More than almost anyone else, Elina Nizar of Cap Connect understands the challenges of being an Arab woman in finance. Originally from the UK, the 30-year-old splits her time between London and Dubai, working as a business consultant for clients across the Middle East.
Despite being an unusual face in nearly every meeting she attends, Nizar has proven herself as a leading voice in private equity asset management.
As Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cap Connect, Nizar oversees a capital introductory firm working with family offices in the UK and the Middle East on advisory roles and investment management. The independent consultancy connects businesses across mainstream and alternative asset classes with family offices, private clients, wealth managers and institutional investors.
With its diverse investor base and experienced team with varied backgrounds in investment management, capital markets, business development and investor relations, Cap Connect has demonstrated a strong track record in understanding its clients’ business goals and delivering the right introductions to achieve them.
Nowhere has Cap Connect’s achievements been more pronounced than in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where Nizar sees an investment landscape with unique potential for growth.
“Saudi Arabia is a huge market. Its population is incredibly refined. A lot of people have been privately educated abroad, and they are all moving back. Most of them, both males and females, are employed – from the Uber driver all the way to the partner of a large law firm,” Nizar said in early 2019 while participating in the 8th Global Family Office Investment Summit hosted by Sir Anthony Ritossa in Dubai, where leading families from around the world represented over US$4 trillion in investor wealth.
“We analyse the stock market in the country, and despite recent hiccups, it is up by 11%. All in all, we see a lot of opportunities in the region. Twenty years ago, Saudi Arabia started with five universities; today, there are 45, and they are all very well equipped, with Western education methodologies, and of a high calibre. You see the wealth of their education when you speak to whoever is from Saudi, their sophistication is apparent,” she said.
With degrees in psychology and business, Nizar combines empathy with a keen sense for opportunity while pursuing her clients’ investment interests and identifying best-in-class products to match their needs.