Libya Training Finance Professionals…in London

Ashby Monk

Stephen Foley of the independent has a really interesting story this morning on the Libyan government’s backing of a new London hedge fund. This may not appear very special at first glance, but it’s actually pretty cool. The hedge fund, which is called FM Capital Partners, is conceived as a sort of “training camp” for Libyan finance professionals. Check it out:

“As well as managing money on behalf of funds linked to the Libyan government, it will also offer a training scheme for professionals from the north African state’s nascent finance industry and sovereign wealth funds.”

The hedge fund will be led by former Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns trader Frederic Marino:

“What we are developing is not just an investment fund…What we will give back to our clients is not just the returns on their investment that we generate. This is also about the transfer of investment technology and creating a generation of people who, in four or five years, will have a good level of technical international financial knowledge.”

To me, this looks like a pretty circuitous path to training the next generation of Libyans in the investment game. So what’s up? Perhaps Libya was having trouble attracting top finance professionals to Tripoli? After all, SWFs typically recruit top talent to the fund’s headquarters; I’m thinking in particular of the army of Western finance professionals living and working in the GCC countries. These individuals are integrated into the various SWFs and, as a consequence, they teach, train, and share information with the local workforce.

In this case, Libya seems to have decided that (if it can’t bring the top talent to Tripoli) it will bring the operations to London. I give them credit for being aggressive about learning. Who knows, Libya may even end up profiting from the enterprise, both in terms of human capital development and financial returns…

2 Responses to “Libya Training Finance Professionals…in London”

  1. 1 Tarek Alwan June 16, 2010 at 11:28 am

    It’s very interesting indeed, I think it’s a good idea to train Libyan finance professionals in the UK.

    Libya has to look into investing in its people and this is the right step in the right direction, but the question, will it continue?

    SOC Libya

  2. 2 Ashby Monk June 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    It’s at least a good start. My next question: are these individuals going to move to London from Tripoli? If so, for how long? When do they come back to Libya? I look forward to learning more details on this…Thanks for the comment, Tarek.

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This website is a project of Professor Gordon L. Clark and Dr. Ashby Monk of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Their research on sovereign wealth funds is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management.

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