Bander Asiri, Saudi Shoura Council member

Bander Asiri, Saudi Shoura Council member
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Updated 30 October 2020

Bander Asiri, Saudi Shoura Council member

Bander Asiri has been appointed for a second four-year term as Shoura Council member by a royal decree issued last week.

The decree, issued by King Salman, appointed 150 members to the council for a period of four years and it will be headed by Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh. 

During his career in public office, Asiri worked as the acting president of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media from July 2015 to November 2017. He was also the chairman of the board at the Arab Satellite Communications Organization during the same period.

Asiri was the chairman of the board of the Saudi Media Measurement Co. from September 2016 to November 2017, a board member of Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Co. from March 2017 to November 2017, and the General Entertainment Authority from November 2016 to November 2017.

Prior to that, Asiri held several senior positions in the private sector including director general of Al-Khaleejiah Advertising and Public Relations Co. from September 2007 to September 2011, and the human resources development manager at Almarai Co. from July 2003 to March 2006.

He also founded several companies in the digital and marketing market. Asiri graduated from his studies in English at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh and obtained his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Leicester, UK.

He believes that the legislative role that the Shoura Council undertakes creates the required policy framework for achieving Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Asiri also believes that the efficiency and effectiveness that the Shoura Council operates under makes it a leader compared to other G20 legislative bodies. This can be seen in the number of laws and policies issued by the council annually.

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 27 November 2020

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.