who bring especially valuable experience to the table.
Both The Olayan Group and the founder’s family, now in the early stages of its fourth generation, have carried out a highly organized and well-structured program to ensure continuity and smooth succession for the future.

STRATEGY

The Olayan Group essentially is a long-term investor that looks for solid fundamentals, enduring franchises, and other indicators of intrinsic value. We seek solid and proven performance with reasonable valuations and risk-adjusted returns.
The Group takes strong, collaborative positions with top-caliber management. We carefully choose our business partners for their acumen, and we look to create long-term relationships with them.
The Group’s investment activity is underpinned by a concerted financial strategy around these elements: growth and value, high asset quality for the long term, robust cash generation, high liquidity optionality, conservative leverage, an array of committed term bank facilities, and strong controls.
We value the entrepreneur's instinct for opportunity. Our instincts have been honed by seven decades of business experience and are backed by our own team of in-house experts. Most of all, the Group abides by the guiding values of its founder, especially hard work, due diligence, and highest ethical standards.

PORTFOLIO

Our investment portfolio is a diversified mix of public and private equities, real estate, fixed-income securities, and other specialized assets.
We consider and then execute investments through a set of disciplined principles and clearly defined criteria with iterative reviews. We have a unique one-team culture and one-firm approach.
Investments in listed companies remain the largest portion of the Group’s overall portfolio. While historically The Olayan Group was known for concentrating its public investments in large financial institutions, today we invest in companies big and small across diverse sectors.
Our interest in private equity and real estate has grown meaningfully in recent years. We take private equity positions both directly and as a limited partner with leading firms that have a track record of stability and excellence.
Our fixed income portfolio is global and spread across asset classes to take advantage of opportunities in that space.
In the wake of the financial crisis that began in 2007, the Group capitalized on opportunities to invest directly in a number of world-class real estate assets. Today these holdings include 550 Madison Avenue in New York City (formerly known as the Sony Building); the Knightsbridge Estate in central London; a portfolio of prime office, retail, and residential assets in Paris’s prestigious 8th Arrondissement; the Hotel Ritz in Madrid; and Al-Bustan Village, a prestigious residential, educational, and recreational community in Riyadh that the Group developed from scratch. These investments capitalize on long-term value growth while securing a cash flow that is sizeable and growing.

INVESTMENT TEAM

The Olayan Group’s unofficial motto is to do better tomorrow what we do best today. Ours is a culture of curiosity and the pursuit of excellence. We build and cultivate our investment team around this approach.
Our investment professionals are based in the U.S., Europe, and Saudi Arabia. They communicate regularly by audio and video conference calls and through office visits to share information, ideas, and strategies. The international team also convenes as a whole every two years in a retreat setting for strategic planning and team building. This fosters close professional bonds across geography.
Our in-house analysts do their own research and rigorous due diligence. They also have high-level access to top outside financial, economic, and investment expertise.
Our analysts specialize by asset class, sector, and geographic focus. For listed equities, private equities, and real estate, our investment professionals in our New York office cover North, Central and South America while our London office focuses on Europe and the Far East. The Riyadh office looks to the Middle East, North Africa and Southwest Asia.
The Group’s international investment activity is supported by offices in Athens, Luxembourg, and Vienna. The Athens office manages the Group’s treasury, foreign exchange operations, and a global fixed-income portfolio. The Group’s international banking relationships are also managed out of this office.