Why you should be following the moves of senior Middle East bankers going it alone

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For most people working in the financial sector, the option of simply quitting your current role and going solo isn’t an option. However, one career option worth pursuing is following prominent financial services professionals in the region who have made such a move.

One is May Nasrallah, the Morgan Stanley banker who decided to leave the firm and set up deNovo Corporate advisers three years ago. She’s managed to lure some of her former colleagues across since and the team focuses on small local firms with looking for acquisitions or joint ventures.

“We wanted to do something different to the international investment banks in that our advisory firm was created in the Middle East and our focus and strategy is entirely for the Middle East,” Nasrallah told The International News.

She’s not the only one to move from a large international financial services institution to set up shop alone. Pushpak Damodar worked at Deutsche Bank before setting up Global Frontiers Advisors in 2009 and Zaid Maleh left VTB Capital this year to start a company called DACH Advisory.

“Many of the institutions that came to the region during the boom time proved to have a short-term view, it was all about selling products and very little effort about understanding the regional requirements and building a longer-term presence,” said Damodar.

With most international firms retrenching from the Middle East currently, looking to a small independent firm in the region could prove to be a good move.

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