Dubai Private Equity Network (DuPEN) launch

Dubai, UAE - The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) today officially launched the Dubai Private Equity Network (DuPEN), a networking platform for Private Equity and venture capital professionals.

In association with London Business School (LBS), DuPEN will update and educate professionals on trends and developments in the Private Equity industry by providing educational workshops and networking opportunities.

The announcement was made during a panel discussion on the future of Private Equity on the third day of the Private Equity Programme conducted by LBS in Dubai. The programme was the first of its kind in the Middle East and was taught by leading experts Professor Eli Talmor and Professor Oliver Gottschalg. Because of the very high demand for the programme, Dr Kevin Dunseath, Director of LBS, Dubai Centre, expressed his hope that the programme would be repeated later in the year.

His Excellency Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC Said: "As an increasingly prominent component of the region's financial industry, Private Equity firms have experienced unprecedented growth and development in recent times. By establishing DuPEN, the DIFC is once again reaffirming its commitment to providing pioneering initiatives to support and promote a cooperative working environment at the centre."

"The aim of DuPEN is to build awareness about the Private Equity industry in Dubai and to strengthen ties between professionals working in the industry. By harnessing the power of networking and the community, DuPEN will add considerable value to the development of the Private Equity industry in the region," said Madhukar Soni of Ernst & Young Corporate Finance.

Private Equity activity in the region is evolving to a more mature stage which is witnessed by the increasing size of deals and by greater value creation and opportunities for exits.

Improving investment conditions, the availability of liquidity as a result of high oil prices, family businesses looking at new ways of raising capital, and mounting international interest in the Gulf have further increased the attractiveness of Private Equity as a viable regional assets class.

"DuPEN will provide a platform for the growing number of dynamic professionals involved in the entire Private Equity value chain, including financial and legal advisors, investment bankers and associated professionals," said Christian Sardy of HSBC Private Equity Middle East.

"The launch of DuPEN is in line with the aim of the DIFC to become the regional hub of the Private Equity industry," stated Faten Hani, the CEO of the DIFC Centre of Excellence.

Key activities of DuPEN will include education workshops conducted by seasoned professionals involved in the Private Equity industry. These will focus on practical and relevant subject matter that members can immediately apply to their professions, and would include topics covering the whole of the Private Equity value chain. Roundtable and panel discussion formats will create intimate settings that will foster worthwhile interaction between speakers and members.

DuPEN's networking events will assist professionals within the PrivateEquity and Venture Capital industries to develop their investing-specific skills, share experiences, benchmark best practices and build networks of fellow investors that will benefit them throughout their careers.

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