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Announcement:

Moody's assigns MQ2 rating to Jadwa Asset Management

Global Credit Research - 11 Oct 2010

London, 11 October 2010 -- Moody's Investors Service has today assigned an Investment Manager Quality (MQ) rating of MQ2 to Jadwa Asset Management, a division of Saudi Arabian investment bank Jadwa Investment. This is the first MQ rating in the Middle East region and reflects Moody's opinion of the firm's very good investment management capabilities, financial profile and investment performance. At the same time, the rating also takes account of the firm's limited operating history, exposure to "key man" risk and the challenges the firm may face in managing growth.

In Moody's opinion, Jadwa demonstrates the effective organizational structure and high standard of corporate governance characteristic of MQ2-rated investment firms. Jadwa's investment process is well structured and follows a top-down and bottom-up investment approach, drawing upon the investment team's discipline to combine a valuation and macro-driven asset allocation with fundamental stock selection. The investment process is supported by an investment team which draws significant depth of expertise from both inside and outside the Arab investment arena. "Jadwa has built an investment management platform that will be able to support further growth in assets. Moody's expects the team's disciplined investment process to contribute to further outperformance in Jadwa's niche markets," says Michael Eberhardt, Moody's Vice President and lead analyst.

Jadwa complements its in-house expertise with that of third parties to supplement its internal resources as necessary. Management has engaged external consultants to conduct independent reviews and outline process improvements throughout many critical areas of the firm. In Moody's opinion, this independent validation has helped Jadwa develop a sophisticated investment platform in line with the demands of the business. In addition, Jadwa's implementation of a Bloomberg order management system (AIM) pulls together the complexity of trade execution, position management and compliance in an efficient manner. Furthermore, Moody's understands that Jadwa uses external, Shari'ah scholars so that its product offerings are compatible with Islamic Shari'ah law. Jadwa's partnerships with Russell Investments, Investec and CIT demonstrate the firm's ability to reach beyond its traditional investment offering by combining its niche expertise with the strengths of its external partners.

Moody's believes that Jadwa's challenge to grow is primarily personnel-driven. A shortage of local investment talent and the challenge of retaining key members of the intestment team are likely to test Jadwa's ability to maintain the high standard of its personnel. However, Moody's notes that Jadwa has been successful in attracting talent both locally as well as from outside the GCC. Moreover, the firm also reinforces the team's capabilities through internal and external training, and offers equity-based incentives to align interests and minimize turnover of key staff.

The rating agency also notes that Jadwa has outperformed its peers within the Saudi and GCC equity arena since the launch of the firm's flagship funds in 2007. This performance track record is the result of Jadwa's investment discipline and has resulted in the recent growth in assets under management. Nonetheless, by global standards, Jadwa remains a relatively small asset manager with a short performance history. A number of the firm's flagship funds have recently completed their three-year anniversary, thereby offering a track record of a sufficient duration to demonstrate the team's performance capabilities to an institutional investor base. Maintaining the firm's current track record of performance will enhance Jadwa's ability to grow assets. Successful management of this growth will put upward pressure on the MQ rating while failure may result in downward rating pressure.

From a financial strength perspective, Moody's believes that Jadwa has the resources necessary to support its business. Jadwa Investment's commitment to the asset management business is substantial as can be expected given the division's significant contribution to overall revenue and profitability. Relative to the global rated universe, Jadwa's revenue and resources are modest, but its profit margins and growth to date have been significant. The firm's initial capital investment was well in excess of regulatory demands and has been bolstered by additional investments from Khazanah Nasional, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. The firm's lack of debt and the presence of Saudi royalty and key members of Saudi industry amongst the firm's board and shareholder base serve to add further support to Jadwa's firm financial standing.

Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jadwa Asset Management is a strategic business line of Jadwa Investment, which was founded in 2006. As of 15 September 2010, Jadwa's assets under management totalled SAR 7.2 billion (US$ 1.9 billion), largely consisting of Saudi equities and private equity investments.

Moody's MQ2 Investment Manager Quality rating indicates a very good management and control environment. The ratings, which are expressed using a scale from MQ1 to MQ5, incorporate Moody's assessment of an entity's investment management activities and other management characteristics, including, as applicable, the performance of its product offerings, its financial profile, and client servicing performance. The principal methodology used in rating Jadwa Asset Management was "Moody's Approach to Evaluating and Assigning Investment Manager Quality Ratings to Asset Management Companies," published in August 2005 and available on www.moodys.com in the Ratings Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating these issuers can also be found in the Ratings Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.

NOTE: Moody's Investment Manager Quality ratings do not indicate a company's ability to pay a fixed financial obligation or satisfy contractual financial obligations, either in its own right or any that may have been entered into through actively managed portfolios. Also, the ratings are not intended to consider the prospective performance of a portfolio, mutual fund or other investment vehicle with respect to appreciation, volatility of net asset value, or yield.

London
Michael Eberhardt, CFA
Vice President - Senior Analyst
Global Managed Investments
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

London
Kathryn Kerle
Senior Vice President
Global Managed Investments
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom

Moody's assigns MQ2 rating to Jadwa Asset Management
No Related Data.
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